Traffic tickets are issued for a variety of reasons, including parking violations, speeding, running a red light or stop sign, and more. Many people simply pay the fine on their ticket and consider the matter settled. However, paying a ticket is the same as pleading guilty. Is this something you should do?
California DMV Point System
In California, like many states, a system assigns “points” to your driver’s license each time you are ticketed for a traffic offense. In fact, more serious offenses carry more points.
If you receive 4 points in one year, 6 points in two years, or 8 points in 3 years, the State of California considers you a “negligent driver”. At that point, your driver’s license may be suspended for a period of time, typically 6 months.
Points for Offenses
Points don’t accumulate for simple parking offenses. However, traffic offenses are usually one or two points, depending on the offense.
One point offenses include but are not limited to:
- running a red light
- making an improper lane change
- getting into an accident where you are at-fault
Two point offenses include but are not limited to driving under the influence, driving on a suspended or revoked license, reckless driving, or driving over 100 mph.
How an Attorney Can Help
It’s not difficult to accumulate the number of points needed for a license suspension. For example, if you are involved in an accident that was caused by you speeding and running a red light, you would accumulate 3 points against your license. If you are stopped for any one point offense during that same year, your license would be suspended.
A license suspension can seriously impact your life. While you may be able to get a hardship license that allows you to travel only to and from your job, this isn’t always possible. Without a license, you’ll rely on friends, family, and public transportation to go to the grocery store and doctors appointments, or to get your children to and from school.
An attorney can help challenge the traffic stop and ideally would be able to help you get the ticket dismissed. In fact, at the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, we can help you better understand the point system and how it can affect you. Contacting an attorney is especially important if you’ve been ticketed and are already close to the point threshold.
Call now for a consultation at (626) 792-1900.