California DMV Point System and Traffic Tickets.
The consequences of traffic tickets in California and the California DMV point system.
You may take it for granted, but your driver record is as valuable as your credit record. A traffic ticket or two can seriously affect your record and ability to drive a car. The Department of Motor Vehicles uses a point system to rate a driver's record. Most traffic infractions carry one (1) point. These points are assessed after you either plead guilty or are found guilty after a trial in traffic court. Some examples of one-point violations are:
- Failure to stop at a stop sign or a rail crossing
- Unsafe speed or exceeding the maximum speed limit
- Failure to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk
- Traveling solo in a carpool lane
- Running a red light
- Improper U-turn
- Impeding traffic
- Failure to restrain a child
- At fault traffic collision
Other serious violations carry two (2) points. Common two-point violations are:
- Evading police
- Driving on a suspended license
- Hit and run
- Speed in excess of 100 mph
- Reckless driving
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Vehicular manslaughter
These points stay on your driver record anywhere from 3 to 10 years. Most one point violations are reported for 3 years. More serious violations that carry two points are reported for up to 10 years. Infractions that carry one point can be kept off your driver record if you attend and complete traffic school. Infractions that carry two points do not qualify for traffic school. Drivers with a commercial driver's license do not qualify for traffic school even if the traffic violation occurred when operating a non-commercial vehicle.
A driver' license may be suspended if she is found to be a negligent operator. The DMV will suspend your license if you accumulate:
- Four points within a 12 month-period
- Six points in a 24-month period
- Eight points in a 36-month period
In addition to the risk of losing your license, insurance companies check the number of points on your driver's record. The hight number of points that you have, the more you will have to pay for auto insurance.
It is extremely important to consult with a competent traffic attorney when you get a traffic ticket. Call or email me if you have any questions or would like a free consultation.