The Driving Point System in California and How It Affects Your Driving Record

October 9, 2017

Being accused of violating any traffic law can lead to significant consequences however, many people assume that traffic tickets are not as severe as other types of infractions, misdemeanors, or crimes. This leads to tons of people not getting help from an experienced attorney because of this lack of information.

Not taking a traffic citation seriously could be a major mistake if you fail to take no action in protecting yourself against the negative consequences of a traffic ticket violation. Even a seemingly minor traffic ticket violation could prove problematic in terms of the points added to your license, particularly if you already had points assessed to your license for previous infractions.

What Happens to Your Record Over Time with Points

As these points pile up over time especially if you drive more often for work, you could develop demerit points and this could trigger a suspension of your driving record. When the Department of Motor Vehicles receives reports of collisions or traffic convictions, these violation points are added to a driver’s record. The amount of the corresponding penalty points will vary based on the offense severity. In addition to more driving points counting on your record, more serious infractions also carry additional consequences such as jail sentences or fines. Knowing how to protect yourself is extremely important if you receive moving violations or corresponding points on your license.

The DMV will assign demerit points in California for a number of different violations based on the state’s vehicle code. Getting a particular number of speeding ticket points or any other type of infraction will also lead to treatment and penalties under the DMV negligent operator treatment system. Some of the following examples in the corresponding moving point violations include:

  • Disobeying a traffic officer: one point.
  • Exceeding the posted speed limit: one speeding ticket point.
  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol: two DUI points.
  • Operating a vehicle in a reckless manner: two reckless driving points.

Standard vehicle operators are typically assessed with zero to up to two violation points in California. If you are a commercial driver, however, you should be aware that your points may be more than usual. Although many drivers are assessed two points for driving under the influence, commercial drivers get three points for that same violation.

If you get four penalty points over a twelve-month period, six points over the course of 24 months or eight points over the course of 36 months, your driver’s license will be suspended. Certain traffic violation penalties in California are administered when a driver violates state motor vehicle laws. This is in conjunction with the accumulation of these points on your driving license. A DUI offense can lead to any of the following penalties, as an example:

  • Enrolling in a DUI program.
  • A jail sentence of up to six months.
  • Fines between $390 and $1000.
  • An installation of an ignition and interlock device.

Reckless driving penalties are some of the more severe violations assessed throughout California and you may be looking at up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1000, if convicted.

Can I Go Through Driving Safety Courses?

Going through a driving safety course in CA may be one way that you are thinking about reducing license points on your driving transcript. However, this is not currently available to the drivers in California. After a specific period, the California DMV will wipe a driving record. Penalty points that were assessed for minor moving violations, as an example, will stay on your driving record for a maximum of 39 months. However, more severe convictions will be on your record for a longer time. A DUI may be on your California driver record for up to 13 years.

What About Dismissals?

Certain violations cannot be dismissed at all by the completion of a traffic school program and convictions of driving while intoxicated offenses are one such example. Your other option may be to dispute a moving violation charge in California. Drivers are able to plead not guilty and initiate the procedure to contest traffic tickets through numerous methods such as the mail, in-person or over the phone.

It is strongly recommended, however, that you retain a knowledgeable California traffic ticket attorney to assist you in this situation. Prepare to contest a speeding ticket most successfully by engaging the services of an experienced California traffic ticket attorney who can advise you more about the materials you need and how to prepare for court. Call 1-800-CITATION for a free consultation.