I Received A Speeding Ticket In Guilford County, NC. Now What?
Okay, you received a speeding ticket or other traffic violation in Guilford County and you are probably wondering what can be done about it. You may have questions like:
- Do I need a lawyer?
- Can I handle it myself?
- Should I just pay the ticket?
- Do I have to go to court?
Hopefully, you can find some of those answers here. But, you can find all the answers to traffic related questions by contacting our office today. Call now (336) 389-1211.
Should I Go To Court For My Speeding Ticket?
In a typical lawyer response, it depends. Several factors have to be considered, such as:
- What was the charge and is a court appearance required?
- Can the ticket be paid without going to court?
- What are the consequences of simply paying the ticket?
- How long does it take to go to court?
- Can a lawyer help?
When you receive a ticket, you will be given a court date. Before the court date, you will need to decide what to do about your case. It is strongly recommended you speak with an attorney, even if you are considering paying the ticket or representing yourself, so you know what your options and possible consequences.
Is the Court Appearance Required For A Speeding Ticket?
Certain traffic cases, considered minor offenses, do not require a court appearance on your court date. You may be able to handle the case before court by paying the ticket or otherwise resolving the issue online or by mail. However, keep in mind that if you simply pay the ticket then you are pleading guilty/responsible to the offense and that could result in points and other negative consequences against your driving privileges and increased insurance rates.
More serious cases are considered “non-waivable” offences and require that you (or an attorney) appear on your court date to handle the case. The charging citation will indicate if a court appearance is required.
How Long Will I Be In Court To Handle A Speeding Ticket?
If you decide, or are required, to appear in court to handle your case, your case will appear on the docket in one of several different courtrooms, depending on the nature of the charge. Sometimes, the case is not on any docket, even though your ticket shows that as your court date. This happens when the ticket has not been processed by the court system, when something on the ticket is entered in the system wrong, or when the officer hasn’t yet submitted the citation to the court. When that happens, your court trip is wasted and you will have to check back with the clerk’s office over the next several weeks to see if you have been assigned another court date. If you miss any court date, the court may fine you an extra $200.00 “Failure to Appear” fee on top of any court costs and, in some cases, the court may issue an “Order for Arrest” for failing to appear on your court date. Missing a court date can also result in suspended driving privilege.
Depending on the courtroom, a court appearance may last a couple hours or more. For minor cases, you may be able to resolve the case on the initial court date or you may have to come back on another date to show compliance, to obtain a copy of your driving record, or if you want to contest the charge. For higher speed tickets and more serious cases, your first court date will likely involve the assistant district attorney asking if you intend to represent yourself and then continuing the case to another court date in another courtroom. You will need to appear on the new date to handle the case, at which time the case may need to be continued again, depending on whether something can be worked out on that date.
Court can be one appearance date or many days, and can take hours of sitting in court waiting on your case to be called. However, in nearly all cases, it is possible to avoid court by hiring an attorney who can appear on your behalf through a “Waiver of Appearance.” This method prevents you from having to use your valuable time sitting in court and is especially helpful if you live out-of-county or even out-of-state.
Can A Lawyer Help With My Speeding Ticket?
At a minimum, speaking with an attorney about your case, and options available, is always advisable. A lawyer can advise you on what consequences you face from the charge and what different options are available based on the facts of your case, including where you live, age and prior driving record. If you hire an attorney, in addition to appearing for you in court, they will negotiate with the district attorney on your behalf to achieve the best possible outcome in your case based on your particular set of facts. If you choose to contest the charge, the attorney can represent you in all preliminary court dates and appear with you at trial. Whenever a case goes to trial, the court expects the court rules on procedure and evidence to be followed, even if you represent yourself. You are entitled to represent yourself at trial, but it is not advisable.
Contact Us Today: Email or Call Now (336) 389-1211.
If you received a speeding ticket or any other traffic violations with a court date in Guilford County, North Carolina, at either Greensboro or High Point courthouse, please call us today. We will speak with you about your case and guide you through your options.