How “negotiable” is the ORANGE CO. NC District Attorney’s office likely to be for my driving 50 mph in a 35-mph zone, on a clear day with light traffic, on a very steep hill that exits the UNC-CH campus onto 4-lane Raleigh Rd.? The ticketing officer said he included in his report that (1) I was courteous & honest; (2) my last moving violation was in 1995 (22 years ago); and (3) that I was unfamiliar with driving my wife’s vehicle, and had trouble down-shifting in its “manual-transmission mode” as I tried to reduce my speed on the steep hill. I’ve also read a post from Dirk Evans on this website from Jan. 30, 2017, after which being stopped for virtually the same offense by apparently the same officer at the same location, the officer recommended that he pursue whether the DA’s office would reduce his charge to “improper equipment.” So, what’s my best course of action? P.S. I’ve also ordered a certified copy of my Driving Record, and am willing to take a Driving Course before my court date.
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Dennis: Don’t sweat this one. 15 over in a 35 is not a big deal generally. If your record is clean for the past 3 years it’s a help of course. My gut is to ask for a reduction to “improper equipment”. That’s not even a moving violation (no insurance points or DMV points). Next best thing is to ask for a 9-over (44/35) they give these away like candy. You’ll see points on your license BUT NO INSURANCE INCREASE. You can do that ONCE every three years with a clean record and have no insurance points. Last is the PJC (prayer for judgment continued). You can use one of those every three years PER HOUSEHOLD and it will wipe out license and insurance points for THAT offense. But like I said, try for the IE. You can always use the 9 over or PJC if you get another ticket down the road. BTW: Unless you have some job that allows you to get away for a while and you’re not really concerned about the time you have to devote to this, consider getting a lawyer to handle it. Probably won’t cost more than $100 or so and it’s a helluva lot better than wasting valuable time.