Most traffic violations in North Carolina are not criminal in nature, but you may have to go to court. If you choose to pay the waiver, then this is admitting guilt. If you do not pay the waiver, then you will need to go to court to enter a plea in front of the judge. This will give you a chance to state your case and possibly get a reduction or dismissal of the charges.
You must make it to your court date, but sometimes, things happen unexpectedly. If you miss your court date for whatever reason, it is essential to know what may happen next. The North Carolina Judicial Branch explains that the court will give you a chance to appear before making any serious moves against you.
Failure to Appear
When you miss your court date, the court will mark your case noting that the judge called you, but you were not present. You then have 20 days to show up for court. You can check with the court online to see if it rescheduled your case and to get your new court date. You have 20 days to show in court for your ticket. After 20 days, the court issues a Failure to Appear. With this may come additional court fees.
You then have another 20 days to show up in court for the traffic ticket. Again, you can check for your court date online if you need to. After 20 days, the court contacts the Department of Motor Vehicles, which will suspend your license. Your license remains under suspension until you appear in court and take care of your ticket.
There may be situations where not showing up to court results in an arrest warrant. It depends on your specific case, so it is essential to make sure that you know your court date and that you show up for it on time.