Can I Get a Ticket for Following Someone too Closely?
Tailgating is a dangerous habit for any driver to get into. Tailgating creates conditions that endanger other drivers. If you are too close to the rear of a car and it has to make a sudden stop, you will smash into the back of it. This single accident can have a cascading effect that causes the vehicles behind you to crash into each other.
There are laws against tailgating in North Carolina. If you have been stopped and ticketed for this practice, you should take it seriously. In addition to paying a fine, you can face long-term consequences for this infraction.
How the Law Defines Tailgating
North Carolina law makes it an offense to follow other motor vehicles too closely. You can be ticked for this infraction in the following circumstances:
- You follow a vehicle more closely than is safe and reasonable given its speed, the state of traffic, and road conditions
- When driving on a highway, you do not allow enough space for another vehicle to overtake you and enter the space in front of you without danger
Penalties for Tailgating
If you receive a ticket for tailgating, you will need to pay a $35 fine and other costs. You may also receive 2 points on your license and license suspension if there are already too many points on your record. You may also face increased costs on your auto insurance. You can also be charged with reckless or aggressive driving, which is a misdemeanor charge that comes with a jail sentence, a large fine, and a criminal record.
If the worst happens and there is an accident that can be attributed to your tailgating, you can be charged with felony assault, manslaughter, or second-degree murder. You definitely do not want to go down this path. If you have been unjustly ticketed for tailgating, you should challenge it. If this happens if Forsyth County, your first move should be to contact a Winston Salem North Carolina traffic lawyer.
You Have Options
If you receive a ticket for tailgating, you can plead guilty, pay the fine, and take the points on your license. However, this may put you in an unacceptable situation, especially if it means license suspension and increased insurance premiums. You may think it worth your while to challenge the ticket and the officer who gave it to you. A traffic lawyer Guilford County NC can help you.
Police officers are not infallible. They make judgment calls all the time, and there are occasions when they get it wrong. There is also the sad fact that some revenue-starved cities and municipalities encourage their officers to stop and ticket people for minor infractions. If you believe that you were not following the car in front of you that closely when you were stopped, you may be in the right and the officer in the wrong. In fact, the officer may have been looking for a reason to stop and ticket you to meet an assigned quota of tickets they must give out every day. This may sound perverse and outrageous, but it happens in locales across the country.
The first thing your Guilford County traffic lawyer will do is get the name of the officer who stopped you. This will allow your Greensboro traffic ticket attorney to ascertain how many stops and tickets the officer hands out on a daily basis. If it is exceptionally high, this may indicate a problem. In fact, your Greensboro Traffic Lawyer NC will review all the data and statistics on tickets issued for driving infractions. Doing so may clue them into a larger pattern of misconduct and abuse of power.
In most instances, the case will come down to your word against the word of the officer who stopped and ticketed you for tailgating. However, other evidence can be brought forward to undermine the credibility of the officer. Your attorney will be allowed to question them about the circumstances of the alleged tailgating. If there are gaps or inconsistencies in their testimony, it can lead to your exoneration.
Even if you are forced to pay the fine for tailgating, it may be possible for your Guilford County traffic lawyer to stop authorities from putting points on your license. The bottom line is that you should not give up.
Traffic violations law firms handle cases like yours all the time. If you need an affordable traffic attorney NC, you should contact the Law Office of Tony Huynh.