Most drivers have looked up to see blue strobe lights in their rear view mirror at some point.  Speeding tickets happen to everyone, even when we try to “stay with the flow” of traffic and pay attention to the speed limit.  This is especially true in certain “hot spots” or “speed traps” where police and highway patrol tend to increase their presence.  In Wilkes County, the sections of Highway 421 on the outskirts of the Wilkesboros are the key areas they monitor most heavily.  

If you’ve received a speeding ticket in Wilkes County, whether you live there or not, you may wonder whether you should go to court and fight it.  The answer is yes, you almost always should. Paying off your ticket, or avoiding it altogether, very often yields unintended consequences — even if it seems fairly straightforward.  

When people pay off or ignore a ticket, they sometimes don’t even realize what they’ve done until the next insurance statement or a notice from the DMV arrives in the mail, weeks or months after the fact.  

We have an office in North Wilkesboro, which is where Mr. McElwee was born and raised.  He has handled thousands of traffic citations there over the past 20+ years.  Hiring us can save you the uncertainty and inconvenience of dealing with the ticket yourself.  Most tickets, even faster ones, are “run of the mill” for our practice, and we can resolve them with ease.  That’s why we charge the reasonable fee we do!  

Wilkesboro’s Many Attractions Lead To A Lot Of Visitor Traffic.

There are lots of reasons to visit or pass through Wilkes County.  Merlefest typically draws over 75,000 people to the community over the course of a four day weekend.  Racing has returned to the North Wilkesboro Speedway, and other events like FaithFest, and the Carolina in the Fall music festival draw thousands.

There are nearly 50 wineries in the area, highly popular bike trails at Kerr Scott Lake, hiking at Stone Mountain State Park, art galleries, play houses, and any number of other draws to this diverse community at the foot of the mountains.  And… as you might expect, the highways leading in and out of town are patrolled far more heavily during certain times and in certain areas when events are happening.  

Just as significantly, the Wilkesboros serve as a major gateway to the mountains.  This probably explains why law enforcement tends to patrol the section of Highway 421 between Wilkesboro and the Blue Ridge Parkway so heavily.  The speed limit is 55 mph going up and down the mountain, making it quite easy to go too fast. 

A great many of our clients are App State students coming to and from school, leaf watchers, or skiers and other recreationists heading to or from the mountains.  

Pleading Guilty To A Speeding Ticket Can Mean Several Consequences.

We get calls every year from people who were ticketed in Wilkes County and opted to pay the ticket instead of dealing with it.  This often creates unintended consequences that may not materialize for weeks or even months.  Most often, the person will realize the mistake when their insurance premiums suddenly rise by a big percentage. 

We’ve also had clients over the years who paid their ticket and then received a “suspension letter” from the DMV in their box.  These unintended, but very bad, outcomes can happen if you do not appropriately deal with what might appear to be a “simple” traffic citation.  They’re also much more difficult and expensive to fix after the fact.  

First off, it’s important to understand that paying a traffic ticket is essentially a guilty plea to the charge.  This has the potential to generate “points” that can significantly affect your license and insurance.  

To make things more complicated, there are actually TWO point systems at play – DMV Driver’s License Points and Insurance Points (technically known as Safe Driver Incentive Points, or SDIP).  

DMV Driver’s License Points affect the status of your license and your privilege to drive.  DMV assigns a number of points to every moving violation you receive.  If you accumulate too many DMV points in too short a time (12 points in three years) your license will be suspended.  Some major violations, such as racing or driving while impaired, will result in an automatic suspension.   

Insurance points work differently than DMV points, and aren’t as straightforward.  Like the DMV, the insurance industry also assigns points to each moving violation.  Every insurance point you receive translates to an increase in your insurance premium.  Most people are surprised at how quickly, and drastically, insurance companies can increase your rates using this system.  For instance, a single insurance point can cause your rates to rise by 25 percent, and it goes up dramatically with each additional point from there.  These rate hikes are cumulative, and stay in effect for three years from the violation.  A single 3 license points violation, for example, can increase your insurance rates from 40-90%

It’s also very important to remember that these DMV and insurance POINTS ARE SHARED WITH OTHER STATES.  So, even if you are an out-of-stater just passing through Wilkes County on the way to college, or to ski, there is a high probability that the outcome will be reported back to the DMV in your home state.  

Benefits of Hiring A Wilkes County Traffic Attorney For Your Speeding Ticket:

Your mailbox was probably flooded with attorney letters within a few days of receiving your ticket.  And if you took the time to peruse those letters, you may have been surprised by the places they came from.  When you get a ticket, attorneys from far and wide vie for your business.  So, how do you choose?  

It’s important to hire someone who is familiar with the place where you got pulled over.  If you receive a citation in Wilkes County, you should hire an attorney with connections to Wilkes County.  

Mr. McElwee was born and raised in Wilkes County and has practiced law there for over twenty years.  He’s appeared before the judges and worked with the prosecutors in Wilkes County for decades, and knows their tendencies.  This sort of familiarity and strong working relationship, developed over many years, is invaluable and ought to be a primary consideration when choosing which attorney you want to send to the Wilkes County Courthouse to represent you.    

Types of Wilkesboro Traffic Tickets We Can Help With:

  • Speeding tickets
  • Stop sign and stop light violations
  • Speeding in special areas, such as school zones and work zones
  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to maintain lane control
  • Expired registration and inspection
  • Driving without insurance 
  • Driving without a license
  • Driving while license revoked
  • Tickets stemming from accidents, such as “unsafe movement” or “failure to yield”

Call us today to handle your traffic ticket!