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Old 08-11-2010, 02:37 PM
 
9 posts, read 68,310 times
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Hello All,

I just got a speeding ticket this afternoon in Durham County. It is my first speeding ticket since moving from MD to NC approximately 3 years ago. I was going 51 in a 35 zone, and my charge is G.S. 20-141(J1). The officer issuing the ticket said that court is not mandatory.

I am wondering if I should show up for the court date and ask for a prayer for judgement, or if if I should hire a lawyer to go to court with me. Or, if I should just pay the fine and get the points. I've had a clean driving record for the last 3 years.

Also, I haven't been able to find a definitive answer as to how many points I will receive for this charge. I concerned about how much this increase my car insurance as well. Can anyone please recommend what to do and if anyone is aware, please let me know the points associated with this charge? Any advice or suggestions are appreciated as well.

Thanks!

L.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
2,536 posts, read 8,121,470 times
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Call a few lawyers and ask the cost and process. I recently got a ticket in Wilkes Cty, 15 over, and for just over $200 had it reduced to faulty equipment, no questions asked. I did nothing more than sign a paper and send a check to the lawyer. This is apparently standard practice in that jurisdiction for someone with no prior moving violations there in the past 3 years. I would've spent a lot more time by going to court and asking for the PJC, plus still would've paid court costs. And I'd have that PJC hanging out there waiting for me to get another ticket.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:53 PM
 
9,198 posts, read 21,882,598 times
Reputation: 8538
Get a lawyer. You won't have to go to court at all. The lawyer will get it reduced to a lower infraction or even a non-moving violation if they can; if not they will get you a PJC.

Paying for a lawyer + court costs +fines is the penalty for speeding in this state. It could be worse.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Morrisville, NC
8,014 posts, read 10,863,289 times
Reputation: 7216
In all likelyhood, you can go to court about an hour before the start time and find the ADA, who is usually around up at the front and ask to have the charge lowered to 9 miles over, then plead guilty. 16 over will definitely increase your insurance, but 9 miles will not. It will add 3 points to your drivers license, but it takes 12 I think before they take it from you, so if you do not go on a rampage of speed later or get a DUI, you should be fine. You can ask for a PFJC as well and the judge will usually give it to you, but then if you get another ticket in teh next few years, both will hit your insurance.

You will probably get 10 letters from lawyers soon and you can also give it to one of them and you don't have to go to court at all, it will just cost a littel more.
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,357 posts, read 3,573,001 times
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I recently ran a red light (and t boned someone... ouch) and obviously got a ticket. I used Coolidge Law Firm. I chose them, after reading through probably 15, because you only pay them the fine + court costs... no fee for their service. The incentive for them to get it cleared is they get to keep the fine money. To me, that says a lot versus some that wanted the fine, court costs, AND a legal fee. I figured why would they work hard to get my fine cleared if they are getting paid regardless? Just my two cents. I wouldn't try to fight it myself. I'm pretty sure lawyers are buddy-buddy with DA's and ADA's.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:45 PM
 
451 posts, read 1,038,721 times
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Either way the outcome you will get if you don't use PFJ is they will knock it down to 9 under which is what was previously posted. This will not result in points on your insurance. The question then becomes, do I take the time off from work to go wait in line at court to go through the process or do I pay a lawyer about 200$ to do everything.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Morrisville
1,168 posts, read 2,146,347 times
Reputation: 1113
Don't hire a lawyer. You can handle this yourself. The officer gave you a court date and most likely said you could go between the hours of 9am and 3pm? As others have said go in on your court date and speak with the ADA. Ask them if they can reduce it to 9 mph over. at 9 over you get no points on insurance so therefore no increased insurance premiums. In regards to the PFJ, it is entirely up to the judge sitting that day on if they will allow you to use it or not. I also understand that the use of PFJ's has increased so now judges are requiring community service for using the PFJ.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:29 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 5,264,638 times
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I'd suggest getting a lawyer and having him plea you down to improper equipment or less than 10 over. You can probably do it yourself on your courtdate as described above, but you won't know for sure what they'll do until you talk to the DA. Getting a lawyer will likely double your costs (ie $150-250 for the lawyer, $200 for court costs and ticket), but will exponentially decrease your headaches.

You'll want to save your PFJ in case you get pulled over in one of the many speedtrap counties (Carteret for instance, speaking from experience) that won't reduce charges.
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Old 08-11-2010, 07:56 PM
 
451 posts, read 1,038,721 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toot68 View Post
I'd suggest getting a lawyer and having him plea you down to improper equipment or less than 10 over.
They pretty much refuse to reduce a 16 over to an improper equipment in Wake County. Now if Forsyth County they'll do it regularly.
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:16 AM
 
1,851 posts, read 5,264,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kids_Dentist View Post
They pretty much refuse to reduce a 16 over to an improper equipment in Wake County. Now if Forsyth County they'll do it regularly.
Durham did 10 years ago, don't know if they still do. I still think the lawyer is the best route to take to protect against insurance increases (which will run alot more per year than the cost of a lawyer).
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