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How Much is a Speeding Ticket in North Carolina?

You’re running late for work so you push the gas a little harder, and next thing you know there are flashing lights in your rearview mirror. You pull over, get the ticket, and you’re back on your way. But how much is a speeding ticket in North Carolina? Should you pay it, or fight to get out of it? Our traffic ticket attorneys in Raleigh are breaking down how much a speeding ticket is, the long-term costs and consequences, and what you can do to reduce the expense. 

How Much Is a North Carolina Speeding Ticket

In North Carolina, a speeding ticket can range from as little as $10 all the way to $250. 

  • Driving 1 to 5 miles per hour (mph) over the posted limit: $10
  • Driving 6 to 10 mph over the limit: $15
  • Driving 11 to 15 mph over the limit: $30
  • Driving 16 mph or more over the posted speed limit: $50
  • Speeding any amount in a school or work zone: $250

These fees do not include additional fees or court costs which are a minimum of $188 in North Carolina. 

What happens in NC when you get a speeding ticket?

Speeding tickets can have serious consequences for drivers. Not only will you have to pay hefty ticket fees, but points may be added to your driving record which could increase the cost of getting insurance. If a driver is found guilty of a serious enough violation, they could even lose their driver's license altogether. Additionally, insurance costs typically increase with each additional point on your record. As such, if you are caught speeding it is important to consider the possible consequences and always drive safely and within the posted speed limit.

Mandatory Court Appearance

North Carolina is known for its particularly stringent traffic laws, and many of the state's citizens can expect to face a court hearing after being issued a ticket. This means that, even if you want to plead guilty and pay the fine, you will usually still have to attend a mandatory court hearing.

There are certain offenses that can be waived in lieu of a court appearance, allowing you to resolve the situation without needing to stand trial. These types of offenses are typically minor and inconsequential – such as having a broken headlight. However, by paying these fines and costs, you will also be pleading guilty to the offense, which could have an effect on your driver's license and automobile insurance premiums. As such, it is always recommended that you speak with an experienced attorney before making any decision regarding waiving a traffic offense.

How many points is a speeding ticket in NC?

In North Carolina, traffic violations come with serious consequences that can take two forms. The first is associated with driver's licenses — when a certain amount of points are accumulated, the driver's license will be suspended by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. The second is connected to insurance and part of the Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP). This plan creates different classes depending on a driver's history of accidents and traffic violation convictions; should they be found guilty, points will be added to their insurance policy, leading to an increase in premiums.

Read More: Understanding North Carolina Traffic Ticket Point System

Long-Term Insurance Costs of a Speeding Ticket

While the speeding ticket itself is an unexpected expense, the real impact comes from the rise in your car insurance rates. After you get a ticket, it’s reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles, where your insurance company can access the information. Under NC laws, your auto insurance premium can raise between 30 and 80 percent. 

Let’s look at the average annual car insurance costs and the average annual costs after a speeding ticket for a 40-year-old individual to illustrate the costs:

  • Full coverage for a 40-year-old with a clean driving record: $1,075
  • Full coverage with one speeding ticket over 16 mph: $1,568
  • Liability (minimum) coverage: $411
  • Liability with one speeding ticket over 16 mph: $603

Those are significant jumps in your annual premiums, and it’s usually three years or longer before the premiums return to the clean driver rate. 

How Affects Your Licence and Insurance Costs

Traffic ViolationLicense PointsInsurance PointsInsurance Rate Increase
Speeding: 82 mph in a 70 mph zone3490%
Speeding: 76 mph in a 65 mph zone3490%
Illegal Passing4255%
Reckless Driving4490%
Passing a Stopped School Bus5490%
Driving While LIcense Revoked38200%
Running a Stop Sign or Red Light3140%
Examples of how traffic offenses affect NC insurance costs

Example: What happens if you go 20 mph over the speed limit in NC?

In North Carolina, if you are caught driving 20 miles per hour (mph) over the posted speed limit, you may be charged with a speeding violation. The severity of the penalty will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, such as your prior driving record and the location where you were caught speeding.

For a first-time offense, you may receive a fine of up to $250 and three points added to your driver's license. If you are caught speeding in a school or work zone, the penalties may be even more severe. Repeat offenders or those driving at excessively high speeds may face higher fines, license suspension, or even jail time.

Reducing a Speeding Ticket In NC

After getting a speeding ticket, you may consider simply paying it and moving on, but before you do (and before you get hit with a serious increase in insurance premiums), there are three options to reduce the ticket.

Request a Reduction

Depending on the case, you can request to get your speeding charge reduced to a lesser offense if you are: 

  • Over 18 with a valid NC driver’s license
  • Don’t have a commercial driver’s license
  • Were driving between 10 to 19 mph over the speed limit 
  • Were driving under 80 mph

Prayer for Judgement Continued

A prayer for judgement continued basically means you are pleading guilty and asking for mercy from the court. The judgement is postponed indefinitely so you won’t face the fine or higher insurance premiums, but you will still have to pay court costs. Also, you can only use one PJC once every three years per the insurance policy, meaning if you use one and you have another family member on your plan, they can’t use a PJC within the three-year period. 

Working with a Speeding Ticket Lawyer

The best option to reduce or even eliminate a speeding ticket is to work with an experienced traffic ticket attorney. They know how to dispute a driving citation and will fight to have the ticket reduced or eliminated altogether. 

Call Our Speeding Ticket Attorneys in Raleigh Today

Don’t let a minor mistake negatively impact your life for several years! Reach out to the Law Offices of J.M. Kotzker, P.C. to speak with a speeding ticket attorney in Raleigh with over 25 years of experience about your options. We also work with clients in Fayetteville, NC, and throughout Wake County, Johnston County, and Cumberland County. Call us at (919) 439-5104 or fill out the form below to get started.