Upon conviction of a moving violation in Virginia traffic court, a copy of the conviction and result (called an abstract of the record) is forwarded to the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) by the court. DMV records all state code violations and assesses demerit points to your driving record accordingly. Any other suspensions or court orders are also posted to your record. Demerit points will remain on your driving record for two years from the date the offense occurred. This can be significant because too many demerit points within a designated period can result in a loss of Virginia driving privileges.
Note, upon conviction in other states, the court may determine whether points are assessed to one’s driving record. In other words, in these jurisdictions, an individual can be convicted and penalized, yet persuade the court to waive demerit points. In Virginia that is not the case. If you are convicted of a moving violation in Virginia, with limited exceptions, DMV will assess demerit points to your record. Virginia courts have no authority to impose or waive demerit points.
Traffic violations are assigned three, four or six demerit points, depending on severity. Some examples of traffic violations and the demerit points they carry are:
Three Point Traffic Violations
• Drinking while driving
• Failure to obey a highway sign
• Improper driving
• No Virginia driver’s license
• Speeding 1-9 mph above the posted speed limit
Four Point Traffic Violations
• Aggressive driving
• Failure to yield
• Following too closely
• Passing when unsafe
• Speeding 10-19 mph above posted speed limit
Six Point Traffic Violations
• Driving on suspended license
• Driving while intoxicated or under the influence
• Most forms of reckless driving
• Refusing blood/breath test
• Speeding 20 mph or more above posted speed limit
It is possible to offset demerit points with safe driving points. For every calendar year that you hold a valid Virginia driver’s license and drive without any violations or suspensions, you can earn one safe driving point. You may also complete a certified driver improvement course, once every two years, and have five demerit points subtracted from your point balance.
If you are facing a traffic conviction in the Fairfax – Northern Virginia area, contact Easley Law Firm for FREE consultation at 888-386-3898.