Will Speeding Affect My Criminal Record?
Many people underestimate the seriousness of speeding offenses. For instance, they may think that the worst that could happen legally if they speed is getting a ticket that can be paid with a fine. However, that is not always the case. While some speeding offenses are relegated to traffic court and can be paid with a fine, others are criminal offenses. It should be noted that there can be consequences even from traffic court violations, such as points being added to your license, possible license suspension, and increases to your insurance premium. However, if your speeding offense is criminal, you may be facing actual jail time and the creation of a criminal record.
When is Speeding a Criminal Offense?
In North Carolina, it is a criminal offense to drive 15 miles per hour or more over the speed limit when the speed limit is at least 55 miles per hour. Additionally, it is always a crime to drive at 80 miles per hour or more. These crimes are charged as reckless driving, and they are Class 3 misdemeanors. A Class 3 misdemeanor in North Carolina can result in up to 60 days in jail and/or $1,000 in fines. If you are convicted of a Class 3 misdemeanor for speeding, it will go on your criminal record. That means that you will have to disclose it to employers moving forward and that it will appear on criminal background checks. This may limit your career options, particularly if your job involves driving as a duty. One of the biggest consequences of having a criminal record is that any future driving offenses will be charged much more harshly. The jail time and fines increase for each conviction, beginning after the first conviction. While some people may believe that is not an issue because they do not plan on getting another driving violation, it is unlikely that they planned on receiving this violation, so it is better to plan ahead than to end up in jail.
How a Lawyer Can Help With Misdemeanor Speeding
If you have been charged with reckless driving or another criminal driving offense, it is important to consult with an experienced defense attorney. Your attorney may be able to have the charges against you dismissed or reduced to a non-criminal offense. In some cases, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a plea bargain to a lesser offense or that allows you to avoid jail time or more serious penalties. In the event that the prosecution is unwilling to offer a plea bargain, your lawyer can determine the best possible defense strategy to ensure that you are found not guilty of the charges against you. If you are curious about your options and your chances of overcoming the charges against you, contact an attorney.
Contact Coastal South Law Today
If you have been charged with misdemeanor reckless driving, or any driving-related offense in North Carolina, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Coastal South Law are ready to fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Contact Coastal South Law today to schedule a consultation.