How Long Do Traffic Violations Stay on Your Record in Virginia?
The traffic laws in Virginia are notoriously stringent. Those who violate these laws face severe penalties, and the consequences can last for years. For each traffic violation, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues you with demerit points according to the seriousness of your offense. You will face corrective action after accruing a certain number of points within two years.
Although the DMV removes points from your license after two years, some traffic violations may remain on your record for longer. Understanding the various categories of offenses will help you determine how long a given violation will stay on your record.
Categories of Offenses
The Commonwealth of Virginia categorizes ticket offenses into violations worth six points, four points, and three points. The number of points you receive for a given ticket affects the amount of time it stays on your record.
Six-point offenses are the most severe violations. As such, most of these offenses will stay on your record for 11 years. In some cases, such as with commercial drivers, a six-point violation can remain on your record for the rest of your life.
Examples of six-point offenses include:
- Reckless driving offenses
- DUI convictions
- Manslaughter convictions
- Driving with a suspended license
- Hit-and-run violations involving personal injury or loss of life
- Eluding police
You may also receive a six-point penalty for lesser offenses if a court deems you to have become a “habitual” offender. Alternatively, some six-point offenses may remain on your record for between three and five years.
In most cases, a four-point offense will remain on your record for three to five years. However, some four-point violations may stay on your record for as many as 11 years.
For example, failure to yield when turning left will remain on your record for three years.
Failure to stop before entering the highway will stay on your record for 11 years because it is considered reckless driving.
Four-point offenses will remain permanently on the record of a commercial driver.
A full list of four-point offenses and the number of years they remain on your record is available on the Virginia DMV website.
Most offenses accruing three points will remain on your record for three years.
Commercial drivers can expect two different outcomes. If the police detect alcohol in their blood, the offense will remain on the commercial driver’s record for life. If the driver has been texting while driving, the offense will stay on their record for five years.
A full list of three-point offenses and the number of years they remain on your record is available on the Virginia DMV website.
Contesting a Virginia Driving Ticket
Paying for a ticket is equivalent to admitting fault. Once you have paid a ticket, you cannot prevent your license from accumulating the points.
To beat a ticket, you need to get an experienced Virginia traffic defense lawyer on your side right away. A seasoned attorney can help you reduce the ticket to a lesser offense or overturn the citation entirely.
Contact Shannon & Associates, P.C. to Fight Your Traffic Ticket
If you have received a traffic ticket in Virginia, the skilled attorneys at Shannon & Associates, P.C. will fight to protect your driving record and your liberties. Our lawyers have successfully represented the residents of Chesapeake, Suffolk, and all of southeast Virginia for over twenty years. We are ready to get to work for you too.
Call us today at (757) 228-5529 or contact us online for an appointment with a member of our legal team.