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Winston Salem Traffic Attorneys

Traffic offenses are not as clear-cut as being pulled over, pleading guilty, and paying the fine. Not all traffic offenses are considered equal. There are times when it may even make sense to challenge what you may think is a routine traffic charge.

Make this next decision count.

WInston-Salem Criminal Defense Attorneys

Our clients are people, not case numbers

We treat our clients with the dignity and respect they deserve.

When you have been pulled over for a traffic offense, you should never make any assumptions without knowing your options and the impacts that a conviction may have on you. Before you mail a check or make any decisions, you should consult with an experienced Winston-Salem traffic lawyer. What you may think is something routine could cost your license in the long run. You may even end up in jail because of a traffic charge.

The first question that someone always asks is whether it is worth it to fight a traffic ticket or pay it off. Even paying off a traffic ticket can have collateral consequences for you. If you are convicted of a traffic violation, it will remain with you on your driving record for three years. The effects can build up the more times you are convicted of traffic violations.

Consequences of Traffic Law Convictions

Depending on the traffic offense, you may face the following consequences for a conviction:

  • Fines
  • Court costs
  • Increased auto insurance rates
  • Points on your driver’s license
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Being ordered to take a driver improvement course

Categories of North Carolina Traffic Convictions

In North Carolina, there are three different categories of traffic offenses:

  • Infractions – Infractions are less serious traffic offenses, such as speeding or running a stop sign. Even though these are punished with fines and court costs, too many of these offenses over time can lead to the loss of your driving privileges.
  • Misdemeanors Misdemeanors are minor crimes that can result in a jail sentence of up to 60 days. DWI convictions and reckless driving can result in misdemeanor charges.
  • Felonies Felonies are punished with one year or more in jail and can include repeat DWI offenses and vehicular manslaughter.

Why You Need a Traffic Law Attorney

There is no question that you need an attorney when you are facing misdemeanor and felony charges. You should strongly consider hiring a traffic lawyer even when you have been cited for an infraction.

Many moving violations will be assigned points when you are convicted of them. In North Carolina, you will lose your driver’s license if you accumulate 12 points on your license over a three-year span.

For any traffic offense, law enforcement must still try and convict you of the offense. Although most traffic offenses will be tried in traffic court directly, you can still come with a lawyer and have your side of the story heard. The officer needs to show up to testify.

In traffic court, the officer will give their version of what they saw. Remember that the officer has their one day in traffic court, and they may be testifying about dozens of different traffic cases in short order. You may have an opening to challenge the charge. However, you cannot just give a blanket statement that you did not do it or that the officer was wrong. Doing so will not work. Instead, you must have something to back up your own claim of innocence.

Defenses to a Traffic Law Violation

Here are some ways to defend against your traffic ticket:

  • The officer could not have seen what happened based on the position of your car and the officer’s location (you should come with diagrams and photographs that can back up your contention).
  • You made an honest and reasonable mistake (for example, you could not clearly see a traffic sign because of branches or weather conditions).
  • You have witnesses that can back up your side of the story and challenge the officer’s observations.
  • It was necessary to do what you did to avoid greater harm.
  • The road signage in the area was inadequate to alert you.
  • You were not traveling as fast as the officer said you were.

One defense that will not work in traffic court is that you did not know the law. All drivers are expected to know traffic rules, and they will be punished if they make a mistake of law.

If you can successfully defend against your traffic ticket, you will not face any penalties. It would be as if the citation never happened. Still, you should check your driving record to make sure that the stop does not appear.

Consequences of a Traffic Law Conviction

Even if you are convicted of an offense, it does not always mean that you will get points. Some traffic court judges will still make you pay the associated penalty, but they may not give you points. For that reason alone, it is worth it to show up to fight your ticket. Points can mean thousands of dollars of extra auto insurance premiums over the three-year span.

At a certain point, the accumulation of points will cost you driving privileges. Some traffic offenses can mean that you receive five points. For example, passing a stopped school bus is a five-point offense. Reckless driving will mean that you get four points on your license. Most moving violations would result in at least three points on your license.

If your license is suspended under the points system, you can lose your license for:

  • 60 days for the first suspension
  • 6 months for the second suspension
  • 12 months for the third suspension

Before you can get your license back, you must pay a fee. When you accumulate seven points on your license, you could be required to take a driving course, and completing that course would remove three points from your license.

You should at least have a conversation with an attorney before you make any decisions. You may have more legal options than you previously thought.

Call a Winston-Salem Traffic Lawyer Today

When you need a traffic lawyer, the attorneys at Graystar Legal are here to help you no matter the charge. We know our way around traffic and criminal court, from every infraction to a felony. We can either help you defend the charges or work for the best possible legal outcome. Call us today or message us online to discuss your case with a free consultation. We will work to find any possible defenses that can help you.

FIRST OFFENDER PROGRAM

FIRST OFFENDER PROGRAM

If this is your first offense

you may be eligible for the First Offender program. This program may help you avoid a conviction and have your charges dismissed and possibly expunged from your record.

Meet Your Team

The prosecutor’s job is to convict you. Our job is to protect your rights

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the harm in paying a small ticket?

Paying the fine is an admission of guilt. No matter how low the fine is, it still counts on your driving record, and a conviction will remain with you.

Does hiring a lawyer improve my chances of winning?

We cannot make that guarantee, but an attorney knows how to address traffic court judges and the defenses that may work in your case.

What would happen if I was speeding more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit?

You can be charged with reckless driving, which may be a misdemeanor.

We’re with you every step of the way.

investigation

1
1

Arrest

Defendant is charged.
Bond is set after the arrest and can be reviewed at any court hearing.
2
2

first appearance

If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced by a judge.
3
3

Probable cause hearing

Felony cases only.
Possible Grand Jury indictment.
4
4

Trial

Misdemeanor cases are generally tried in District Court. Felonycases are presented in Superior Court.
5
5

Sentencing

If convicted, the defendant will be sentenced by a judge.
outcome

Entry of plea

Plea negotiations and guilty pleas can happen any time before a verdict.

CONSEQUENCES of a criminal conviction

Top-Rated Criminal Defense

Serving the GreensboroWinston-SalemLexingtonHigh Point Piedmont Triad Area

Here are the areas we serve and the criminal courts where your charges will be heard. The best thing you can do now is speak with a lawyer and get a free consultation.

Graystar Legal

Graystar Legal

  • 224 S. Cherry Street, Suite C
    Winston Salem, NC 27101
  • 336-715-7250

GOING TO COURT?

Did you get arrested? Facing criminal charges? Wondering if you’ll go to jail? Afraid of what happens next? Don’t go alone.

Let a lawyer guide you.
Davidson County Courthouse - Thomasville Branch

Davidson County Courthouse - Thomasville Branch

  • 22 Randolph St,
    Thomasville
    NC 27360

Davie County
Courthouse

  • 140 S Main St,
    Mocksville,
    NC 27028

Davidson County
Courthouse

  • 110 W Center St,
    Lexington,
    NC 27292

Forsyth County
Courthouse

  • 200 N Main St,
    Winston-Salem
    NC 27101

Guilford County
Courthouse

  • 201 S Eugene St,
    Greensboro,
    NC 27401
Guilford County Courthouse - High Point

Guilford County Courthouse - High Point

  • 201 S Eugene St,
    Greensboro,
    NC 27401