Traffic Tickets and Penalties in North Carolina

All traffic violation penalties in North Carolina are the same across the state, meaning they don’t change county to county. For example, receiving an illegal passing ticket, whether in New Hanover County or Pender County, will result in four points on a driver’s license. What can vary, however, are additional points, suspensions, or other driving restrictions depending on a driver’s previous driving history and the circumstance.

North Carolina Traffic Point System and Suspensions

Certain traffic violations can result in accrued driving record points. The most common traffic offenses that receive points include speeding, reckless driving, illegal passing, and running through a red light. The traffic violations below can accumulate the following amount of points:

  • Littering from a vehicle – 1 point
  • Speeding 10mph over when speed limit is 55mph – 2 points
  • Speeding in a school zone – 3 points
  • Speeding 10mph over when speed limit is greater than 55 but less than 75 mph – 3 points
  • Speeding through a construction zone – 3points
  • Failure to stop at stop sign or stop light – 3 points
  • Following too closely – 4 points
  • Illegal passing – 4 points
  • Reckless driving – 4 points
  • Hit and run (property damage only) – 4 points
  • Passing a stopped school bus – 5 points

Drivers that accumulate seven points on their record may be required to enroll in driver improvement clinics. Drivers who accumulate twelve points on their record within three years could face license suspension, which can last 60 days to 12 months depending on any prior suspensions. Other potential loss of driving privilege penalties includes a revoked license (privileges are terminated indefinitely) and canceled license (driving privileges are terminated). The following traffic violations will result in license suspension:

  • Driving with a revoked or already suspended license
  • Speeding 15mph over the limit if you are driving at a speed higher than 55mph.
  • Speeding to avoid an arrest
  • Highway racing
  • Hit and run (injury/death)

Receiving a Traffic Ticket Fine

When charged with a traffic offense, there are two options: pay the fine or fight the ticket. If you choose to plead “not guilty” and not pay the ticket, you must schedule a court hearing. By consulting with a traffic ticket attorney like Mulligan Attorneys,, we’re able to take time getting to know you, your case, your driving record, and further explain your legal rights and options to resolve your ticket. Traffic ticket laws can be confusing and difficult to navigate on your own. By working with one of our lawyers, we’ll help you reach the best possible outcome for your case.

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