Tag: demerit points

How long will demerit points remain on my record

How Long Do Demerit Points Stay on Your Driving Record in Virginia?

As Virginia traffic attorneys, we are often asked by clients and prospective clients how long points resulting from a moving violation such as speeding or reckless driving will remain on their driving record.

How long will demerit points remain on my recordUnfortunately, the answer to that simple question is not always so easy to answer because it depends on the state in which the client or prospective client holds a driver’s license.  Each state has its own set of rules concerning the number of demerit points any given traffic infraction will result in and for the length of time those points will remain that person’s driving record.

In Virginia, for instance, our Department of Motor Vehicles (often referred to as “DMV”) is responsible for maintaining the driving records for individuals who hold a Virginia driver’s license.  When someone is convicted of a moving violation the convicting court sends a notice of conviction and all information concerning the conviction to the DMV.  The DMV then notes the violation on the person’s driving record along with the number of demerit points to be assessed, the date the offense occurred and the date of conviction.

For a person licensed in Virginia the demerit points for any given offense only remains on their driving record for two years.  After two years, the offense may remain on the person’s record for a longer period of time, and in some instances for ten years or more, depending on the infraction (speeding, reckless driving, driving under the influence, etc…) but the demerit points themselves will only remain on the driving record for two years.

Again, however, each state’s laws are different.  While two years is the rule for those who hold a license in Virginia, individuals who hold a license in a different state may want to review their state’s DMV website or contact an attorney who handles traffic matters and who is licensed in their state.

How Virginia Assesses Points on Your Driving Record

Speeding in Virginia? How many points is that?

Upon receiving a speeding ticket in Virginia, most drivers want to know how many points will be placed on their driving record. Virginia’s Uniform Demerit Point System can be a bit confusing. It is important for both in-state and out-of-state drivers to understand Virginia’s Uniform Demerit Point System.

All Virginia-licensed drivers and residents are subject to Virginia’s Uniform Demerit Point System. The Commonwealth’s demerit point system does not apply to out of state drivers. For example, a person, licensed in North Carolina, convicted of reckless driving eighty-eight (88) miles per hour in a sixty-five (65) mile-per-hour zone in Henrico County General District Court would be subject to North Carolina’s demerit point system, not Virginia’s. As a result, it is important for out-of-state drivers to contact their state’s department of motor vehicles to determine the applicable demerit points associated with their specific charge.

All Virginia drivers start with zero points on their driving records. Virginia licensed drivers receive one positive (+1) point for every year of good driving. In-state drivers may receive positive five (+5) points by voluntarily completing a defensive driving school. However, this can only be done once every two years. Five points are the maximum positive points permitted by law in the state. As a result, the best driver point balance in Virginia is +5 points.

There are three categories of negative point violations: three demerit point violations, four demerit point violations, and six demerit point violations. Examples of six demerit point violations are DUI, reckless driving by speed, speeding in excess of eighty miles per hour, speeding in excess of twenty miles per hour, and driving on a suspended license. For instance, a Virginia licensed driver or resident convicted of DUI would receive six negative points on their driving record. If a person is convicted of more than one demerit point violation with the same offense date, then that person is assessed demerit points for the highest demerit point violation. For example, a person convicted of DUI and speeding seventy-nine miles per hour in a seventy mile per hour zone in Chesterfield County General District Court would be assessed six negative demerit points for the DUI conviction. No demerit points would be assessed for the speeding conviction.

VA speeding ticket lawyers points drivers license

Click here for a full list of Virginia traffic violations and their corresponding demerit points. 

There is no limit to the number of negative points a person may accumulate. A person who accumulates negative twelve demerit points in a twelve consecutive month period or negative twenty-four demerit points in an eighteen consecutive month period will be placed on probation. This probationary period lasts for six months. Any person convicted of a demerit point violation during the probationary period will have their license suspended for ninety days (six demerit point violations), sixty days (four demerit point violations), or forty-five days (three demerit point violations). For example, a person convicted of reckless driving by speed, who is on probation, will have their driver’s license suspended for ninety days because reckless driving by speed is a six demerit point violation. However, people suspended while on probation may be eligible to petition the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles for a restricted driver’s license.

A person who successfully makes it through the probationary period with no demerit point violations will, then, be placed on an eighteen month control period. A person who receives a demerit point violation during the control period will be placed back on a six month probationary period. Additionally, a person who violates probation will have their probation extended for an additional six months.

The best advice is to try to avoid being placed on probation. You should take even minor traffic infractions seriously because demerit points tend to sneak up on people. For example, a person with zero points who pays off three speeding tickets they received within the same year may be placed on probation. Experienced traffic attorneys, like the lawyers at The Weiland Firm, PLC, know how to advise their clients to avoid the accumulation of demerit points from reckless driving and speeding tickets in Virginia.

The Weiland Firm, PLC is a leading firm of Virginia Speeding Ticket Lawyers

Call (804) 355-8037 for a free consultation