Drivers in Virginia are expected to drive safely and in accordance with the applicable traffic laws. When any of these laws are disregarded the driver might face some serious penalties.
Many people think that traffic tickets are no big deal and that they won't have any impacts on their future. The fact here is that many traffic tickets are actually serious and can affect you for a long time to come.
Points on the driver's license
Each time you get a ticket and you pay for a violation that you are found guilty of, points or demerits are added to your license. If you accumulate 18 points in 12 months or 24 points in 24 months, you can face a 90-day driver's license suspension.
There are some violations that will remain on your driver's license for a while. These can have a long-term impact on your driving privileges.
Examples of the number of points
Driving on a suspended license, driving more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit, leaving the scene of an accident and passing a stopped school bus all carry six points. Aggressive driving, failing to yield to an emergency vehicle and driving 10 to 19 miles per hour over the speed limit each carry four points. Disobeying traffic signals, turning left on red, and driving 1 to 9 miles per hour over the speed limit all carry three points.
Length of time convictions remain on your record
Driving while intoxicated or under the influence convictions remain on your driving record for 11 years. All forms of reckless driving remain on your record for 11 years. The only exception to this is if you are driving 20 miles per hour or more over the speed limit, which will remain on your record for five years.
Charges resulting from a fatal accident remain on your record for 11 years, as do convictions related to driving when your license is suspended and those for people considered habitual offenders. All of the previously mentioned record terms are for non-commercial drivers. Many of these convictions for a person who holds a commercial license will remain on their record permanently.
The impacts of a traffic violation can follow you around for a while. If you are facing any of these violations, make sure that you carefully consider the long-term effects before you decide how you are going to handle the ticket. You might find that your best option is to fight it.