Don't: Forget any of your court dates

The easiest way to run into trouble, especially if you have not hired an attorney, is to forget any of your court dates. These can lead to OFAs (order for arrest) being issued, which is the last thing you'd want out of a simple speeding citation.


Do: Be cordial and respectful in court

Assistant district attorneys and judges deal with hundreds of your cases each day. Dealing with indignant and annoyed members of the public does not speed up their day or make them willing to help you. Understand that ADA's and judges have significant leverage when it comes to offering pleas, dismissals, driving schools, PJCs, etc. Even if you are disputing a charge, be respectful to the officers and other personnel involved.


Don't: Pay the fine without first contacting an attorney or your insurance agent

Citations always give you the option of paying the underlying fine without going to court. Most people are quick to do this for several reasons: 1) they avoid going to court, 2) they are willing and able to pay the moderate fine, 3) they think by paying the fine, they resolve the situation. However, depending on your prior driving and criminal record, you run the risk of losing your license, increasing your insurance premiums, etc.


Do: Exercise your right to waiver prior to a PJC (prayer for judgment continuance)

North Carolina insurance law entitles every driver to a waiver on insurance rate increases for speeding tickets of 10 miles per hour or less over the posted speed limit (provided you meet a few other requirements). You can receive one of these during a 3 year period. Drivers are too quick to ask for a PJC for speeding citations, when paying the fine on a guilty plea of 10 miles per hour or less saves your PJC. For example, imagine if you get a speeding citation of 15 over then later receive a ticket for running a red light. The insurance waiver is not available for the red light citation. Therefore, by using the PJC on the speeding, you no longer have it available on the second charge. This will increase your insurance rates. Therefore, even if a PJC is available free of court costs, often the 130 to 150 dollar fine for a guilt plea saves you money in the long run... especially if there's a high probability of receiving another traffic citation in the next three years