Calculating Court Costs

Calculating court costs and fines commonly associated with traffic tickets

Calculating court costs and fines can be a daunting task but hopefully this explanation will better explain why the court costs for your speeding ticket may be higher than what is indicated on your citation.

Disregard the traffic ticket court costs on your citation

The speeding ticket court costs and fines on your citation apply if you pay the ticket off as charged. The charge you plead to or are found responsible of in court is how the ticket court costs and fines are determined.

Improper Equipment pleas result in court costs and fines of at least $263.00 in most cases

After a quick review of the charts attached at the bottom, you can easily see why your anticipated court costs and fines for being responsible to an infraction such as improper equipment is $263.00 or higher.

  • Start with a base cost of $173.00 for a matter in District Court (including criminal cases before magistrates or Administrative court);
  • Add the $10.00 Chapter 20 Fee, $5.00 service fee, and then a $50.00 Improper Equipment fee and you are at a cost of $238.00.
  • Then add the court fine (which can vary depending on the magistrate, judge, and prosecutor. Assuming you are lucky enough to receive a $ 25.00 fine your total is $263.00.
  • If the county requires an installment payment fee for not paying on the court date then add at least an additional $20.00, for a total of $283.00.

Calculating court costs / fines for some of the more common offenses (each traffic ticket offense varies by district or county and in no way can be guaranteed by any attorney)

Sample costs for traffic violation convictions:

  • Speeding at 5 mile per hour over posted speed limit  —  $ 198.00 to $208.00
  • Speeding at 10 miles per hour or less over the posted speed limit — $ 203.00 to $ 213.00
  • PJC —  $ 238.00
  • If the charges are dismissed or finding of not guilty  —  $ 0.00
  • Improper Equipment  —  $ 263.00 to $ 338.00  –  To receive a reduction to improper equipment, some districts require stipulation to higher fines based upon the cited speed. For instance, in Davie County and Davidson County:  (15mph over – $263.00; 16mph over – $288.00; 17mph over – $313.00; 18mph over $338.00)

For additional information on court cost and fines please visit


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Jon Welborn

Jon is an experienced trial attorney with over 12 years litigating a variety of cases in all NC Trial Courts.

For additional information on calculating court costs and fines click the following:  NC Courts Cost Link