Types of Traffic Offenses in Elizabeth City

Although driving is something most of us do without much thought, there are hundreds of ways to violate the law while doing so. The penalties when convicted of a traffic offense vary.

The types of traffic offenses in Elizabeth City range from relatively minor infractions to serious felonies that carry mandatory prison sentences. In all cases, it is wise to consult a legal professional before deciding how to proceed. In many instances, one of the traffic attorneys at Parks Zeigler, PLLC can mount a strong defense and obtain a favorable outcome.

Infractions Are the Least Serious Violations

The most common type of Elizabeth City traffic offense is an infraction. Most drivers will get a ticket for an infraction at some point. Typically, a driver receives a citation and must respond to it within a specified time. Many drivers choose to plead guilty, pay the fine, and accept the collateral consequences, like points on their license and potentially higher insurance rates.

Most moving violations are infractions. Some common violations that are punished as infractions include:

  • Failing to use a seatbelt or child restraint
  • Failure to yield
  • Illegal U-turn
  • Improper lane change
  • Speeding
  • Running a red light or stop sign

Fines and cost(s) of court are the typical punishment for committing an infraction. The law allows a judge to impose a fine of up to $500. The precise amount will depend on the driver’s record and the circumstances that led to the ticket.

Some Violations Are Misdemeanor Criminal Offenses

Some traffic offenses in Elizabeth City are criminal violations. Most criminal traffic offenses are classified as misdemeanors, the least serious category of crime. However, judges can still sentence misdemeanor offenders to jail and impose substantial fines. A misdemeanor sentence also may include probation and community service.

Some examples of misdemeanor offenses include driving while impaired, driving with a suspended license, and aggressive driving. Speeding can sometimes be a misdemeanor when the vehicle is traveling more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit or more than 80 miles per hour.

Penalties for a Misdemeanor Conviction

North Carolina groups misdemeanors into four classes: Class 3 misdemeanors are the least serious and Class A1 are the most serious. Class 3 misdemeanors carry potential jail sentences of up to 20 days in jail and a $200 fine. If you are convicted of a Class 2 misdemeanor, the jail sentence could be as long as 60 days and a fine of up to $1000.

A conviction on a Class 1 misdemeanor could lead to up to 120 days in jail, and on a Class A1 offense, the potential jail sentence is up to 150 days. Fines for Class 1 and Class A1 convictions are determined by the court and at the judge’s discretion.

Defending a Traffic Charge

Just because you received a citation does not mean that you must accept the consequences. It is often possible for an attorney to mitigate the consequences or otherwise successfully defend a traffic charge. An attorney can review the evidence behind an Elizabeth City traffic charge to determine whether the driver’s actions were justified and challenge the legality of police procedures when appropriate.

Defend Against any Type of Traffic Charge With an Elizabeth City Attorney

When you get a ticket or are arrested for a criminal traffic violation, contact an attorney at Parks Zeigler, PLLC immediately. Our attorneys handle all types of traffic offenses in Elizabeth City.

Working with a skilled attorney can save you time and money. Reach out today to learn more.

Areas We Serve

Centrally located on the waterfront in downtown Elizabeth City, our team provides quality legal representation across the following counties in the Northeast North Carolina region.

  • Camden County
  • Gates County
  • Chowan County
  • Pasquotank County
  • Currituck County
  • Perquimans County
  • Dare County

Also serving only criminal and traffic cases in the following counties:

  • Beaufort County
  • Tyrrell County
  • Martin County
  • Washington County

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law

Parks Zeigler, PLLC – Attorneys At Law N/a
200 N. Water Street,
Suite 2A

Elizabeth City, NC 27909
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