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“Exceeding a Safe Speed”

The non-specific  charge of “exceeding a safe speed” (often referred to as either “ESS” or just “exceeding”) can be a useful reduction when other reductions, such as improper equipment or nine-over, may not be available or as helpful.  For example, a person is charged with driving 83 mph in a 70 mph zone — a four-insurance-point violation — and the DA will not reduce the case to improper equipment.  If the driver already has a moving violation on her record within the past three years, then reducing the ticket to 79 in a 70 (nine-over) would still result in two insurance points. If the DA would instead agree to reduce the case to “exceeding a safe speed,” there would only be one insurance point.    

Put my expertise to work in coming up with a good result in your case. 919-683-2175.            

Points

Driver’s License Points

People often ask, “How many points will I get for this?”

First, you need to know that there are two point systems:  Driver’s License Points and Insurance Points.  License points result from moving violations (such as running a stop sign, speeding, etc.)  Many people are worried about getting driver’s license points. However, because most minor tickets only carry two or three license points, and you have to get twelve license points to have your license suspended, most people don’t need to be so concerned about them.  (On the other hand, if you have a knack for getting tickets, you might want to remember that 12 driver’s license points will get your license suspended!)

Insurance Points

Insurance points are another matter.  Just one insurance point will cause your rates to increase 30% for three years  (So much for the money you saved by changing insurance companies).  Four points, which would result from a conviction of driving 76 mph in a 65 mph zone, would result in a 80% increase for three years.  The charging of higher rates for people with traffic convictions is part of North Carolina’s Safe Driver Incentive Plan.  Here is a chart that lists how many insurance points apply to each type of conviction and the resulting insurance rate increase (go to page two of the link).

Depending on your prior record, and what you’re charged with, there are several ways that to keep your insurance rates from increasing as much, or at all. I have explained some of those methods, such as prayer for judgment continuednine over, and improper equipment, in other posts.  There are other options as well.

Concerned that a ticket is going to cause your insurance rates to skyrocket?  Call me now at 919-683-2175  for a free consultation. 

Durham City Code Violations

Updated Jan. 9, 2016

Another tool we might use to avoid insurance and driver’s license points, at least in Durham,  is the “City Code Violation.”  Here’s how it works.  When you get a ticket the officer charges you under the North Carolina General Statutes. Many cities, including Durham, have city traffic laws that track some of the State traffic statutes.   When the D.A. agrees to re-charge you under one of these city laws instead of under the state statute, no insurance or license points result — the charges don’t even show up on your record.

About the only downside of a city code violation is you have to pay the fine and court costs that same day (unlike in most traffic cases, in which you have up to 40 days after court to pay).

Think a city code violation might be what you need?  Give me a call!  919-683-2175

“Nine Over”

(Updated 6 February 2014) 

There are several ways to avoid getting insurance points from a traffic ticket.  Besides getting the case reduced to improper equipment, or using a prayer for judgment continued (“PJC”) , there is something called  “nine over.”  What does this mean?  North Carolina’s Safe Driver Incentive Plan, otherwise known as the insurance point system, states how many insurance points a driver gets with each type of conviction.  For example, according to the insurance point chart,  a driver who pleads guilty to driving 58 mph in a 45 mph zone  would receive two (2) insurance points, which would result in a 45% increase in her insurance rates for three years.  However, the same insurance point system has an exception, one that traffic lawyers call “nine over.”  The insurance chart says that a driver will not get any points for:

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 traffic 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).

So, if  the driver is charged with 58 in a 45, and the ticket is not in a school zone, and she has a clean record for the past three years, then one way to keep her insurance from going up would be to ask the D.A.’s office to reduce the charge to 54 in a 45 (nine mph over the speed limit, or “nine over”), and the driver’s insurance would not increase. (Note: Depending on the circumstances, I might be able to help this person even if she got the ticket in a school zone).

Have a ticket?  Give me a call — Don’t risk losing all those savings you got from changing insurance companies!   919-683-2175.  

Accidents, Tickets and Insurance Rates

If you have a wreck and the officer thinks it’s your fault, they may give you a ticket for failure to reduce speed, or failure to yield the right of way, or some other “safe movement” violation.   Hopefully, the accident is not too serious, and your main concern is whether it will cause your insurance to go up!  If you’ve gotten an accident-related ticket, I can probably help you get it dismissed. Usually, I contact your insurance company and ask them to send me a letter stating that they have paid for the damages to the the other person’s car, or have settled any personal injury claim that has been made against you. I then take that letter to an assistant D.A. and usually they will dismiss the ticket.  Depending upon how much your insurance company paid the other driver or injured person to resolve the case, that dismissal may keep your insurance rates from going up. If you have gotten an accident-related ticket, please give me a call at 919-683-2175 so we can figure out the best way to handle your specific case.      

“Improper Equipment”

Updated September 17, 2014 and June 4, 2015.

 

Don’t just pay that ticket!  Let me try to get it reduced for you, maybe to  “improper equipment.”  Read below to find out why, and then call me at 919-683-2175.

Many District Attorneys will allow a person charged with a speeding ticket or other moving violation to plead responsible to the reduced charge of   “improper equipment,” also known as “I.E.”  How is this helpful?  Improper equipment is not a moving violation.  It carries no driver’s license or insurance points.  It’s the next best thing to having the case dismissed.

When an IE is not available, there may be  other ways to keep a driver’s insurance from going up, such as “prayer for judgment continued,” which I  have discussed in another post.

Finally, some people wonder how it’s right to let someone who is charged with a speeding ticket or improper passing to plead to improper equipment.  The simple answer is that it is an act of grace or mercy on the part of the State and of the judge.  And who among us does not need a bit or grace or mercy at least a few times in our lives? I know I do!

 Now, please do the proper thing and call or email me about helping you get an improper equipment!  919-683-2175.