Chances are, if you are an out-of-stater and received a ticket while you were driving through Perquimans County, North Carolina, that you received it on US-17. The problem is that US-17 drops from a 70 MPH zone to a 55 MPH zone in the blink of an eye shortly before you hit the Perquimans County line coming from Pasquotank County. If you’ve set the cruise control and missed the reduced speed limit sign, then chances are blue lights flashing in your rear view mirror are going to come at quite a surprise. Most locals have it engrained in their mind to drop their speed once they reach that point, but on occasion even they forget to reduce their speed.
Given the drop in speed, it is common for people to be ticketed for going more than 15 mph over the speed limit in that area, which can carry significant penalties if you simply pay the ticket. The first problem that many people don’t realize is that a first time conviction for speeding more than 15 mph in North Carolina is actually a Class 3 misdemeanor! (See N.C.G.S. § 20-141(j1)). A conviction of speeding more than 15 mph in a 55 mph zone also requires a 30 day mandatory suspension of your driver license. (See (See N.C.G.S. § 20-16.1). All of this is in addition to any increased insurance premiums you will pay for the next three years.
This same charge also requires a mandatory appearance in court, which means you cannot simply pay your ticket online and go on with your life. Many people simply show up the court date themselves and accept what ever the prosecutor offers them, but they are doing so blindly. Neither the prosecutor or the judge are going to give you legal advice on the ramifications of your plea deal. It isn’t their job and they don’t want the liability.
But there is an alternative. You don’t have to show up to court blind. Even though your ticket requires a mandatory appearance in court your lawyer is allowed to appear on your behalf. This means you won’t have to travel back to Perquimans County, North Carolina for your court date if you are from out of town and it means you won’t have to take a day off work if you are local.
If you have received a ticket here in Hertford, North Carolina, or anywhere else here in Perquimans County, then I urge you to call me today for a free consultation to discuss your speeding ticket. Even though I limit my practice to only Perquimans County, if you have received a ticket elsewhere here in North Carolina, then I would still be happy to refer you free of charge to a trusted colleague that could handle your ticket.