If you pay the ticket in advance, then you would not need to appear. If you have not had a ticket in the last three years, then you would not get an insurance increase for doing this. If you have had a ticket in the last three years, then your best bet is to hire a lawyer to help you. If the case is dismissed, you do not have to pay the court costs. If you plead not guilty, but are found guilty, then you would have to pay.
If you do not go to Court on your assigned date your case will be marked "Failure To Appear." The NC DMV will be notified and they will suspend your license if you do not promptly correct the situation. "Correcting" it usually means appearing in Court and requesting a new court date, plus paying a $250 FTA fee. If you don't take care of it before the suspension starts, you'll also have to pay a $50 reinstatement fee, purchase a new license, and run the risk of a much more serious charge of Driving While License Revoked (a criminal misdemeanor that carries an additional 1 year suspension of your driving privileges.
If you can't be there on your Court date, you need to either pay the ticket in advance of the Court date (not necessarily a good idea depending upon your driving history), or hire an attorney who can appear on your behalf to negotiate a better outcome. An attorney, after a review of your driving history, will be in a better position to advocate on your behalf and know what steps to take to preserve your driving privileges, avoid increased insurance premiums for the next 3 years, limit the points accumulated on your drivers license, and keep costs to a minimum.
If you would like to discuss your situation further, feel free to call my office or email me.
The above answer or comment from attorney Todd E. Gonyer does not constitute legal advice. Rather, it is intended only as a general recommendation and suggestion as to how you might proceed. Real legal advice can only be provided with a complete understanding of all the facts pertaining to you and your situation and once there is an attorney-client relationship in place. If you would like to speak to Mr. Gonyer, you may call his Charlotte, NC office at (704) 215-4924.
I will not repeat the good information you received in the previous answer. I will just add that for traffic infractions such as yours, you can go in before or after your court date, if within a reasonable time, if you simply plan to pay the ticket. However, if you would like to do something different, such as ask that your charge be reduced to an improper equipment, you will need to hire an attorney to go to court for you. Good luck to you.
<a href="http://www.amoslawnc.com">Fred Amos</a> provides legal representation in Wake County, North Carolina. Any answer provided through this discussion board is a general response to the question and NOT intended as legal advice. Responding to this question does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Always seek the advice of a lawyer directly to address your specific circumstances. Free consultation and flexible payment plans for <a href="http://www.dwidefenseraleigh.com">DWI's</a>. Call 919-803-7208.