Virginia Demerit Point System Lawyer

Being pulled over for a traffic offense can be an intimidating experience, but having points added to your license can make what already feels like a bad situation, worse. Having too many points on your license can result in increased insurance premiums, and in some cases the suspension of your license. The demerit point system in Virginia traffic cases can seem complicated, which is why you should contact an adept traffic lawyer. A lawyer can help you navigate the demerit point system, and defend you in traffic court. Call a lawyer today.

Uniform Demerit Point System

The uniform demerit point system in Virginia traffic cases assigns a certain number of negative or demerit points to each charge. This is split into three categories, and the possible number of points is either six for the most serious form, four for the relatively serious, or three for lower-level traffic offenses. Upon a conviction, the clerk transfers a copy of the conviction or letter saying that this person has been convicted of this charge to the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) who takes a letter and applies it to the person’s driving record by subtracting the corresponding number of points.

A DUI conviction would subtract six points from a person’s driving record and speeding from 1-9 miles over the speed limit is three points. The points from tickets in other states transfer to the person’s driving record as well.

Consequences of Accumulating Too Many Points

The way that the demerit point system in Virginia traffic cases works is, every time that a person gets a traffic violation, a moving violation, or is convicted, their driving record does take a hit with an equivalent number of points.The Virginia Statute specifically exempts non-moving violations from points.

If a person reaches 12 points in 12 months or 18 points in 24 months, they are placed on a suspension by the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”) and must enroll in a Driving Improvement Clinic in order for the suspension to be lifted. The person has 90 days to complete the class for the suspension to be lifted. If things are more serious than that and the person has accumulated 18 points or more in 12 months or 24 points in 24 months, he will be placed on suspension for 90 days and required to complete the Driving Improvement Clinic. Six months of probation will then be lifted.

The points are within control of the person. For instance, a person convicted of reckless driving which places them at a minus one, could take a driving improvement course the very next day and add five points to their driving record. A serious traffic offense will last up to 11 years. For relatively serious traffic offenses and for traffic offenses of a less serious nature, it could be three or five years.

Does Virginia Allow Drivers to Accumulate Good Points?

The demerit point system in Virginia traffic cases does allow individuals to accumulate good points on their license. The Virginia statute allows drivers to take a Driving Improvement Class which will add up to five points on their driving record. The maximum anybody can get is plus five. Somebody who is at a plus one or a plus two can only add three or four points. A Driving Improvement Clinic, or any other clinic, has to be accredited and approved by the DMV, so caution is advised when picking a class to take.

Impact of Points on Insurance

Someone whose driving behavior or driving record has been accumulating points and suspensions is going to raise a flag with their insurance company, mostly concerning their liability. The insurance company will usually raise the person’s insurance premiums exponentially. A long-term impact would be higher insurance premiums, a possible SR-22 (which is a Certificate of Insurance for high-risk drivers), and the convictions and points on the person’s driving record for up to 11 years, depending on the convictions

Contacting a Lawyer

Contact a lawyer who can explain how the demerit point system in Virginia traffic cases works, and how it can impact your case. Knowing this information is the first step in building your traffic case. Get in touch with a traffic lawyer and know that you are in good hands.

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