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IMPROPER EQUIPMENT OFFENSES in NORTH CAROLINA - COSTS SUMMARY REFERENCE GUIDE

Appendix - Chapter 20 Improper Equipment Offenses

Effective August 1, 2011

Set out below is a table of Chapter 20 “improper equipment offenses."

Effective for costs assessed or collected on or after August 1, 2011(unless the waiver exception of G.S. 7A-304(g) applies), a defendant who is found guilty or responsible for an “improper equipment offense" under Chapter 20 must pay a fee of $50.00 in addition to the standard Chapter 20 criminal/infraction costs amount. See G.S. 7A-304(a)(4b). The Office of the Clerk of Superior Court will remit this additional $50.00 to the Department of Correction for placement in a new Statewide Misdemeanant Confinement Fund.Id. (For more information on the Statewide Misdemeanant Confinement Fund, see S.L. 2011-192 (HB 642), § 7.)

The Chief District Court Judges have traditionally limited “improper equipment offenses" on the list of waivable traffic offenses to equipment violations found in Part 9 of Article 3 of Chapter 20.

1 The judges have, however, distinguished “equipment violations" in Part 9 from “height, length and width" violations in Part 9.2 Using the waiver list as guidance, the NCAOC interprets the “improper equipment" fee to apply to any offense in Part 9 other than (i) violations relating to vehicle height, length and width and (ii) violations that otherwise could be considered equipment violations, but for which the equipment element of the offense is derivative of the height, width or length nature of the offense. An example of the latter would be violations of G.S. 20-117 (flags and lights at the end of loads), for which the equipment (the flag) is required only because of a load that has extended the overall length of the vehicle.

1 See Traffic Offenses for which Court Appearance May Be Waived (December 1, 2010), Item B.37., at:http://www.nccourts.org/Forms/Documents/1219.pdf.

2 See Traffic Offenses for which Court Appearance May Be Waived (December 1, 2010), Item B.36.

3 The table does not include a violation of G.S. 20-129(a)(4) (offense code 4446), for failing to burn headlights when windshield wipers are in use, because the statute prohibits the assessment of court costs for that offense.

For each improper equipment offense, the table lists the statutory citation, the offense code description (or simply a brief description of the offense if there is no offense code for the violation), and the offense code for the violation where one exists.

Statute

Description

Offense Code

G.S. 20-116(g)

IMPROPER LOADING/COVERING VEH

4425

G.S. 20-117.1(a)

BUS, TRUCK OR TRUCK TRACTOR MIRROR VIOLATION

None

G.S. 20-120

FLAT TRUCK OR TOBACCO TRUCK LOAD VIOLATION

None

G.S. 20-121.1

LOW-SPEED VEHICLE EQUIPMENT VIOLATION

None

G.S. 20-122

TIRE RESTRICTIONS EQUIP VIOL

4421

G.S. 20-122.1

UNSAFE TIRES

4462

G.S. 20-123

IMPROPER TOWING

4413

G.S. 20-123.1

IMPROPER STEERING MECHANISM

4423

G.S. 20-123.2

IMPROPER EQUIP - SPEEDOMETER

4418

G.S. 20-124

IMPROPER BRAKES

4488

G.S. 20-125

HORN AND WARNING DEVICE VIO

4404

G.S. 20-125.1

DIRECTIONAL SIGNALS EQUIP VIOL

4426

G.S. 20-126

MIRROR VIOLATION

4407

G.S. 20-127(a)

WINDSHIELD WIPER EQUIP VIOL

4490

G.S. 20-127(d)

WINDOW TINTING VIOL

5596

G.S. 20-128

IMPROPER MUFFLER

4486

G.S. 20-128.1

EMISSIONS CONTROL VIOLATION

None

G.S. 20-129(a)3

FAIL TO BURN HEADLAMPS

4445

G.S. 20-129(b)

DRIVE WITHOUT TWO HEADLAMPS

4492

G.S. 20-129(c)

MOTORCYCLE FAIL BURN HEADLAMP

4422

G.S. 20-129(d)

MOTORCYCLE FAIL BURN TAILLIGHT

4424

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