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Penalties you can get for traffic offenses

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2023 | Car Accidents, Criminal Defense |

Most people think of a traffic offense as an inconvenience more than anything. While that is true, traffic offenses can lead to long-term consequences for the driver, especially if it becomes a recurrent problem. Some traffic offenses are more common than others, and others are less common but more severe.


One of the most common traffic offenses is speeding. It is especially easy to lose sight of the speed at which one is driving on highways. Penalties for speeding include:

  • Court costs
  • Penalties range from $10 to $250 depending on the violation
  • Points on your license, which will stay on your record for three years
  • Increase in car insurance premiums
  • Suspension of driving privileges

Reckless driving

North Carolina law defines reckless driving as: “driving a vehicle upon a highway or public area carelessly and heedlessly in willful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others,” which is quite a broad definition.

It can be disadvantageous for drivers who fall on the lower end of the infraction. A police officer who observes the act will determine if it is reckless driving based on whether they think it is endangering others.

It is always better to drive carefully and avoid tailgating, illegally passing other vehicles or failing to give the right of way when required.

Penalties for reckless driving include:

  • Up to 30 days in jail for a class 2 misdemeanor or harsher penalties if it is not a first offense
  • Thousands of dollars in fines, depending on whether it is a first offense or a subsequent offense
  • Points on your license and your record and increased premiums in car insurance
  • Suspension of driving privileges

Driving with a suspended license

If you drive with a suspended license, you will face harsher penalties, including a class 3 misdemeanor, jail time and hundreds of dollars in fines.

Driving without insurance

Suppose you drive without the required insurance in North Carolina. In that case, the state can suspend your vehicle registration immediately, and you may face probation and a fine.

Long-term consequences

The long-term consequences of traffic offenses are severe, and the penalties are harsh and get worse with each offense.

Note that in some cases, your insurance provider will drop you altogether. In these cases, getting insurance with other providers can be extremely difficult, especially if you are looking to pay reasonably priced premiums.

Driving safely is extremely important, not just because the law says it is. Safe driving is necessary because it can save lives- including yours. It is imperative to remember this every time you get on the road.


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