In North Carolina, you can be charged with a traffic violation if you were speeding, driving recklessly, driving without a valid license, or even failing to stop at a stop sign or a red light. If you have recently been charged with a traffic violation, you may be wondering what you should do next. There are several steps that you can take after being charged with a traffic violation that will help to protect you and your family as you prepare to deal with the ramifications of the charge.
Follow Proper Procedure When You are Pulled Over
A good defense begins with a successful interaction with the officer who pulled you over. Even if it is too late, it is helpful to keep these tips in mind for future occurrences.
At the time that you are pulled over, it is important to remember to be as polite and cooperative as possible without saying anything that may incriminate you. If you are being pulled over for speeding, be sure to ask the officer what method or tools he or she used to track your speed.
After the encounter with the officer, take a moment to write down and record everything that you can remember about the incident. Having a detailed record of the event will help your defense should you choose to fight the ticket.
Choose Your Next Course of Action
After being charged with a traffic violation, you have several choices for how to proceed. If the violation and the consequences are minor, you can consider paying the fine and move on. However, if the consequences are harsher and you feel the case is unjust, you have the options of either negotiating for a lighter punishment, or fighting the charges in court.
Review Your Insurance Plans
In the event that you choose to pay the traffic ticket, you may find that your insurance premium will also go up as a result. Talk to your insurance provider right away, and shop around a little to find the most affordable plan. This will save a lot of time, trouble, and money in the long run.
Be Timely and Prepared For Your Court Date
If you decide to fight the charges, it is important that you arrive at your court date prepared and on time. Bring your written account of the incident with you to be reviewed by the judge, and educate yourself thoroughly on the laws surrounding the violation that you have been charged for. In some cases, the officer will not come to the hearing, in which case your charges will be dismissed.
Some cases can be too complicated to handle alone, or there is too much at stake. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can contact a lawyer who will help you navigate the terminology, laws, and evidence to help you fight the ticket.
It is important to be proactive when you are charged with a traffic violation. Never ignore a ticket. Whatever the charges, be sure to follow these steps quickly to avoid further charges or hassle.