Chesapeake Uniform Demerit Point System

When a person commits a traffic infraction in the Chesapeake Virginia, they will have demerit points assessed on their license. These points can lead to restrictions or, in certain cases, a complete loss of driving privileges. As such it is important to understand the number of points you may be facing and consult with a Chesapeake traffic attorney to prevent a conviction, or mitigate the consequences of demerit point accumulation.

How Points Are Assessed

Virginia uses the uniform demerit point system to assess points on the driving records of Virginia drivers. Anyone who is driving in Chesapeake with a Virginia driver’s license is subject to the system automatically. The Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) assigns a set amount of points to each offense with the list conveniently available on their website. The convictions vary as to how long they stay on an individual’s record, depending on the seriousness of the offense, but each one has points that remain for two years.

If someone accumulates too many points in a short period of time—for example, 18 points within a year or 24 points within two years—then this is cause for the DMV to suspend their driver’s license. To gain back positive points on their driver’s license after they get demerit points, they can volunteer to take a driver improvement course once every two years; this results in five positive points back. For every year of no conviction and positive driving behavior, they also get one more point back on their license. Anytime a driver is facing a conviction, they have their insurance notified by the DMV automatically, which can cause insurance premiums to go up typically for about three years.

Every state has its own system, so Virginia does not include points for infractions in any other jurisdiction nor does the uniform demerit point system apply to out-of-state drivers. Instead Virginia will notify the driver’s home state and then that state decides if they’re going to apply those points.

Challenging Demerit Points

Because the points come automatically from a conviction, someone cannot challenge the points themselves, however they can challenge the conviction. This means that if someone appeals their case and gets it dismissed instead of getting a conviction then those points would automatically drop off, but the points are final if they come from a conviction.

Removing Points From a License

There is no hearing for point removal. Everything with the points is automatic. The only way that someone can have them removed at all is by taking a driver improvement course for five positive points or by not having any conviction for a whole year, which would result in one positive point.

Benefit of a Chesapeake Lawyer

If someone has too many demerit points and their license has become suspended, then a lawyer can help them petition the court for a restricted driver’s license. This restricted driver’s license is issued to people who have suspended licenses so that they can still drive to and from work, school, religious services, and doctor’s appointments. Often this is crucial for people as it is not very easy for people to function for an extended period of time without being able to utilize their vehicle.