As soon as you hear the sirens or notice the lights in your mirrors, you will probably start thinking about what a ticket might mean. When a police officer issues a citation, you will pay possibly hundreds of dollars to the courts. You will then pay secondary costs in the form of increased insurance rates, as those tickets will go on your driving record.
For two years after a traffic citation, the demerit points issued by the state will affect your driving record and therefore your eligibility for a license and how much you pay for insurance. Many drivers take for granted that the ticket, they can move on with their life. However, multiple tickets can quickly lead to the loss of your license.
How does the demerits system work in Virginia?
Every ticket you pay will add demerit points to your license. When you pay the ticket, the courts treat it like a guilty plea. Demerit points can eventually cost you your license. Once you acquire 12 points within 12 months or 18 points within 24 months, the state will suspend your driver’s license. Different offenses can carry three, four or even six demerit points.
Violations that carry three points include improper passing, speeding 1-9 miles per hour above the limit and failing to obey traffic signs. Tickets that carry four points include unsafe passing, failing to yield and failing to stop at a railroad crossing signal. The six-point violations are reckless driving, impaired driving and vehicular manslaughter, among other serious traffic offenses, like failing to stop after a crash.
You can fight back against the ticket
Although you may feel like the police officer has the final say in a traffic citation, the truth is that many people successfully defend against tickets. You can go to court and potentially have the ticket thrown out, which means you won’t face more points on your record or need to pay a fine.
From challenging the accuracy of a radar or laser gun to explaining why your actions weren’t actually reckless, there may be a good defense strategy available based on the circumstances of your traffic stop.
Fighting a traffic ticket saves you not just the fine but also the licensing and insurance consequences.