Q: If I hire Meier Law Group for a criminal or traffic matter, do I have to appear in court?

A: For minor traffic violations, including running a stop sign, most speeding charges, and driving without a license, you do not. Meier Law Group will appear in court for you. For more serious traffic matters, such as driving with a revoked license or driving while impaired, you typically need to be in court, except for your first appearance as explained below. For criminal matters, you do need to be in court, except for your first appearance as explained below.

We can continue your first appearance in District Court without you being present, regardless of the charge, if we have a notarized form called a Waiver of Counsel. When you speak with Meier Law Group, we will inform you if you need to be in court or not.

Q: How much are court costs and fines in traffic cases?

A: As of October 2015, court costs for traffic matters are $178, $188, $190, $238, or $290, depending on the charge. Fines typically range from $0 to $200, depending on the county and circumstances of your case. Court costs and fines are payable to the Clerk of Court, and must be paid with cash, certified check, or money order. You can also pay in person with a credit or debit card, but there is a surcharge of a few percent, and you’ll need to show a photo ID. The Clerk does not accept personal checks.

If your case is dismissed, or you are acquitted at trial, you do not owe any court costs or fines. If you receive a PJC, you will have to pay court costs, but no fine.

Q: How long do I have to pay court costs and fines in traffic cases?

A: Twenty days from the date of conviction. If you need more time, let us know, and we can try to continue your case, or ask the Judge to give you more time to pay. If you miss the twenty day deadline, then there is an additional fee of $50-$70, and eventually the DMV will revoke your North Carolina driving privilege.

Q: Will my traffic ticket affect my driver license and insurance rates?

A: It depends. If you are convicted of a moving violation, your insurance rates can increase for three years, and you will also receive points on your driver license. However, under North Carolina law, you can be convicted one time of speeding nine miles over the limit (not in a school zone), and if you don’t have any other moving violations in the past three years, your insurance rates won’t increase. However, you may lose any safe driver discounts you have. Click here to learn more about the impact of moving violations on your insurance rates, and click here to learn about how many points you receive on your license for moving violations.

If we are able to reduce your ticket to a non-moving violation, such as improper equipment or a city code violation, then there will be no impact on your driver license or insurance rates.

Q: I have previous traffic tickets that are causing my insurance to increase or preventing me from getting a job or driver license. Can you help?

A: Maybe. Depending on your driving record and the circumstances around the previous ticket(s), we may be able to re-open the old ticket and change the outcome to your benefit. Call Meier Law Group and we will discuss your situation with you.

Q: My license is revoked or suspended. Can you help me get it back?

A: Possibly. We can analyze your driving record and explain your options to you. In certain circumstances, you are eligible to get your license back or get a limited driving privilege. You may also be able to have a DMV hearing to apply for your license back. Give us a call and we’ll explain your options to you.