How Long Can I Lose My License for Traffic Infractions?

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The most common criminal charges are related to traffic offenses. Nearly everybody drives, and nobody is perfect. Take a look at the chart below from the North Carolina Judicial Branch website, which lists the most charges filed in the state:

As you can see, the most common charge in the state is for speeding, and all of the top 10 are related to driving. This article will address when you can lose your license as a result of speeding, reckless driving, or other common traffic infractions.

Speeding Convictions That Result in Driver’s License Suspensions

When you have a lead foot, you could end up losing your license. Your driving privilege will be revoked for at least 30 days if you are convicted of either:

  • Driving any vehicle more than 15 mph over the speed limit while driving at a speed greater than 55 mph or
  • Driving at a speed greater than 80 mph

You will lose your license for 60 days if you are convicted of:

  • Two speeding charges within one year or
  • Speeding plus reckless driving on the same occasion

Below is a chart from the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles that summarizes how long a driver will lose their license for speeding:

While there is an ability for a first-time offender to get a limited driving privilege to go back and forth to work, medical appointments, or school, any other offender in the above chart is out of luck. To avoid getting an automatic suspension you will either need to drive carefully or hire an attorney like the lawyers at Jetton and Meredith, who can help you negotiate your way out of these convictions.

But that is not all! If you are speeding more than 75mph in a zone where the limit is less than 70mph, or more than 80mph in a 70mph zone, then your license can be suspended for up to a full year under 20-16(a)(10) and 20-19(b). That means any ticket with an excessive speed could result in a longer period of revocation, and you’ll need to hire experienced attorneys to help you avoid that outcome.

Traffic Infractions That Result in Driver’s License Suspensions

Speeding is not the only route to losing your license. Common traffic infractions can also cause you to losing your driving privilege if you accumulate too many convictions. Each conviction for a traffic offense places a certain amount of points on your license. These points can greatly raise your insurance rates, and even result in being unable to drive if you go above a certain amount.

If you get 12 or more points within a three-year period, your license will be suspended for the first time. After that, 8 or more points in the three-year period immediately following the reinstatement will cause another suspension. The chart below from the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles summarizes how long each suspension lasts:

There is no ability to receive a limited driving privilege if your license is suspended in this way. So if you are on the verge of facing points that will revoke your license, it is essential that you call a lawyer immediately. In order to know whether that is possible you’ll need to know how many points each offense counts for, which we will cover next.

How are Points on My License Calculated?

If you are convicted of a traffic infraction, part of the punishment is greater than fines and court costs. Each type of offense has points that can be used to raise your insurance rates or even revoke your license under the criteria above. The following table can help you figure out how many points each conviction will cost you:

CONVICTION

POINTS

Passing stopped school bus

5

Aggressive driving

5

Reckless driving

4

Hit and run, property damage only

4

Following too close

4

Driving on wrong side of road

4

Illegal passing

4

Failure to yield right-of-way to pedestrian

4

Failure to yield right-of-way to bicycle, motor scooter, or motorcycle

4

Running through stop sign

3

Speeding in excess of 55 miles per hour

3

Failing to yield right-of-way

3

Running through red light

3

No driver’s license or license expired more than one year

3

Failure to stop for siren

3

Driving through safety zone

3

No liability insurance

3

Failure to report accident where such report is required

3

Speeding in a school zone in excess of the posted school zone speed limit

3

Failure to properly restrain a child in a restraint or seat belt

2

All other moving violations

2

Littering involving the use of a motor vehicle

1

These point values become much higher for commercially licensed drivers. It is essential that if you are charged with any of these infractions you consult with a lawyer and your insurance company before admitting responsibility. You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you cannot afford to maintain the insurance on your car, or in a worse position where you have no way to drive due to a revoked license for points.

Because traffic offenses are the most common kind, they are bound to hurt your everyday life the most. That is one of the reasons our lawyers have become so good at handling them. Call us today at Jetton and Meredith at (704) 931-5535 and speak to one of our attorneys for help with your traffic matter today! Your license is too important to lose, and we are ready to assist you.