Are There Any Defenses for Speeding Violations in North Carolina?

Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “Can I represent myself on a traffic ticket?”


In some situations, you have no choice but to exceed the speed limit. Every car owner has been in this situation at least once in their lifetime. However, how do you explain to a police officer that you had no choice but to speed? Are there any defenses to speeding violations?

speedlimit-sign-Charlotte-Monroe-Lake-Norman-Criminal-Defense-Lawyer-300x225If you were pulled over by a police officer for exceeding the speed limit in North Carolina, you should consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to go over your options. In some cases, it is better to fight a speeding ticket than to just pay the ticket.

What if you were speeding because you needed to get an injured family member to the hospital? What if you were speeding to an airport to catch a flight? Is it ever acceptable to exceed the speed limit in North Carolina?


What are Speeding Laws in North Carolina?

Unlike many other states, North Carolina has the “absolute speed limits” rule. What that means is that a driver is violating the speeding limit when driving above the posted speed limit. In North Carolina, the statutory speed limit within incorporated municipalities is 35 mph unless otherwise posted.

Driving at a speed of just one mile above the posted limit is considered a speeding violation in North Carolina. Since North Carolina has the “absolute speed limits” rule, there are no defenses or excuses for exceeding the speed limit. In other words, you can get a speeding ticket regardless of why you decided to break the speed limit, even if you were going with the flow of traffic and did not notice that you exceeded the limit.


Paying vs. Contesting a Speeding Ticket in North Carolina

When you receive a speeding ticket in North Carolina, paying the ticket might seem the most practical thing you can do. In fact, considering that you do not have to appear in court to pay a speeding ticket (most tickets can be handled online), paying the fine might seem like the easiest way to get rid of the problem.

However, you need to understand that by paying the ticket, you are admitting guilt. This, in turn, will add points to your driving record, increase insurance premiums, and, if you accumulate too many points, can result in a license suspension.

For this reason, it is best to consult with an attorney before paying the ticket to discuss your particular situation and discover your options.

The fact that you received a speeding ticket does not make you guilty simply because North Carolina follows the absolute speed limits rule. You may still be able to contest the speeding ticket if you can prove that you had to exceed the speed limit due to an emergency. For example, if you had no choice but to break the speed limit to prevent injury or there was any other type of emergency, your attorney might be able to help you get your charges dropped or reduced.

Speak with our criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, for a case review. Call our lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to evaluate your options or fill out our contact form. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Uptown Charlotte, Mooresville and Monroe.







The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.





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