What is an Improper Equipment?

This is a question I hear on a weekly basis. It usually starts with a phone call, where a client tells me that they have been charged with speeding.

Some clients know that in North Carolina, it’s sometimes possible to resolve a speeding ticket by reducing the charge to what is called an Improper Equipment. This is great for clients, because an improper equipment is a non-moving violation which carries no license points (NC DMV), and no insurance points. What this means is if you got charged with speeding, you can have your lawyer ask to reduce your speeding charge to an improper equipment so that your license will not be effected, and your insurance will not go up.

Now, since that all sounds great, I know you are thinking why doesn’t everyone just do that. There are sometimes limitations on an attorney’s ability to reduce a speeding ticket to an improper equipment. The first limitation would be, if you are charged with speeding more then 25 over, the law does not allow for your ticket to be reduced to an improper equipment. If this is the case, your lawyer will frequently ask for your ticket to be reduced to a 9 over. For example, if you are charged with speeding 76 in a 50, it may be possible to get it reduced to a 59 in a 50 (9 over). Generally, a reduction to a 9 over should not effect your insurance premiums unless you have/had another moving violation in a 3 year period.

Different counties also have different rules concerning a client’s eligibility for an Improper Equipment. Some counties specifically will want to see that the person has not recently had an Improper Equipment (generally the last 3 years). Other counties will not reduce a charge to an improper equipment unless the client attends a driver education school.

So, there are many options to consider when you are charged with speeding, or another traffic offense. Usually an attorney will be able to assist you in making the best decision so that you are not surprised later by license suspensions, or costly insurance hikes. Please call us today with any questions about your traffic charge, and to get your free consultation.

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