N.C. Court System Launches Online Request for Reduction of Speeding Offenses in Davidson, Davie, Johnston, and Mecklenburg Counties
Citizens may now request online reductions of speeding offenses in Davidson, Davie, Johnston, and Mecklenburg counties (in addition to Buncombe County since late July) with the expanded pilot launch of the N.C. courts' newest online service. The efficient, user-friendly service provides 24/7 convenience for motorists who receive a speeding ticket and meet eligibility criteria to potentially reduce and process their citation without ever having to appear at the courthouse.
"Online reductions are more efficient and convenient to process the most commonly cited traffic offenses," said Judge Marion Warren, director of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts. "Court technology and online services are modernizing the way the public does business with our courts."
Following Chief Justice Mark Martin's vision for establishing eCourts and a modern court system, the online services portal bolsters the Judicial Branch's commitment to providing broader and more convenient access to justice. The new request for reduction service is part of a multi-phase initiative to provide the public a convenient, user-friendly means of resolving most waivable offenses online, and enable the courts to efficiently process citations outside of the courtroom. For clerks and district attorneys, it means less paperwork, less data entry, and shorter lines in traffic court and courthouses across the state. For citizens, it means timely resolutions of court matters without the hassle of taking off work and standing in line at the courthouse.
"The service will benefit the citizens of Johnston County by providing a convenient and easy way to handle minor speeding offenses without a trip to the courthouse," said Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle. "In this day and age, virtually any business can be conducted online with a smartphone. With the lack of courtroom space and parking, the Johnston County Courthouse can be a very frustrating place to conduct business. This service will help to reduce and relieve the overcrowding in and around the courthouse, and even help individuals trying to conduct other business in the downtown area."
Citizens may make requests for reduction of speeding citations (at least seven business days prior to the court date) or check the status of pending requests anytime from any location with internet access.
- No costs are associated with requesting a reduction online.
- Requestors will receive email confirmation of their submission and the outcome of their request after review by the district attorney's office with an offer or denial of reduction.
- The arraigned / charged speed must be between 10 and 19 miles over the posted limit, and must not exceed 80 mph.
- If the district attorney offers an online reduction, the reduced charge, in the district attorney's discretion, will be nine miles over the posted limit or improper equipment. Other reductions require a court appearance. Citizens will receive an email including the reduced offense and associated cost.
- If accepted, online reduction offers must be paid via onlineservices.NCcourts.org by 5:00 p.m. the day before the assigned court date or the offer will be vacated.
- If a citizen does not accept an offer of reduction, or if the district attorney denies the request for reduction, they must appear in court on their assigned court date.
- Speeding offenses made up nearly 50 percent of all traffic citations statewide in 2015, and account for approximately 400,000 tickets annually.
Online request for reduction of speeding is being piloted in five counties (Buncombe in July and Davidson, Davie, Johnston, and Mecklenburg in August) and is expected to be statewide by late fall 2017. Current statewide online services for citizens receiving traffic citations include online request for compliance and dismissal (license, registration, and inspection compliance only) launched in July 2016, and online payments available since June 2010. New language has been added to traffic citations to raise public awareness that citizens may be able to handle their ticket and avoid a trip to court through onlineservices.NCcourts.org.