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How does Virginia’s traffic violation point system work?

by | Jun 10, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Most people don’t spend their weekends reading through their state’s traffic violation laws and penalties. It is not a topic of much interest until you start accruing traffic demerit points and need to know your rights and options.

In Virginia, the traffic system is much like that of most states. You have a clean record and everything is fine, but as you get traffic violations on your record, you accrue demerit points.

There are three levels of demerit points

According to the Virginia DMV, there are three levels of demerit points in Virginia: A level for 3 points, a level for 4 points and a level for 6 points.  The 3-point level is for minor infractions like speeding between 1-9 mph, illegal U-turns and evading traffic control devices. The second level (4-point level) is for speeding between 10-19 mph, failing to drive to the right and yield for police or emergency vehicles, driving on the wrong side of the road and other more dangerous violations.

The highest, 6-point level is for the most dangerous driving violations like reckless driving, speeding 20mph or more over the limit, driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter.

Too many demerit points can be costly

The accumulation of points is where it begins to have a serious impact on you. If you receive 12 points or more in a year 18 points or more in two years, the DMV will suspend your license and force you attend the Driving Improvement Clinic to get your driving privileges back.

If you have gotten 18 points or more in a year or 24 points or more in two years, you will face a 90 day suspension, the Driving Improvement Clinic and six-months of probation before you can get your driving privileges back.

All of these penalties are in addition to any fines and other criminal penalties you could receive.

You can fight back against traffic violation charges

The most important thing you should know is that you can fight back against traffic violation charges. Many people simply receive their traffic tickets and figure there is nothing they can do, but you do have rights and options. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you fight these charges and avoid the accumulation of too many demerit points on your record.