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What are These Traffic Ticket 'Points' About?

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on March 22, 2011 6:48 AM

With gas prices soaring, driving has become more expensive than ever. The last thing anyone needs at this point is a traffic ticket.

The worst part about a speeding ticket (and other moving violations) is that it doesn't come and go--it stays with you for at least a few years.

In fact, with the help of the traffic ticket points system, your infraction or accident can cost you a lot more down the line. Like your license.

Every state employs some variation on the traffic ticket points system to help determine when it’s time to remove a driver from the road. Every infraction is given a certain point value depending on its severity.

For example, in California, a general speeding ticket is worth one point. But, reckless driving, which can be given for severe speeding, is worth two. Some states also give points for accidents and a refusal to take a breathalyzer test.

Though sometimes you have the option of rehabilitating your record with a bit of traffic school, speeding ticket points and the like accumulate and stay on your record for a set number of years. If you hit a certain number of points during a designated time period, your license will be temporarily or permanently revoked.

And if you don’t find yourself without a license, you aren’t considered lucky. Your insurance company has access to these records, which means higher rates for higher points.

The point system can obviously cause a lot of problems, which is why it may be wise to head off the financial pain before it happens. If you’re curious about your record, the DMV or your insurance company should be able to provide you with that information. But once you know you’re on the path towards taking the bus, it’s time to call a traffic ticket lawyer. You may be able to erase some of those points.

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