First ever ticket?
Even if it's your first ticket of all time and you've had no accidents, I still advise people not to just pay it because you never know when your next ticket is going to be. Nobody plans to be pulled over when you're just going with the flow of traffic. If you can keep it off your record, or at last amended to a something that will not give you any DMV or Insurance points, you are setting yourself up for a better situation if you were to be pulled over again.

Record is already messy?
It's a no-brainer at this point to at least get an attorney's opinion. All depends on the beloved driving record, especially in North Carolina. The cost of an attorney could be heavily outweighed by the insurance hit over the next 3 years.

Already Suspended?
DO NOT just pay it. This will likely trigger an automatic suspension.
Speeding Ticket infractions (lower speeds, mostly 15 mph or under), are able to be paid and it usually has the amount listed on the bottom of the ticket. The problem is that by paying it, you are pleading guilty to a moving violation which could trigger insurance points, and even a suspension in some situations. All depends on your risk tolerance, although it's a heck of a lot more expensive to try to fix (if even possible), once it's paid.

- Attorney Ryan T. Smith