police-officer-giving-traffic-ticketYou might not think it is a big deal if you receive a traffic ticket in Virginia. However, it is crucial to understand that even minor traffic violations can have long-lasting implications on your driving record. More serious offenses, like reckless driving, can result in a permanent criminal record. However, sometimes these consequences are preventable. An experienced Manassas traffic ticket attorney may help you prevent a traffic citation from going on your record.

Categories of Traffic Violations in Virginia

If you are convicted of a traffic ticket in Virginia, the court will notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of the conviction. The DMV would add demerit points to your driving record. The three categories of traffic violations in our state include the following:

  • Six-point violations. Examples of six-point violations include DUI/DWI, reckless driving, and driving on a suspended license. These violations are misdemeanors that carry significant penalties and can have consequences for your driving and criminal record long after you complete your sentence.
  • Four-point violations. Speeding, aggressive driving, and failing to yield the right of way are four-point violations. Accumulating multiple four-point violations within a short period can result in the suspension of your driving privileges.
  • Three-point violations. These violations include driving between 10-19 mph above the speed limit, improper passing, and disregarding traffic control devices. While less severe than the higher point violations, accumulating too many three-point violations can still negatively impact your driving record.

How Long Demerit Points Remain on a Virginia Driving Record

Demerit points can remain on your driving record for years, which can increase your auto insurance costs and the likelihood of your driver's license being suspended if you accumulate more tickets. Here is how long each classification of traffic violations could remain on your record:

  • Six-point violations. Most six-point violations remain on your driving record for 11 years in Virginia. Some can remain on your record permanently.
  • Four-point violations. These violations typically stay on your driving record for three to 11 years, although some can remain on your record for three or five years.
  • Three-point violations. Three-point violations generally remain on your driving record for three years.

Safety Points on Your Driving Record

Accumulating safety points on your driving record can be beneficial. Under Virginia's safe driving program, you can earn one safe driving point for every year you drive without violations or suspensions. The DMV allows you to accumulate up to five safe driving points. These points can offset demerit points and improve your driving record.