Prince William County Demerit Point System

The following is taken from an interview with Prince William traffic attorney Matthew Crowley as he discusses the uniform demerit point system and how it can impact someone’s privilege to drive. For more information on the demerit point system or to discuss a case, call and schedule a consultation today.

The uniform demerit point system is a system whereby the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicle have assigned demerit points for each particular offense that a person can commit in Virginia. What determines how many points a particular offense is assigned is the seriousness of the charge. So, for example, running a stop sign is a 4-point offense whereas a DUI is a 6-point offense because it’s considered more serious.

Demerit points stay on person’s DMV record for varying amounts of time depending on the seriousness of the offense. For example, a 3-point offense may only stay on someone’s record for a few years whereas a 6-point offense may stay on their record for up to eleven years.

Impact of Too Many Points

When a person accumulates too many total points or accumulates too many points within a certain amount of time, then the Department of Motor Vehicles can take administrative action against their privilege to operate a motor vehicle. Some of the actions that they take can involve requiring a person to complete a driver improvement class all the way to suspending or revoking their license for a period of time. This can have many far-reaching consequences including not being able to drive your vehicle as well as having an administrative suspension or revocation on your record. These are both things that can affect the person’s insurance rate or cause their insurance policy to be canceled.

When Prince William County courts look at driving records in the context of traffic cases (whether infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies) they do look at points which were accumulated in other jurisdiction. The way that this happens is that most states in the United States are signatories to a mutual reporting compact whereby they report back and forth to one another offenses that happen in a sister state. So, a traffic misdemeanor that is entered in the state of Maryland will show up on a person’s Virginia driving record.

Challenging Demerit Points in Prince William

There is not a way to challenge the point assessments on your license once they have been assessed. The only way to prevent or lessen the number of points which go on a person’s license are to fight the charges brought against them which result in the points being assessed in the first place.

A Prince William County traffic lawyer can help a person to eliminate or reduce the demerit points against the person’s license by effectively defending the case, and having the charge reduced in many cases, which will reduce the number of points, or have the charge dismissed which will make sure that no points go on a person’s license.