Traffic Crime

Most traffic crimes in North Carolina would appear to be comparatively small issues. Even minor traffic crimes can have consequences that are inconvenient and expensive. More serious traffic infractions can include felony charges and may culminate in severe consequences, such as revocation of your driver’s license for a period of time. Some violations are considered quite serious, like driving while impaired or unlicensed operation of a vehicle.

Traffic crimes and moving violations, might involve:

  • DWI – DUI – driving while intoxicated
  • Aggressive and reckless driving
  • Speeding
  • Evading arrest
  • Hit and run, abandoning an accident scene
  • DMV Hearings
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Driving with a revoked or suspended license
  • Invalid license, insurance, registration, and/or inspection
  • Improper turns, illegal passing, following too closely
  • Improper equipment
  • Failure to obey emergency vehicle signals
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • Illegal racing (street or highway)
  • Underage driving offenses, and
  • Homicide, manslaughter, or negligent homicide as a result of incidents involving a vehicle

If you’ve lost your driving privileges, we may be able to assist you in reacquiring some limited privileges. North Carolina acknowledges an individual’s need, outside of privilege, to conduct business and attend to the needs of a family. While these considerations don’t always end in restoration of driving privilege, many times alternatives and solutions are available.


In some states, the term DUI or driving under the influence is common. In North Carolina, the technical charge for operating a motor vehicle while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol is Driving While Impaired or DWI. Even though a DWI is a misdemeanor in most instances, driving while impaired is a serious criminal offense. Penalties can include:

  • Suspension, loss or limitation of your driving privilege
  • Heavy fines and higher insurance rates
  • Required substance abuse treatment and alcohol monitoring
  • Confinement (jail time)
  • Community service and restitution
  • Permanent marks on your criminal record
  • Vehicle seizure, and
  • Social and professional implications
  • Inability to enter certain countries as a tourist, such as Canada

An arrest for DWI in North Carolina usually carries an instant 30-day suspension of your driving privilege, known as a Pretrial Revocation. In some cases, restricted driving privileges can be restored 10 days after your arrest. Be sure to ask us about helping you with your pretrial suspension of driving privileges.

If this is not your first arrest for DWI in North Carolina, or if your arrest was the result of a crash or involved others, penalties can increase dramatically, especially if someone is injured or suffers property damage. Multiple DWI offenses, can include stiff financial penalties and legal fees, imprisonment, restrictions on your ability to travel and even civil lawsuits.

Speeding and Reckless Driving

Some speeding violations only rise to the level of misdemeanors in North Carolina. However, when speeding rises to the level of a charge of reckless or careless driving, felony charges can result. Even the most minor speeding or moving violation can cause points to be added to your driving record. Different offenses carry different point accumulations, and a high point accumulation can lead to heavy sanctions, including revocation. Participating in racing, even as an observer, has stiff sanctions which can include long-term suspension of your driving privilege.

As you can see, even minor traffic offenses can impact your finances, your freedom to drive and your future. At NicholsonPham, ensuring you understand the implications of the traffic crime you are charged with is of primary importance to us. We will make every effort to protect your rights and driving record from significant harm through negotiation for reduction or dismissal of your charges. When that is not possible, we are experienced, knowledgeable trial lawyers. Call the criminal defense lawyers at NicholsonPham for your free traffic charge consultation today.

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