A Brunswick County man is trying to get help after someone got a speeding ticket in Granville County and used his name. Freeman says he's never been to Granville County, and he was in the hospital at the time he supposedly got this ticket. John Freeman says he hasn't had a ticket in 25 years, so he was shocked when his insurance premiums recently skyrocketed because of his driving record. Freeman said, "So when I called my insurance company, they said you have a speeding ticket for 80 in a 65, and that's why I've been paying such big premiums." Freeman is confined to a wheelchair, and was actually in a Chapel Hill hospital getting treatment on the day he was supposedly speeding in Granville County. He called the DMV for answers, and was told to take it up with the Granville County courthouse. Problem is, Granville County lost the file that pertains to this particular speeding ticket. "They're telling me they have no way to check the records to find out who it was, or if it was me or if it's a typing error, or what it could possibly be, and I'm getting nowhere," Freeman said. We called the Granville County district attorney to try to get this resolved. DA Sam Currin says problems like this happen more often than you think. Currin said, "A lot of times what happens is the person that gets the ticket claims that he doesn't have a license on him, and he gives the trooper his name." If the driver gives the trooper a fake name an innocent victim can wind up with a violation on their driving record. The person who owns the license doesn't find out about it until a couple of years later when they hear from DMV that their license has been revoked for an unpaid ticket. In Freeman's case, this mixup has already cost him about $1,000 in increased car insurance premiums. The insurance company has offered to give him a refund, if he can get court records proving that the charges against him have been dropped. But prosecutors say Freeman will have to hire an attorney, or physically drive the 200 miles to Granville County, to file the appropriate paperwork in court. "It's not my fault," Freeman said. "I was not the one who got the ticket." If your insurance premiums spike, make sure you check and see why so you can catch something like this right away. This district attorney says this could be prevented if people were detained until they could provide a photo id proving who they were. But as of right now, there is no such law.
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