Posts Tagged ‘traffic tickets’

What is a PJC Durham NC?

What is a PJC? Well, let’s start at the beginning:

PJC stands for Prayer for Judgment Continued. Still isn’t clear, though, right? So one word at a time…

Prayer = request
Judgment = the decision of the court
Continued = postponed

So a PJC is a request that the decision of the court be postponed. That’s easy enough. But what does that do for you? Well, to be more specific it’s a request that the judge/court indefinitely (in most cases) postpone a judgment, meaning it “happens” but it is never technically entered and therefore doesn’t count against you. But as always, it’s not as simple as that.
For insurance point purposes, you only get ONE PJC per HOUSEHOLD for a three year period. For DMV purposes, you only get TWO PJCs per PERSON for a five year period.
Still not clear? That’s exactly why you shouldn’t use it. Call me for more details and I’ll see what I can do to help.
I represent people with traffic tickets in Orange, Chatham, Alamance, Durham, and Wake Counties. Call me at 919-929-2992.

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Get Your Traffic Tickets Dismissed

Can you get your ticket dismissed? Probably not.

I have been practicing law and handling traffic tickets since 2001. I have seen tickets dismissed, but that is exceedingly rare. Normally there are only three reasons tickets are dismissed:
1) Compliance: If you haven’t complied with a regulatory requirement (registration, insurance, etc.) but then show compliance, or if you are in a wreck and show proof of insurance coverage and handling of the claim, that might get you a dismissal.
2) Legal defects: If the officer who wrote the ticket left out a vital legal requirement of the ticket and it can’t be addressed via amendment, that might get you a dismissal. These are extremely rare, but they can happen.
3) Extreme cases: I once saw an ADA dismiss a ticket where a lady produced a birth certificate for her child which was born a few minutes after her ticket was issued. These are even more rare.
What does all of that mean? It means that unless you have a very special and particular situation, you probably aren’t getting your ticket dismissed. The days of the sneaky backroom deals are done, and tickets don’t just get “taken care of.” But call me and I can tell you what I think I can do for your ticket. 919-929-2992.
I represent people with traffic tickets in Orange, Chatham, Alamance, Durham, and Wake Counties.

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Should I Hire an Attorney or a Traffic Ticket Lawyer Durham NC?

Should you hire an attorney for your traffic ticket? Generally speaking, I would say that the answer is more often than not “probably.”

Here’s what I mean:
Paying off a ticket is almost always bad. Paying off a ticket is the same thing as pleading guilty. Pleading guilty gets you a conviction, and a conviction will likely get you insurance points (meaning your insurance rates will increase for three years) and DMV points (meaning your license could get revoked). Sometimes it’s OK to pay a ticket off, but you should only do so after talking to an attorney; the reputable ones will tell you when it’s the best thing to do.
So if you’re not paying it off then you have to either a) show up in court yourself, or b) hire an attorney to go for you.
First, your time is valuable, so why waste your time in court when you can pay someone to go for you.
Second, even if you feel that your time isn’t that valuable, what kind of outcome will you seek in court on your own? Do you know what to ask for? Do you know how it will affect your license/insurance? Do you know how to get what you want? An experienced traffic attorney will know all of these things and can save you lots of money in the long run.
I represent people with traffic tickets in Orange, Chatham, Alamance, Durham, and Wake Counties.
So call me and find out what I can do to help. 919-929-2992.

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North Carolina Traffic Tickets – Consequences of Missing The Court Date

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it: Someone gets a traffic ticket, they shove in the glove compartment with a, “I’ll take care of that later,” and they completely forget about it.  The next  thing they know they are in jail, owing hundreds of dollars to the court.  How can this happen?

People often think that missing their court date for a traffic ticket isn’t a big deal… “it’s only a traffic ticket!”  But that’s not the right way to look at it.  Yes, a traffic ticket isn’t like a first degree murder charge, I agree, but it can have a huge impact on your life.  Even if it’s just speeding, not handling the charge correctly can be costly at best, but missing your court date altogether can do you a great deal of harm.  Here’s what happens in most counties in North Carolina when you miss your court date for your traffic ticket:

If the ticket is an Infraction (a lower severity charge, defined more accurately by statute but too much for this post) then the ticket goes in what is called the “20 day drawer.”  That means you have 20 days to get this ticket back on the calendar.  If you don’t, then the clerk’s office will notify DMV of your failure to appear (FTA).  Once you have that FTA, you are assessed a $200 fine, in addition to whatever cost of court/fine you’re going to have to pay when you eventually handle the ticket. Arguably worse is that DMV will revoke your license indefinitely if you don’t handle it by a date they deem as your deadline.  Yep, even a seat belt ticket can get your license revoked if you don’t handle it correctly.  So a ticket that might have cost you about $210 will end up costing you at least $410, and maybe more.

If the ticket is a Misdemeanor (worse than an Infraction…speeding greater than 15 mph over the limit is a Misdemeanor!) then, depending on the county, it may go in the 20 day drawer as above, or you might get the FTA placed on it immediately, AND the court might issue a warrant for your arrest.  Yes, they will send law enforcement out to find you and bring you to jail for missing your court date.  And yes, you then have to deal with that extra fine, too.

Parenthetically, what often happens in these situations is the person who missed their court date also hasn’t updated their address with DMV, so when DMV sends their warning letter about the FTA and impending revocation, the person doesn’t get it!  So they continue to forget about the ticket, are driving on a revoked license, and then they get pulled over again.  Driving With Licensed Revoked (DWLR) is a Class 2 Misdemeanor in North Carolina, and you can go to jail for it.  In the business, we call this snowballing, because what starts out as an easy ticket to handle starts rolling down the hill and turns into a much bigger and more dangerous problem, just like the snowballs rolling downhill turn into snowboulders in cartoons.

In addition to costing your more in fines, and revoking your license, the cost of getting help can increase, too.  Often times, attorneys have to charge you more than they would have on a current ticket because they have to do more work to help dig you out of help because of the likely extra trips to court.

This can happen to you!  If you have an Orange County, Alamance County, Durham County, Wake County, or Chatham County ticket, and you don’t want to go to court (or forget to go to court!) you need someone to help.  Call me at 919-929-2992 or 888-929-5241 and I’ll be glad to help.  Don’t let a little problem turn into a big one.  Call me now if you have a ticket!

 

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Jeffrey Allen Howard, Attorney at Law, PLLC
1829 E. Franklin St. - Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

(P) 919-929-2992
(F) 919-636-4779

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