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Old 04-21-2013, 01:24 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,180 times
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I want to share my recent experiences regarding a traffic ticket, and to help other people not make the same mistakes I've made.

I'm new to North Carolina (I've only been here a few months). A few months ago I was driving on a stretch of highway where the speed limit is 45 mph. (Where I'm from the highway speed limits are 65 mph with very few exceptions.) I was pulled over on this highway, and given a speeding ticket for going 15 mph over the speed limit. The officer and the ticket both indicated that I did not need to go to court for this ticket, and I could simply pay the fee, sign the ticket (essentially pleading guilty), and be done with the whole thing. I paid the ticket with a personal check and put it in the mail the next day. A few weeks later I checked my bank statement and saw that the check had been cashed. I thought I was done with the whole thing...

Today I got a notice in the mail indicating that I missed my court date and my license would be suspended unless I "complied with the citation". It is very vague regarding the total amount of fees I will need to pay. (Which is consistent with my experience in transferring my title and plates in NC. I believe I paid about $200 at the License plate center, and then was sent a bill in the mail for a few hundred dollars more. Talk about sticker shock...) What really irks me is that it seemed as though I did not need to go to court to resolve my ticket, but now I discover that I've made a mistake. Has anyone had a similar experience?

In retrospect, I should have hired a lawyer in the first place (I received numerous advertisements in the mail immediately after I got the ticket, which is completely unheard of in the state that I'm from.) It seems that one needs to deal with the state of NC through lawyers in order to not get "screwed".

I've been completely disappointed with the performance of the NC state offices and bureaucracies. I'm at the point where I think I need to find a more rational and reasonable state to live in.

Any thoughts?
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:18 PM
 
12,577 posts, read 13,309,010 times
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You must have misunderstood or there was a miscommunication and you sound like you are ignorant of state laws. I can honestly say I have never heard of someone judging the speed limit of a highway based on their experience from other states.
Now for the bad news: because you didn't go to court and get the ticket reduced your insurance company is going to charge you points. You will have points on your license and points on your insurance and the points on your insurance are going to sting.
As far the bill you received in the mail after registering your car those are property taxes based on the value of your vehicle. Everyone pays them.
Finally, if you feel the bureaucracy in this state has put you off I recommend you move back from where you came because other states will have other bureaucratic crap that will rub you the wrong way.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
5,756 posts, read 4,231,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MotherGoose32 View Post
I want to share my recent experiences regarding a traffic ticket, and to help other people not make the same mistakes I've made.

I'm new to North Carolina (I've only been here a few months). A few months ago I was driving on a stretch of highway where the speed limit is 45 mph. (Where I'm from the highway speed limits are 65 mph with very few exceptions.) I was pulled over on this highway, and given a speeding ticket for going 15 mph over the speed limit. The officer and the ticket both indicated that I did not need to go to court for this ticket, and I could simply pay the fee, sign the ticket (essentially pleading guilty), and be done with the whole thing. I paid the ticket with a personal check and put it in the mail the next day. A few weeks later I checked my bank statement and saw that the check had been cashed. I thought I was done with the whole thing...
OK, so I'm assuming you're OK with the ticket and realized you were in violation of the speed limit. Make no bones about it, if the limit says 45, you go 45. By law, if you go 46 mph, you're speeding and the cops have every legal right to pull you for that. Most of the time, they're probably not going to pull you if you're within 5 mph of the limit, but you will get pulled if you're going double digits over.

Now, I'm not sure about your former state, but in NC and VA, a lot of the county lines usually have a sign that indicates what the speed limit is unless otherwise posted. For instance, you might see a sign that says, "Speed limit 35 mph unless otherwise posted". So, if you don't see a speed limit sign posted, you know that in that county, you need to go 35 mph, or in this case, 45 mph. Doesn't matter what the other cars are running, it's your ticket. Now, I know in places like Texas, where it takes so long to get from one city to the next, usually the limit is pretty high, and you probably do have a standard speed limit of 65 unless otherwise posted. But in NC, it doesn't take very long to get from one city to the next, so you can usually count on the standard limit being 35 - 45 mph unless otherwise posted.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MotherGoose32 View Post
Today I got a notice in the mail indicating that I missed my court date and my license would be suspended unless I "complied with the citation". It is very vague regarding the total amount of fees I will need to pay. (Which is consistent with my experience in transferring my title and plates in NC. I believe I paid about $200 at the License plate center, and then was sent a bill in the mail for a few hundred dollars more. Talk about sticker shock...) What really irks me is that it seemed as though I did not need to go to court to resolve my ticket, but now I discover that I've made a mistake. Has anyone had a similar experience?
This is where it seems kind of troubling to me. Now, you might have signed the ticket, but the officer should indicate, on the ticket, whether you must appear in court or not. There is a place - on the back of the ticket, where he/she checks "Must appear in court" or "You do not have to appear in court". I hope that you still have your copy of this ticket, because this (along with a copy of the cashed check) should be all you need to prove that the ticket has been taken care of. Now, if the officer mistakenly checked the wrong box, then you might need to find some way of getting in touch with the officer, because I would assume that in his paperwork, he/she would indicate whether if this moving violation was a court requirement or not.

