How Traffic Citations Can Add a License Point to Your Record

Unfortunately, many Florida drivers don't fully understand the Florida license point system. This complicated system -- and your lack of knowledge about it -- can put your license at risk. That's why you need to stay on top of your point status.

When a Florida License Point is on Your Record

Almost all types of traffic citations can result in points assessed to your driving record. Simple traffic violations like speeding can add anywhere from 3 to 6 points, while more serious charges like leaving the scene of an accident carry a minimum penalty of 6 points.

The Florida license point system is fairly complex when it comes to determining how many points are assessed. For example, if you were only going 5 miles over the limit, the officer may only penalize you 3 points, but speeding 15 MPH over the limit can push the penalty up to 6 points.

Point penalties also increase if a simple violation leads to a more serious violation such as a crash. You may be assessed 3 points for speeding and an additional 3 for rear-ending another vehicle.

Penalties for Accumulating Too Many License Points

The Florida license point system allows drivers to accumulate up to 12 points on their driving record before penalties begin. For 12 points accumulated over a 12-month period, your drivers' license will be suspended for 30 days. Eighteen points over the course of 18 months will result in a 90-day suspension, and 24 points over a 3-year period will suspend your license for a year.

The suspension period begins on the day the last offense occurred that pushed your point total over the limit. You may risk even more penalties (and for this reason, you may wish to consider hiring an experienced attorney to assist).

Removing a Florida License Point from Your Driving Record

There are 3 options to avoid having points on your driving record: petition the judge, take a driving improvement course or let them disappear on their own after 10 years.

Upon receiving a ticket for a traffic violation you should contact a traffic defense attorney. If you're unwilling to pay the ticket and deal with the points yourself, you'll need an attorney on your side to help you at your court hearing. A judge will make the decision whether or not you should have the violation removed, and if they do so, it'll be listed on your record as "adjudication withheld."

Taking a driver improvement course can be done if your driving history permits it. You can go to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website to check your eligibility to use this as a way to avoid points on your record.

In many cases, fighting the points in court is in your best interest because you can avoid a Florida license point addition on your record and protect your car insurance premiums. Arguing against your pending points isn't always an option, depending on the violation you were cited for and the evidence against you, so it's best to contact an attorney first to discuss your options.

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