Texas, like most states, uses a point system to denote when a driver has committed a traffic violation. These points are connected to each driver’s record, where they will remain for the next three years. The accumulation of points has a number of consequences for drivers, including increased insurance rates, so if you were recently cited for violating a traffic law, it is important to speak with an experienced Houston traffic violations attorney about defending yourself against unfair allegations.
Moving vs. Non-Moving Violations
How many points are assigned to a traffic violation depends on a couple of different factors, including whether the citation is for a moving or non-moving violation. Most moving violations will result in two points being added to a motorist’s driving record. This is true regardless of whether the violation occurred in the state of Texas or somewhere else. Moving violations that result in traffic accidents, on the other hand, are punishable by the assessment of three points. The most commonly cited moving violations include:
- Exceeding the speed limit;
- Making an unsafe lane change;
- Running a red light or stop sign;
- Making an illegal U-turn;
- Driving while intoxicated;
- Driving without insurance; and
- Driving without a license.
Fortunately, non-moving violations, like parking infractions don’t result in the accumulation of any points on a person’s driving record. Instead, a driver cited for this kind of violation will only need to pay a fine.
Consequences of Accumulating Points
Points on a driver’s record are tracked and those who hit a certain number within a specific period of time could find themselves facing significant repercussions, including:
- The payment of a surcharge, which starts being calculated when a driver reaches six points and will need to be paid on a yearly basis until he or she drops below that number;
- Driver’s license suspension, which typically applies in cases where a driver is convicted of seven or more moving violations within a two year period;
- Increased auto insurance rates, as insurers generally set much higher rates for driver’s with points on their records; and
- Commercial driver’s licenses, which can be difficult to obtain if a driver has points on his or her record.
It’s also important to note that there is more than one way to have surcharges assessed against you. The first, as we mentioned, is through the point system. The second, however, is conviction based and only applies to specific traffic offenses. Driving while intoxicated, for instance, is a moving violation, but doesn’t come with the assessment of points on a driver’s record. Instead, when that person is convicted, he or she will be required to pay a surcharge of $1,000 a year for the next three years.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Having too many points on your record can have far-reaching consequences, even affecting your employment. For this reason, those who have been accused of committing certain traffic violations should be sure to mount a strong defense. Please call (206) 430-6096 to speak with the experienced Houston traffic violations lawyers at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today.