Now, it's possible that you only paid the cost of the ticket and not the court costs? Do know that it doesn't matter if you decide to pay the ticket by mail or show up to court, you still have to pay court costs on top of the cost of the ticket. That's pretty standard practice for any state.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MotherGoose32 View Post
In retrospect, I should have hired a lawyer in the first place (I received numerous advertisements in the mail immediately after I got the ticket, which is completely unheard of in the state that I'm from.) It seems that one needs to deal with the state of NC through lawyers in order to not get "screwed".

I've been completely disappointed with the performance of the NC state offices and bureaucracies. I'm at the point where I think I need to find a more rational and reasonable state to live in.

Any thoughts?
Well, the thing is, you need to read over the ticket thoroughly and make sure you understand what all is required of you as it should say on the ticket itself. Hiring a lawyer will usually help to reduce the severity of the ticket - which in terms helps to keep your points down (especially points that count against your insurance) but you're probably going to wind up paying nearly double the amount of the ticket. If you're OK with that, then by all means, hire a lawyer the next time you get pulled over. In retrospect, this all goes away if you simply reduce your speed within a reasonable range of the limit. Not trying to sound preachy, but as a driver who has had a couple of tickets on his record before, I realize that there is no reason to be in such a hurry.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:48 PM
 
Location: DTWS
32 posts, read 52,683 times
Reputation: 25
Sorry you are having such a hassle over this. NC and our traffic revenue generators never get tired of handing out speeding tickets. And as others have said, 15 miles over will almost always get you pulled over.

Sadly, yours is not the first story of "just pay the fine and don't worry about a thing" from an officer's mouth. I think it is very likely you did not pay the ENTIRE amount due from this incident. Court costs are always in addition to the fine, even if you don't actually go to court. It will be worth the aggravation to try and clear the discrepancy up. Otherwise things will only get more expensive as time goes by with a "pending" item showing up under your name.

In the future, I recommend hiring a lawyer, even one of the ambulance chasers that send you a solicitation. That has to be one of the biggest rackets in the country but it's how it works here. The attorney will charge you maybe a couple hundred dollars and will miraculously get your SPEEDING 15 MILES OVER THE POSTED LIMIT reduced to something like improper equipment (never mind the fact your equipment has absolutely nothing wrong with it) and the dreaded insurance points will never impact you. For the recent violation, I am afraid there is nothing you can do now to prevent the insurance points, since by simply sending in the $200, you admitted to speeding and have now been "convicted" of the violation.

Good luck. One last piece of advice from a person with a long-time heavy right foot: 9 miles over MOST posted speed limits will never draw attention from the NCHP. 15 almost always will.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:17 PM
 
2,648 posts, read 6,087,717 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmhpmi View Post
NC and our traffic revenue generators never get tired of handing out speeding tickets.
Not true in my experience. I'm always amazed when traveling on NC highways how many people drive way over the speed limit, and how few cop cars I see.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:52 PM
 
12,577 posts, read 13,309,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbyunc View Post
Not true in my experience. I'm always amazed when traveling on NC highways how many people drive way over the speed limit, and how few cop cars I see.
True, I drive about 5 over the posted limit and get passed like I'm tied to a tree. My guess is they are driving at least 5-10mph faster than I.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
5,756 posts, read 4,231,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFW&P View Post
True, I drive about 5 over the posted limit and get passed like I'm tied to a tree. My guess is they are driving at least 5-10mph faster than I.
Same here! It seems like the "wild west" mentality with the drivers in the Greensboro area. Not only do the large majority don't pay attention to the speed limit, but I've seen quite a few run red lights on a daily basis. Not just those trying to get under the light before it changes, but I've seen people who were stopped at the red light, turn left while the light is still red. One car passed me (there was no passing lane) through an intersection while the light had just turned green. It's pretty scary driving down here in G'boro.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:00 PM
 
12,577 posts, read 13,309,010 times
Reputation: 8896
Quote:
Originally Posted by skinsguy37 View Post
Same here! It seems like the "wild west" mentality with the drivers in the Greensboro area. Not only do the large majority don't pay attention to the speed limit, but I've seen quite a few run red lights on a daily basis. Not just those trying to get under the light before it changes, but I've seen people who were stopped at the red light, turn left while the light is still red. One car passed me (there was no passing lane) through an intersection while the light had just turned green. It's pretty scary driving down here in G'boro.
People in the 'boro drive as fast as they think the road can tolerate. Where I get my ass blown off the road mostly is I40/85 east of Mt Hope Church Rd.
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Greensboro, NC
5,756 posts, read 4,231,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WFW&P View Post
People in the 'boro drive as fast as they think the road can tolerate. Where I get my ass blown off the road mostly is I40/85 east of Mt Hope Church Rd.
Yep, that's another bad place as well!
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:20 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,061 times
Reputation: 10
Hey, WFW&P, whatch your tone, the law says no need to appear if you are 16 mph over the limit. MotherGoose has a case. First, run like hell and keep runnibng till you and all your stuff is out of NC. they make thier own laws there and I have been screwed too!

They took advantage becouse I was out of town they instisted I needed to come back to argue this. I was 13 mph over, and they charged me court cost and court fee's almost $400.

They are crooks and when I call to discuss I get people on the phone not willing to help and seem less educated than my Dog. Never Again will I go to that State.
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