Understanding Speeding Ticket Law and Defenses in North Carolina

Legally reviewed by:
King Law
June 12, 2023

Receiving a speeding ticket can be an unwelcome and frustrating experience for any driver. However, it’s important to remember that in the state of North Carolina, there are specific laws and potential defenses that can help you navigate this situation. In this blog post, we will explore the speeding ticket laws in North Carolina and discuss some relevant defenses that you can consider if you find yourself facing a citation.

In North Carolina, the “General Statutes” govern speeding laws. The maximum speed limits depend on the type of roadway and prevailing conditions. Here are the general speed limits under normal conditions:

• 70 miles per hour on interstates and fully controlled-access highways
• 55 miles per hour on all other highways not designated as 70 mph zones
• 35 miles per hour in urban areas
• 25 miles per hour in school zones (when children are present)
• 20 miles per hour in residential areas (unless otherwise posted)

It’s important to note that these speed limits can be adjusted based on factors like weather conditions, construction zones, or specific signs indicating lower limits.
If you’ve been issued a speeding ticket, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re automatically guilty. There are several defenses King Law can help you explore to challenge the citation. Here are some common defenses in North Carolina:

Radar or Speedometer Calibration: Law enforcement officers often use radar devices to measure a vehicle’s speed. However, these devices require regular calibration and maintenance to provide accurate readings. If you believe the radar used to determine your speed was not properly calibrated, you may be able to challenge the accuracy of the measurement.

Challenging Officer’s Observations: Officers often provide their subjective observations when issuing speeding tickets. You may challenge the officer’s judgment if you believe their perception was incorrect, the weather conditions impaired their visibility, or if there were other vehicles around that may have affected their ability to accurately determine your speed.

Speedometer Malfunction: Speedometers can become faulty or inaccurate over time. If you can provide evidence that your speedometer was malfunctioning and caused you to unknowingly exceed the speed limit, it can be a valid defense.

Necessity or Emergency Situations: If you can demonstrate that you were speeding due to a genuine emergency or to avoid imminent harm, such as to seek medical assistance or prevent an accident, it may serve as a valid defense. However, be aware that this defense is often challenging to prove and requires strong supporting evidence.

Improper Signage or Road Conditions: In some cases, poorly maintained or obscured traffic signs, incorrect speed limit postings, or dangerous road conditions can be used as defenses.

If you can provide evidence that these factors influenced your ability to comply with the posted speed limit, it may help your case.

When facing a speeding ticket in North Carolina, it’s crucial to understand the state’s specific laws and potential defenses. Remember, you have the right to challenge the citation and present your case in court. At King Law, there are attorneys throughout North and South Carolina who handle these types of cases and can represent you in this unique situation. Call our toll-free number at 888-748-5465 (KING) to request a consultation with one of these experienced attorneys.

Legally reviewed by:
King Law
Carolina Attorneys
June 12, 2023

This blog post has been reviewed and verified by legal experts at King Law. Our team is dedicated to providing premium legal services with compassion, innovation, trust, and advocacy. Serving Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, we offer flexible meeting options and strive to exceed client expectations with high-quality legal representation and exceptional client relationships.

Previous Post
Third Party Disclosure and the Fourth Amendment: What You Need to Know
Next Post
Is it Illegal to Text While Riding a Horse in NC?