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Defending Clients in North Carolina and South Carolina

Attorney Carilyn Ibsen's Blog

about Criminal Defense in North Carolina and South Carolina


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Should I Take Traffic School Before My Court Date?

Traffic school can be both a good and unnecessary option when you have received a speeding or other traffic violation. Confusion over this choice seems worth clarifying, since my office frequently receives calls regarding this subject.

The question begins when drivers in Mecklenburg County, or within the Charlotte area, receive a speeding ticket. During the traffic stop, the citing police officer suggests attending traffic school prior to the court date.

Traffic school can be required in some situations but not in the majority of traffic violations. For example, sometimes the District Attorney will require traffic school for a speed reduction. Other judges may require traffic school before a Prayer for Judgment (PJC) is granted.

Additionally, there are several different types of traffic school:
  • 4 hour (green school)
  • 8 hour (red school)
  • Alive at 25 for younger drivers, and recently added
  • "Behind the Wheel" traffic school where drivers complete parts of the class in vehicles. This new course is geared toward younger drivers who are historically higher risk drivers.
However, the majority of drivers who received a traffic ticket will not need to take traffic school. For example, drivers with good driving records or cited speeds slightly over the speed limit may not have to take traffic school.

A police officer is neither an attorney nor a judge. While perhaps meaning well (knowing full well that you are upset having received the speeding ticket), the officer issuing the ticket should not be giving legal advice during a traffic stop.

An attorney can be helpful in defining how each driver may best respond to the issuance of a traffic ticket.

For more information about traffic school in Mecklenburg, Gaston and Union county, click here.

Charlotte Traffic Updates are Provided By The Law Office of Carilyn Ibsen PLLC (888)543-2427

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