Traffic Violations | North Carolina Judicial Branch

When is my court date?
You can look up woo dates for traffic cases here .
What should I expect in court?
This depends on your county. traffic tickets in North Carolina are handled by a prosecutor, and trials and pleas of guilty or creditworthy are heard by a district court judge. Larger counties typically have a dedicated traffic court, and if you choose to represent yourself, you will by and large have the opportunity to speak to a prosecutor ( besides known as an adjunct zone lawyer, or ADA ) about the possibility of a decreased charge. In smaller counties, traffic tickets are frequently handled in criminal court alongside misdemeanor cases. Hundreds of traffic cases may be scheduled for the same court school term, so you should come to court prepared to wait for respective hours. In some counties, arriving to traffic motor hotel early can put you at the front of the line. In other counties, cases are called based on encase act, which depends on the go steady you received the tag. You can contact the clerk of woo in your county or an lawyer to learn more about what to expect .
Do I need an attorney for traffic court?
You have the right to hire an lawyer for any traffic violation, but are not required to do so. An lawyer can advise you on the consequences of a ticket in your position, negociate with the prosecutor on your behalf, and represent you in a earshot if needed. In some traffic cases, an lawyer may appear on your behalf in traffic court, and you will not be required to attend. See the Finding an Attorney FAQ for more information about locating an lawyer. For offenses with the potential for jail fourth dimension or a fine of over $ 500, you can request a court-appointed lawyer if you are unable to hire your own lawyer. If you choose to represent yourself, the court will expect you to follow the same rules of evidence and procedure as a accredited lawyer. Court officials like judges and clerks of court can not help you with your case, such as by giving you legal advice about your rights and obligations, possible defenses, or the probably result of your subject, or by helping you question witnesses by rights at trial .
Will my case go to trial?
traffic cases frequently are resolved without a wax test. however, you have the right to a trial if you choose to request one.

What happens if I miss my court date?
  • If you do not appear in court, your case will be marked “called and failed.” After 20 days, a Failure to Appear will be issued against you, which may result in an additional failure to appear fee (often called the “FTA fee”) if you are found guilty or responsible for the offense.
  • After 20 days have passed from your failure to appear, if you still have not appeared in court to answer the charge or disposed of the case, the court will notify the NC DMV of your failure to appear, and the DMV will suspend your driver’s license indefinitely until you resolve the case. You will receive a notice of revocation from the NC DMV. If you resolve the case before the revocation goes into effect, you can avoid the revocation.
  • In some cases, a failure to appear can result in an order for your arrest. If you were arrested for the offense and released on bond, failing to appear can cause you to “forfeit,” or lose, the bond.
What can I do if I missed my court date?
If you miss your woo date, you may be able to reschedule your case for a new court date with the salesclerk of court ’ mho agency, particularly if no decree for your collar was issued. If a failure to Appear is issued, in some cases a pronounce can “ strike ” the failure to Appear and give you a newfangled court date. Your lawyer can assist you in making this request, or if you do not have an lawyer, you can file it yourself with the clerk of court. You should bring proofread of your reason for missing court. If the judge chooses to strike your failure to Appear, the judge can besides cancel the failure to appear fee and any bond forfeit. For more on this, see the “ What if I miss my court date ? ” question in the Criminal Cases Help Topic .
Can I get a continuance?
The estimate may agree to “ retain, ” or postpone, your event to another court date. There is no guarantee that you will receive a duration, so you should be prepared to handle the case on your court date .
Can I talk to the judge about my case?
No, you can not have a conversation with the judge about the facts of your event. Neither you, your lawyer, nor the prosecutor can talk to the evaluator about your font unless all parties are confront. If you choose to have a trial, you can present your subject to the judge during the test.

Can I talk to the prosecutor about my case?
You can talk to the prosecutor about your font if you do not have an lawyer representing you. If you have an lawyer, the prosecutor is not allowed to speak to you without your lawyer present, so your lawyer will talk to the prosecutor for you. The prosecutor represents the other side of your case and consequently can not give you legal advice and can use your statements against you .
Are there deferral programs, such as driving school, in which I can participate in exchange for a reduction of the charge?
Deferral and reduction options vary from zone to zone. You can consult an lawyer about the options in your county, or discuss this with the prosecutor in woo. As explained above, there besides may be on-line options for having your charge dismissed or reduced. To determine the on-line options available to you, go to Citation Services .
What is a “prayer for judgment continued” or “PJC”?
A “ PJC, ” or “ prayer for judgment continued, ” is an option for disposing of the umbrage that is available in some traffic cases. A pronounce can grant a PJC rather of imposing a finely, though you will calm be required to pay court costs. There are circumstances when a PJC even will be considered a conviction for the purposes of driver ’ mho license and indemnity points. An lawyer can advise you about whether requesting a PJC may be beneficial in your case.

Can I have a jury trial on my ticket?
jury trials are not available in District Court, where misdemeanor and misdemeanor traffic tickets are initially learn. More serious traffic tickets are charged as misdemeanors, which can be appealed to Superior Court for a jury test ( or for a test before a pronounce if you waive your correct to a jury trial ) if you are found guilty after a trial before a judge in District Court .
Can I appeal the judge’s decision on my ticket?
If you are convicted of a misdemeanor traffic ticket in District Court, you can appeal for a raw test in Superior Court. If you are convicted in Superior Court, you can appeal to the Court of Appeals. For more information on appeals, see the Criminal Cases Help Topic .
How can I tell whether I was charged with a misdemeanor or an infraction?
Whether or not an umbrage is a crime or misdemeanor depends on the codified ( law ) that was violated. You could look up the codified, or you can consult an lawyer if the legislative act is not clear. however, one agile way to tell what kind of offense was charged is to look at the character count on your citation ( ticket ), warrant, or other charging document. The character count begins with the survive two digits of the year in which you were charged. For case, cases charged in 2018 will begin with “ 18. ” If the next two characters are “ CR, ” you were charged with at least one criminal crime ( for exercise, a misdemeanor ). If the following two characters are “ IF, ” you were charged only with infractions in that shell. note that you might be charged with a crime and an misdemeanor in the lapp case ( in which case the future two letters will be CR because of the condemnable offense ), or you might have charges under multiple case numbers, some of which might be criminal and some of which might be infractions .
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