Did you get a traffic ticket in Mecklenburg County recently? With the toll road construction happening on I-77, it isn’t hard to receive a citation. The construction has caused traffic problems in the area. In order to avoid the traffic problems, many people have made illegal turns, u-turns, red light, and stop sign violations.
It’s quite easy to get frustrated waiting in traffic and make an unlawful, or what is perceived as unlawful, movement in order to escape the traffic.
Should you hire a traffic lawyer to handle your traffic ticket in Mecklenburg County? First, many traffic tickets are moving violations, which lead to license and insurance points. Additional points on your license and insurance will cause your insurance rates to increase, this can cost a substantial amount of money.
Instead of paying off a traffic ticket or attempting to handle the ticket yourself, consider hiring a traffic lawyer. A traffic lawyer can save you money by attempting to get your violation turned into a non-moving violation.
Hiring a traffic lawyer will also, often times, prevent you from having to go to court in Mecklenburg County.
Thus, if you get a traffic ticket or traffic citation in Mecklenburg County you should seriously consider hiring a traffic lawyer. Not only will your traffic lawyer attempt to get you a better deal, they will often save you money in the long-term.
If you are in need of a traffic lawyer in Mecklenburg County: Charlotte, NC, Cornelius, NC, Huntersville NC, Davidson NC, or the Lake Norman area, contact Adkins Law PLLC. Although the practice focuses on representation in Mecklenburg County, Adkins Law PLLC also represents individuals in a variety of counties. Contact Adkins Law PLLC if you require assistance in handling a traffic citation.
State law has mandated seat belt use by NC drivers for more than 30 years. The seat belt law has changed a lot over time. As a result, not everyone is clear on who is covered, what is required, and what the penalties are for seatbelt violations.
1. Everyone in the car must buckle up!
G.S. 20-135.2A(a) requires that every occupant of a motor vehicle manufactured with seat belts must have a seatbelt fastened properly on a persons body when the vehicle is in forward motion on a street or highway.
A handful of exceptions apply to the following people and motor vehicles:
2. A motor vehicle may not be stopped for a back-seat passenger’s failure to buckle up!
An officer who has reason to believe that a driver or passenger does not have a seat belt properly fastened on his or her body may stop the car to investigate. A law enforcement officer who has reason to believe that there is a rear passenger without a seat belt may not pull the car over. That’s because G.S. 20-135.2A(d1) categorizes the failure to buckle up in the back seat as a secondary violation. A officer who has lawfully stopped a vehicle for another reason and learns in the process of a rear seat belt violation may, of course, give a ticket to the driver for this offense.
3. What is the penalty for front seatbelt violations?
The penalty for a seat belt violation has significantly increased since seat belt use was first mandated. Back in 1986, a violation of the seat belt law was punishable by a fine of $25. No court costs were assessed.
Today, the penalty for a front-seat occupant’s failure to wear a seat belt is $25.50 plus $154.50 in court costs. That is $180.
The costs of a rear seat violation are a lot simpler. That penalty is a flat $10 and no costs may be assessed.
If you need an attorney to help you with a Seat Belt Violation please contact Adkins Law today. Our attorney's are located in the Huntersville, Lake Norman area. We specialize in Traffic/ DUI. For all other information regarding a Seat Belt Violation click here.
By Christopher Adkins
In North Carolina, many speeding tickets are able to be reduced to improper equipment, which is a non-moving violation. Improper equipment is a lesser-included offense to a speeding ticket, and is typically obtained through plea-bargaining with the prosecutor in the county where the ticket was received. The benefit of having a speeding citation reduced to improper equipment is that you will not receive any points on your driver’s license, and you will not receive any points on your insurance.
In 2011, the State of North Carolina created an additional surcharge of $50.00 that is assessed for improper equipment violations. Thus, currently, most improper equipment reductions carry a fine of $263.00 total, which is often more than the fine if you simply pay off your citation. Even with this additional expense, it is still more beneficial to take a reduction to improper equipment in order to save points from being assessed against your driver’s license, and a car insurance increase. Improper equipment, as stated before, is a non-moving offense and carries no insurance points.
