Understanding Traffic Laws in North Carolina

North Carolina has two different systems for awarding points based on traffic violations. One system is created by the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that assigns points based on convictions for traffic violations. Another system is the insurance point system that is created by the Safe Driver Incentive Plan (SDIP).

Drivers can receive different DMV points for moving and non-moving violation convictions. Depending on the severity of the moving or non-moving violations:

1 point for littering pursuant to N.C.G.S. 14-399 when the littering involves the use of a motor vehicle

2 points for all other moving violations

2 points for failure to properly restrain a child in a seatbelt

3 points for speeding in a school zone in excess of the posted school zone speed limit

3 points for failure to report accident where such report is required

3 points for no liability insurance

3 points for driving through safety zone

3 points for failure to stop for siren

3 points for no driver license or license expired for one year

3 points for running through a red light

3 points for failure to yield the right of way

3 points for speeding in excess of 55 mph

3 points for running through a stop sign

4 points for failure to yield right of way to bicycle, motor scooter or motorcycle

4 points for failure to yield right of way to pedestrian pursuant to N.C.G.S. 20-158(b)(2)b.

4 points for illegal passing

4 points for driving on wrong side of road

4 points for following too closely

4 points for hit and run, property damage only

4 points for reckless driving

5 points for aggressive driving

5 points for passing a stopped school bus.

This point system including points awarded for convictions while driving a commercial motor vehicle can be found on pages 28-30 of the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles 2012 Driver Handbook.

License Suspensions

Subsequently, your driving privileges can be revoked if you are convicted of:

- Driving any vehicle more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, if you are driving at a speed higher than 55 mph.

It will be taken for 60 days if you are convicted of:

- A second charge of speeding over 55mph and more than 15mph above the speed limit within one year; or

- Speeding plus reckelss driving on the same occasion.

(Page 30, NCDMV 2012 Drivers Handbook)

The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles will accept two PJCs within a 5 year period so that your license may not be suspended. However, as discussed below, for insurance points only one PJC is recognized every three years within a household/insurance policy so that your insurance rates do not increase.

Insurance Points

Insurance points are given using a different point system that is set up through the North Carolina Department of Insurance. These points can cause a percentage increase to your insurance policy based on the driving conviction you received. However, THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS to receiving insurance points:

Speeding 10 mph or less over the posted speed limit; provided all of the following are true:

- The violation did not occur in a school zone; and

- There is not another moving violation for the experience period (an isolated Prayer for Judgement Continued [PJC] will not count as a prior conviction for the purpose of this exception).

One PJC for each household every three years; however:

- A second PJC may cause points to be charged according to the underlying convictions.

It is important that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you receive a PJC or moving violation that will not affect your driving record - including points with the DMV or insurance points. Call Raleigh and Wake County traffic ticket attorney Wiley Nickel today to discuss your options for your traffic ticket.

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Wiley Nickel

Wiley Nickel lives and works in Cary, North Carolina. In 1998, he graduated from Tulane University with a major in Political Science and a minor in History. After college Wiley went to work for Al Gore and travelled with the Vice President as part of his national advance staff. Following the Gore campaign he earned his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law in 2005. While in law school Wiley worked as a law clerk in the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office where he gained valuable criminal trial experience before taking and passing the California bar exam. His first job out of law school was for the Merced County District Attorney’s Office where he worked as a Deputy District Attorney with a focus on prosecuting DWI offenders. Wiley later joined the Law Offices of Joseph Uremovic where he focused on civil litigation and family law. When the opportunity came to join the Obama campaign in 2008 Wiley jumped at the chance. He spent three years travelling with President Obama as a member of his national advance team. In 2011 Wiley left his work for the White House to return to the practice of law. Wiley devotes the majority of his practice to the areas of criminal law, family law, traffic tickets and DMV issues. The Law Offices of Wiley Nickel was started with the goal of providing the best representation possible for all of his clients. Experienced, Compassionate, Aggressive Criminal Defense While defense attorney Wiley Nickel works as the primary attorney for all of his cases, he does have an associate attorney, a team of investigators, forensic consultants, and support staff to call on to help achieve the best possible result in every case. He limits his case load so that he can focus on providing the best possible legal defense to all of his clients. Every case is a top priority and the goal is to have your case dismissed with a focus on being able to expunge your charges at the end of the process. When he is not working, Wiley is an avid family man, distance runner and golfer. He loves North Carolina college sports and is hoping this is the year for Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. Wiley is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and California.