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How repeat traffic offenses can worsen penalties in North Carolina

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2023 | Car Accidents, Criminal Defense |

Most people don’t see breaking some traffic laws as a big issue. They reason that they will only get a slap on the risk because they will just get a ticket and pay for it through mail or online and move on with their lives. However, having this attitude can cause problems in the long run, especially if you live in North Carolina. The state has strict laws and consequences for repeat offenses.

License suspension or revocation

North Carolina courts can suspend or revoke your license if you accumulate too many points on your driving record within a certain timeframe. For example, speeding can result in two or three points depending on the area and how fast you are going. If you receive more than 12 points within three years, the court can suspend your license for up to 12 months. Revocation, on the other hand, occurs for more serious offenses, such as driving under the influence or reckless driving.

Jail term

Most traffic violations usually never lead to a jail term; however, repeat offenses can result in a short sentence. For instance, driving with a suspended license can lead to 120 days in jail for repeat offenders. DUIs can result in up to 12 months in prison for second and subsequent offenses.

Higher fines

While every case is unique, and judges have the discretion to impose fines based on their judgment, fines for first-time reckless driving can start as low as $100. A repeat offense, however, can cost up to $1,000 .

Possible defenses

There are a plethora of criminal defense strategies a defendant can leverage to counter traffic offense charges. For instance, one could argue necessity, asserting they committed the violation to prevent a greater evil. This could be applicable when someone was speeding to get a seriously ill individual to a hospital.

Mistake of fact is another potential defense used when a person has a genuine belief that their actions were not illegal. For example, a driver who genuinely believed their license suspension had ended could potentially use this defense.

Driving in North Carolina, like any other state, entails a commitment to responsible and law-abiding behavior. It’s crucial to understand that seemingly minor traffic infractions can quickly accumulate and lead to more severe consequences. Being aware of the potential penalties can serve as a strong deterrent against repetitive offenses, ultimately contributing to safer roads for everyone.


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