Can I handle this myself, or do I need an attorney to handle this for me? You do not need an attorney to handle your citation for you. You may appear in court and request a reduction on your own behalf. Doing this will save you from paying attorney fees, but will require you to spend your time in court, and you may not receive the results you want. The prosecutor, for example, may convince you that it is better to take a different type of reduction, which may not be as beneficial to you. An experienced traffic law attorney would be able to know if the reduction being offered is in your best interests. One of the biggest benefits for most people in hiring an attorney to handle their speeding ticket is avoiding having to appear in court.
If you would like to speak with an experienced traffic lawyer, please contact Adkins Law for a free traffic consultation. Adkins Law has locations in Huntersville and Ballantyne for your convenience.
By Christopher Adkins
If the police want to stop a vehicle, most times they can find a reason. This may require them following you for a while, but they usually can find a reason. Whether this reason constitutes reasonable suspicion to justify the stop is another matter. To legally initiate a traffic stop, the police must have at least reasonable suspicion. Some people refer to this as reasonable, articulable suspicion or just simply “RS.” While the police may have probable cause to stop you, which is a higher standard than reasonable suspicion, all that is required to justify the stop is reasonable suspicion. If the police lack reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop, any evidence seized or arrest made pursuant to the stop is unconstitutional.
License Plate / Tag
When a police officer is behind you in traffic, or even in the close vicinity of your vehicle, it is very possible that they are running your tag. Some police vehicles are even equipped with devices that check your plates automatically. It is kind of like fishing for a police officer: you run enough plates and eventually you are going to get a bite. North Carolina courts have ruled that because license plates are open to public view, a driver has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his plate, and thus a police officer may run your plate without reason. When the officer runs your plate, he enters it into the computer in his vehicle, which determines whether the license plate is current, matches the vehicle, and provides information concerning vehicle inspection. If anything is wrong with the vehicle, the officer is justified in conducting a traffic stop to further investigate. Based on the investigation, the officer may issue a citation or develop probable cause for an arrest.
Running a license tag will also give a police officer information on the registered owner of the vehicle. The officer is made aware of the license status of the registered owner and whether that person has any outstanding warrants or orders for arrest. By comparing the description of the registered owner provided by DMV to the description of the person driving the vehicle, the officer is justified in making a traffic stop. Upon investigation, if the driver is determined to be the registered owner with a defective drivers license or warrant, the officer may issue a citation or make an arrest.
If a police officer gets behind you and is looking for a reason to initiate a traffic stop, he will probably follow you for a while to see if you violate a traffic law. The officer is usually waiting for you to commit a common traffic violation such as changing lanes without signaling (if you aren't clear to do so), speeding (usually more than 5mph above the posted speed limit), or failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. According to the United States Supreme Court, even if the officer wants to make a stop based on a pre-textual basis, as long as the officer has reasonable suspicion to make the stop, the stop is valid. In other words, if an officer thinks you are driving while impaired and the true reason for his stop is to investigate the DWI, as long as he has some reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop, the stop will be upheld as valid.
The big items an officer looks for here are window tint, improper display of tags and license plate stickers, and broken headlights or taillights. An officer may also look for such things as excessively loud mufflers or worn tires. If the officer wants to stop you, he will look hard to find a reason and a defect in your vehicle.
If a police officer wants to make a traffic stop on a vehicle, it is usually pretty easy for them to find a reason. The officer may have to follow you for a while, but the chances are that you won't be able to drive perfect forever. A lot of courts frown upon officers who follow citizens around looking for a reason to stop them. There is something un-American about following citizens around, interfering with their freedom of movement, and waiting for them to commit a traffic violation. The best thing you can do is ensure that your license, license plate, and vehicle are all valid, updated, and in good order before you drive. When an officer gets behind you and appears to be looking for a reason to initiate a traffic stop, do your best to obey all traffic laws and not to speed. You may want to pull over, park, and walk in a business if the officer appears to be obstructing your freedom of movement and making you nervous. Most police officers are good people and are looking out for your best interests. They're still quick to write you a citation and / or arrest you if they believe you've violated the law. Take precautions to protect yourself!
If you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney, please contact Adkins Law for a free criminal defense consultation. Adkins Law has locations in Huntersville and Ballantyne for your convenience.