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What You Need to Know About California’s DMV Point System

Posted on : September 8, 2016, By:  Donald J Matson
California Traffic Attorney

Like many other states, California has adopted a “point system” that causes a driver to accumulate points against his or her license for certain driving offenses within a specified period of time. When too many points are accumulated, a loss of license may result. Losing your license can make life exceedingly difficult and may cause you to lose your job or home, and your relationships may suffer. Here’s what you need to know about the DMV point system in California.

One Point Offenses

One point offenses may include but are not limited to:

  • Improper turn
  • Violations of child safety restraints
  • Failure to yield
  • Drug and alcohol offenses

Two Point Offenses

Two point offenses may include but are not limited to:

  • Driving recklessly
  • Hit and run
  • Excessive speeding over 100 mph
  • Evading police

How Many Points Until Suspension?

In California, if you are an adult over 18, your license may be suspended if you accumulate:

  • 8 or more points within 3 years
  • 6-8 points within 2 years
  • 4-6 points within 1 year

If you are a driver under the age of 18, your license may be suspended or restricted if you accumulate:

  • 3 points within 1 year (suspension)
  • 2 points within 1 year (restriction)

Automatic Suspension

Some traffic offenses qualify for the automatic suspension of a driver’s license, including but not limited to:

  • Being convicted of a DUI
  • Underage drinking
  • Refusing a chemical test if asked when stopped by a police officer
  • No insurance at the time of an accident

When to Contact an Experienced Attorney

Many people mistakenly believe that it is easier to pay a traffic ticket than it is to fight it. While it may be more expensive in the short term to hire a lawyer and fight a ticket, in the long run, if you accumulate too many points on your license and have your license suspended, the cost will be more. Paying a ticket is the same as admitting that you are guilty and goes on your record.

It is especially important to retain legal help if you already have some points on your license and you are issued a ticket that could potentially cause you to have your license suspended if you plead guilty and pay the ticket.

At the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, we have the expertise and resources to help you avoid accumulating points on your license. Our goal is to help you enjoy your driving privileges whenever possible. Call us today for a consultation at  (626) 792-1900.

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