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How Long Does a Traffic Infraction Stay on Your Record in Virginia?

Receiving a ticket during a traffic stop can be stressful and frustrating. Many people pay for their tickets, assuming contesting it won’t amount to much. They think it’s a waste of time.

However, you have the right to fight a ticket in court. Paying the fine means accepting guilt. The offense could stay on your record for years. You can face various financial and legal problems if you continue accumulating traffic tickets.

Even if you can afford to pay the fine, fighting a traffic violation to keep it off your record is crucial. You should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

Categories of Traffic Offenses in Virginia

In Virginia, the court notifies the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of a traffic violation conviction. Each violation comes with a specific number of demerit points assigned by the DMV.

The three categories of traffic violations include the following:

  • Six-point violations
  • Four-point violations
  • Three-point violations

The DMV designates the period a traffic violation will stay on a person’s record, depending on the category of the offense.

Six-Point Violations

Typically, a six-point traffic violation will stay on your driving record for eleven years. Common six-point offenses include:

  • Manslaughter
  • Driving under the influence
  • Misdemeanor and felony reckless driving
  • Attempting to elude police
  • Habitual offender
  • Driving with a revoked or suspended driver’s license
  • Failing to stop at the scene of an accident

Some six-point traffic violations only stay on a person’s driving record for five or three years. If you’re a commercial motor vehicle driver, your traffic offense conviction will remain on your record permanently.

Four-Point Violations

Depending on the violation, a four-point traffic offense stays on someone’s driving record for three to eleven years. Some offenses remain on a record permanently.

Most offenses remain on a driving record for three or five years, such as:

  • Failing to stop at a railroad crossing signal
  • Aggressive driving
  • Speeding 10 to 14 miles per hour over the posted speed limit
  • Passing to the left of an approaching vehicle
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Following too closely
  • Driving the wrong way on a one-way street or highway

Three-Point Violations

Some three-point traffic offenses stay on a driving record for five years. Most remain for three years. The most common three-point violations include:

  • Improper passing
  • Speeding one to nine miles per hour above the posted speed limit
  • Failing to dim headlights
  • Driving in violation of a restricted license
  • Following/parking within 500 feet of a fire apparatus
  • Use of a handheld communications device
  • Improper U-turn

Safe Driving Points in Virginia

The DMV allows drivers to earn safe driving points. You receive one point every calendar year for holding a valid driver’s license and driving without suspensions or violations. If you complete a driver improvement clinic, you can earn up to five safe driving points.

You receive safe driving points on your record for the previous calendar year in early April. However, the DMV can add demerit points once it gets a copy of a traffic violation.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

After receiving a traffic ticket, you should contact Shannon & Associates, P.C. for legal representation. Instead of paying the fine, discuss your options with us first. We might be able to defend you in court and get your case dismissed.

If you face a traffic-related charge in Hampton Roads, VA, call Shannon & Associates, P.C. at (757) 228-5529 today for a consultation. Let us protect your rights and fight for you.


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