Violation Points and How to Reduce the Impact of a Traffic Ticket
In Florida, as in many other states, your driver’s license has a point system for traffic offenses. The more offenses you accumulate in a particular period of time, the higher the points and the greater the chances are that you will be suspended.
In some states points are deducted from a set number. However, Florida adds multiple points for each violation. After accumulating these points over a period of time, the authorities will automatically suspend your license, which means that you are not allowed to drive a vehicle for a certain period of time.
What Happens if I Get a Points Assessment?
Although the police will not be watching you individually to ensure that you comply, if you are pulled over for any reason and the officer identifies that you have been driving with a suspended license, the consequences could be severe. You could be looking at time in jail.
The points that are accumulated on your license in Florida are not permanent. The points stay on your license for up to 3 years, but then they are removed. Your driving record will always show the history of the ticket but you do not have to worry about points from many years ago affecting your license now.
Any points that are accumulated in other states can also be added to your Florida driver’s license because of reciprocity rules. Nearly every state in the country has signed the reciprocity compact. This means that each state respects other states’ laws and will make sure that their citizens do the same. If a driver from outside of Florida receives a ticket in Florida, it will likely show on their home license and the same goes for you if you accumulate tickets outside the state of Florida. Suspension of your license has to do with the accumulation of points and the period of time in which you got them. They include:
12 points in 12 months leads to a 30-day license suspension
18 points in 18 months gets you a 3-month suspension
24 points in 3 years gets a you a full year of a suspended license
While there are other ways to get a license suspended, being aware of point accumulation on your license can help you to avoid a license suspension.
You can always check on the Florida’s DMV website to find out how many points you’ve already accumulated. Receiving a ticket does not necessarily mean that you’ll have points on your license.
4 Ways to Reduce the Impact of a Traffic Ticket
- In some states, you can complete a defensive driving course. This is also referred to as the traffic school or driver improvement. The Motor Vehicle Department of the state often approves these. Taking a defensive driving course can reduce or remove points on your driving record, reinstate your driver’s license and, in some cases, dismiss a traffic ticket. The eligibility to take the course is decided by the state’s DMV agency. There are limits to this opportunity as well; you can only go to driving school voluntarily once in a 12-month period, and you can not attend more than 5 times every 10 years. If you try to fight the ticket and the judge orders you to attend driving school, you have not used up your opportunity to choose driving school instead of points. If a judge orders driving school on Monday and you get a second ticket on Tuesday, you can still go to a driving school.
- You can opt to fight your ticket. Consider reaching out to an experienced Traffic Ticket Attorney. A traffic ticket attorney will be able to review your case and determine your defense strategy. Depending on the nature of your ticket, an attorney may help dismiss the charges against you, reduce the fines, keep the points from going on your driving record and also keep the car insurance from shooting up.
- Keep your vehicle registration, license plates, state inspection and your vehicle insurance updated. Letting any of these expire may draw extra attention by the law enforcement authorities; this can also be used against you in court, so keep yourself updated.
- Avoid getting into trouble and receiving more tickets. Some insurance companies often reduce the insurance rates resulting from driving offenses provided you don’t get further tickets. These insurance companies will eliminate the increased rates resulting from your first offense if you continue to maintain a clean record.
The best way is to stay out of trouble. This means obeying the traffic rules and keeping your vehicle in good order. And if you have been ticketed for traffic violations? Our experienced traffic attorneys are well-versed with courtroom tactics and will help you get your ticket dismissed or charges reduced.