Traffic offenses are among the most common offenses a person can commit. While many people do not consider them a big deal, there can be serious consequences to getting points on your license. In Florida, the Ft. Lauderdale traffic demerit point system depends on what type of infraction you are charged with which would dictate whether or not you get points and then depending upon the outcome of the case would dictate whether or not you get points.
For example, just because somebody is issued a traffic infraction in Fort Lauderdale, in and of itself does not mean that they will get points. However, if you have received a point on your license, you do not have to accept it at face value. A distinguished and determined traffic lawyer could help you contest the point, and could attempt to mitigate the penalties you face (mainly license suspension). Contact an attorney that can advocate for you.
Use and Impact of Points on a Person’s License
Points in certain circumstances can be used by insurance companies that justify the increase in insurance premiums. Anytime an individual gets points, it does not automatically mean that an individual’s insurance rates will increase, but it certainly would be justified as an insurance company would raise an individual’s rates.
However, the consensus is that if an infraction or offense occurred and the judge or the traffic magistrate saw it serious enough to have points placed on an individual’s record that means one of potentially two things: either the individual has been in the court system before and they had prior tickets to dismissed or, they have had situations where they able to resolve their cases with withholdings of adjudication without conviction so that now it is rising to the level where a judge or magistrate needs to take it more seriously and add points to a person’s record.
If a person is convicted or receives points, they are looked at by an insurance company or whoever is looking at the record as more of a risk or more of a danger or more of a liability in the eyes of the insurance company. Even in a case where a person does not have a significant or any record at all, if the facts and circumstances surrounding a case dictate a judge or a magistrate giving somebody points on an individual’s record, that is a signal to an insurance company that that person is a potential liability or risk.
Duration of Points on License
A lot of people ask how long the points remain on their driver’s license record and the answer depends on the severity of the violation. In most cases, general infraction and points remain on a person’s record between three to five years. More serious infractions could remain on an individual’s record for 10 years or longer.
It depends on who is looking at the record and what type of record is ordered; so in Florida, they can order a lot of different types of driver’s license records or history, people can order a three-year record, a four-year record, a seven-year record or a whole history.
Infractions That Would Lead to Points
An example of an infraction that would lead to a point would be speeding. Speeding is the most common citation or infraction that is issued in Fort Lauderdale and is defined as driving up to 15 miles an hour over the limit.
With a conviction on an individual’s record, this would result in three points being added to the individual’s driver’s license record, anything over 15 miles an hour above the limit is four points, any speeding case involving an accident would result in six points being added to an individual’s driver’s license record.
Offenses That Are Not Speeding
Other offenses like driving with an open alcohol container could result in three points added to someone’s license, child safety restraint violations would lead to a three-point violation; littering, if somebody is convicted or adjudicated guilty of littering is a three-point violation.
However, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage otherwise known as hit and run is six points; reckless driving convictions come with four points, any moving violation that results in an accident where an individual is convicted is a four-point violation, and passing a stopped school bus is a four-point violation.
The Ft. Lauderdale traffic demerit point system can do more than impact someone’s insurance rates. If an individual accumulates a certain amount of points over a certain period of time, it will cause the suspension of an individual’s driver’s license.
Consequences for Points
If an individual receives 12 points within 12 months, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend an individual’s driver’s license for 30 days. If an individual accumulates 18 points over an 18 month period, the Florida Department of Motor Vehicle will issue a three-month suspension of an individual’s driver’s license, and then if an individual accumulates 24 points within 36 months over a three-month period, the suspension will be for one year.
While the Ft. Lauderdale traffic demerit point system can be harsh, a skilled traffic attorney could help by advocating for individuals and also helping them contest traffic infractions. If an individual has received a ticket for an infraction they should speak with a local traffic lawyer that can help.