Many, if not most, drivers in California get a traffic ticket at some point during their lives. Some of the most common are for relatively minor moving violations such as speeding or running a stop sign. Drivers who get these tickets typically pay a fine and try to be more careful in the future. They may never think about how a moving violation can add points to their records.
Drivers who get more than one moving violation ticket in a year soon learn that the point system is very important. A driver who exceeds more than a certain number of points in a given time period can lose their driving privileges.
Points per violation
Moving violations include both relatively minor offenses and more serious charges. Less serious charges such as running a stop sign are considered infractions. A more serious offense, like driving without a license, is treated as a misdemeanor.
Generally, a driver gets one point for each violation. If a driver gets more than two points within 12 months, they will get a warning letter from the DMV. If they get a third point within 12 months, the DMV sends them Notice of Intent to Suspend. This letter lets them know that they could have their license suspended.
A driver who accrues four or more points during a 12 month period can have their license suspended quickly and may even face probation.
After getting a Notice of Intent to Suspend, drivers have two weeks to request a hearing at which they can try to defend their driving privileges. A hearing is not as formal as a trial, but it is a serious legal procedure, and it is important for drivers to seek out help from a skilled attorney who can defend their rights and protect their interests.