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speeding ticket

What to Do After You Get a Speeding Ticket

Were you pulled over for a speeding ticket? It’s never fun, but according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 1 in 10 drivers in the U.S. are caught speeding each year. Speeding tickets can come with heavy fines, points on your license, and even the risk of losing your driver’s license completely. Deciding what to do next can be confusing. Would it be better to fight a ticket or just pay the fine and get it over with? Here are your options, and what to consider.

Don’t Ignore the Ticket.

No matter how you decide to handle your speeding ticket, the last thing you want to do is ignore it. This could lead to higher fines, points on your driver’s’ license, or even the suspension of your license.

Should I just pay the fine?

If you’d rather not spend the time and effort to contest a speeding ticket, or you don’t think it would do any good, you always have the option to simply pay the fine. If you do decide to just pay off a speeding ticket, expect your auto insurance rates to go up.

The amount owed will vary based on your state and the amount you were speeding. For example, if you were driving 25 mph over the speed limit, you’ll pay a higher fine than you would for driving only 10 mph over. The amount you owe will be listed on your ticket, as well as instructions for payment. Be sure to follow all instructions and pay your speeding ticket on time to avoid additional fines.

What if I want to contest the speeding ticket?

If you can show that you weren’t speeding or you feel your ticket was unjustified for other reasons, you can choose to fight the speeding ticket. In North Carolina, you will need to schedule a court appearance. Your ticket will have instructions for pleading not guilty and fighting your speeding ticket.

What else can I do?

If this is your first offense, or you haven’t had a traffic violation in years, you may be able to mitigate the charges and get a reduced fine. Certain mitigation options will keep the traffic violation off your driving record, meaning you won’t face higher insurance rates or points on your license. First-time offenders may be given the option of taking a driver’s course in order to remove the charge from your driving record. You also have the option of seeking reduced fines or payment extensions.

Will I need a lawyer?

To learn more about your options, or if you want someone to represent you in court, contact a traffic ticket attorney who is experienced in speeding cases. If you’re facing more serious penalties such as suspension of your license, a lawyer may be able to help you reduce the charges or find an alternative. Hiring a lawyer doesn’t mean you’ll get the outcome you want, but you will have a better chance with representation.

Have you been pulled over for speeding or another traffic violation? Need an attorney in Winston Salem? Let Surratt & Thompson help you with your options. Contact us today at 336-725-8323.

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family estate planning

How To Remain Civil When Dealing with an Estate Within Your Family

Losing someone is never easy and can be made increasingly difficult when dealing with the estate of that person. You open that will and realize the task before you. Uncle Billy is to receive X dollars, you and your siblings are to split the home evenly, debts are to be paid, and that’s not even bringing up funeral expenses. Each family member then becomes anxious for what has been left to them. The trick is – how to remain civil when you’re the one managing the estate and getting phone calls every other day?

Grief affects us all differently.

Remember that they are grieving as well. You’ve all lost someone dear to you. Their grief may manifest in a way that rubs you the wrong way – often in the form of phone calls and texts. You, being the executor of the estate are the point person and can become the object of that grief. They may not understand why they weren’t put in charge of the estate, or have some lingering guilt. Regardless, grief manifests in each of us differently. Keep that at the forefront of your mind when going through this process!

Offer regular updates on the estate.

The estate process can take a while – especially when real estate is involved or the liquidation of assets needs to occur. Between having to list a house for sale or dealing with an insurance company, these things take time. When you’re in the thick of it and everything is riding on you making phone calls or filing paperwork it feels like it’s taking an eternity. Those that are waiting for their inheritance but aren’t involved in the process are left wondering what could possibly be taking so long. Offer up regular updates to those involved to help ease their frustration. This also lets them know you’re actively working to resolve everything.

Assume the best intentions.

Listen, dealing with an estate can be tricky, trying and incredibly frustrating – especially when there is money involved. It’s easy to begin applying labels to family members and assume all they care about is money. If you assume those are their intentions, you’ll become increasingly frustrated with them and it will be difficult to continue building relationships after this is all over. Assume their intentions are good and it makes stomaching the frustration much easier.  

Blame us!

We’ve found one of the best ways to remaining civil with your family when going through an estate is to let them know your attorneys are taking care of it all. They aren’t likely to call us and ask us for updates, especially when they know they aren’t the executor of the estate. Letting them know your legal professionals are handling the manner will put their minds at ease – and yours as well.  

Dealing with an estate isn’t something any of us are ever prepared to do in our personal lives. Here at Surratt & Thompson, however, we are prepared. Let us handle the legalities so that you can grieve. For estate planning and probate services in Winston Salem, contact us today. 

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small business online vs brick and mortar

Should I Start my Small Business Online or in a Storefront?

Should you dive into the world of running an online business, or would a more traditional brick and mortar storefront be the better choice for your small business? Below are some of the pros and cons of both options.

Starting a Small Business: Brick & Mortar vs. Online

small business brick and mortar vs online

Brick and Mortar

Pros

  • A storefront in a good location acts as its own marketing campaign, encouraging walk-in traffic.
  • In a disconnected world, people appreciate the value of an in-store experience where they can interact with you, your employees, and your products.
  • Despite the surge in online stores, studies indicate a large percentage of shoppers still prefer to make their purchases in a store.
  • Studies also show that shoppers spend more on average in a brick and mortar store compared to shopping online.

Cons

  • You’ll face much higher upfront costs than you would with an online store.
  • Your store traffic is limited when compared to the reach of an online store.
  • Additional factors and costs such as store upkeep and finding the right employees can be challenging.
small business brick and mortar vs online

Online Store

Pros

  • Reach a much wider audience! Being online allows you to attract customers across the country or across the globe.
  • An online-only store means a much more flexible work schedule. Work from home, or anywhere you can find a good Wifi connection.
  • Your online store is always open, meaning your customers won’t be limited to your hours.
  • Online stores have much lower startup costs than a brick and mortar store.

Cons

  • Running an online store means you’ll have to actively market your business in order to get traffic.
  • If you sell products through an online marketplace such as eBay or Amazon, you’ll face reduced profit margins due to listing and sales fees.
  • People are wary of online scams and may opt for a physical storefront where they can interact face to face with employees.

Surratt & Thompson, PLLC, is ready to help your small business in Winston-Salem get a strong start. Our team has the tools, connections and know-how when it comes to legally backing your business. Contact us today with your questions and concerns about corporate law and we will show you how we can help your business grow!