Manassas Driver’s License Restoration Lawyer Explains Demerit Points
If you receive a traffic ticket or are convicted of a crime, such as reckless driving or DUI, in Virginia, demerit points will be added to your driving record. This can affect your right to operate a vehicle and might significantly increase the cost of auto insurance. The experienced Manassas driver’s license restoration lawyers at The Wilson Law Firm can help you fight the charges you face to achieve a more favorable outcome, such as fewer or no demerit points on your driving record.
Overview of the Demerit Point System in Virginia
Understanding the demerit point system is crucial for individuals charged with a driving-related offense in Virginia. Points on your driving record can have long-term consequences in your life.
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employs a demerit point system to monitor and assess the driving behavior of its residents.
Under this system, each traffic violation results in a certain number of demerit points assigned to the offender's driving record.
How long demerit points stay on your record depends on the severity of the offense. Generally, it’s two years from the date of the offense. However, point removal isn’t necessarily related to the same timeline as when the corresponding convictions are released from your record.
Common Demerit Point Violations
Points are divided into three classifications in our state. Here are some common traffic-related violations and the points assessed by the DMV.
Three demerit points could be placed on your record for speeding one to nine mph over the posted speed limit, making an improper turn, or not obeying a traffic signal.
Common traffic violations that result in four points on your driving record include:
- Exceeding the posted speed limit by 10 to 19 mph
- Failing to yield the right of way
- Following behind another motor vehicle too closely
- Not yielding to pedestrians
Six demerit points could be added to your record if you’re convicted of a more serious criminal offense. Reckless driving, DUI, vehicular manslaughter, and driving on a suspended license are a few of the qualifying crimes. Some of these convictions stay on your driving record permanently.
Consequences of Accumulating Too Many Demerit Points
Too many points on your record trigger a cascade of consequences that impact your driving privileges and other aspects of your life.
Insurance Premium Increases
One immediate consequence is that your auto insurance premiums will increase drastically. Insurance providers view a high number of points as an indication of risky behavior on the road.
Amassing too many demerit points within a specific timeframe may result in the suspension of your driving privileges. For instance, if you accumulate 18 demerit points within one year or 24 points within 24 months, the DMV may suspend your license.
Mandatory Driver Improvement Program
In some cases, the DMV may require individuals with excessive demerit points to complete a Driver Improvement Program. Failure to do so within a mandated time frame can lead to additional consequences. But in many cases, your attorneys at The Wilson Law Firm may encourage you to enroll in the program promptly, as you can earn “safe points” awarded by the court, and our legal team will help you file the paperwork to aid this process.