How Long Do Traffic Tickets Stay on Your Record?
Flashing blue and red lights behind your vehicle are never a good sign. In Texas, a traffic ticket stays on your driver’s record for three years after your conviction. Along with a record of the violation, the points associated with the ticket also remain for three years. In most cases, the driver will pay fines of up to $200 and court costs for a traffic ticket, but that is likely not the end of additional fees or surcharges. Certain violations bring higher fines.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) issues surcharges to drivers based on the traffic offense. This surcharge is determined either by conviction or by points. For moving violations, such as speeding, the latter consist of two points per conviction. However, if the violations resulted in a collision, three points are assessed.
Those drivers with six points or more on their record can expect an annual surcharge. If the driver does not accrue any more points within a 12-month period, one point is dropped from the total.
If a driver is convicted of any of the following charges, there are no points assessed, per se:
- Driving under the influence
- Driving without a license
- Driving with an invalid license
- Driving without insurance
Instead, the person must pay an annual surcharge for three years, dating from the conviction. It is possible to pay this three-year surcharge at one time, if preferable.
Higher insurance rates
When there are traffic tickets on your record, expect to pay more for auto insurance coverage. In Texas, many moving violations will cause insurance rates to rise by 15 percent or more.
Traffic ticket pleas
In traffic court, a driver may enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Pleading guilty or no contest will definitely result in the payment of fines for the ticket, as well as points. The violation appears on your driving record.
Pleading not guilty means the driver must appear in front of the traffic court judge. The driver must provide evidence that they did not commit the motor vehicle offense with which they are charged. A not guilty plea is best made after consultation with a traffic ticket lawyer.
Keep in mind that failure to respond to a traffic violation and missing a court appearance results in the court issuing a traffic ticket warrant. That is something you always want to avoid since it means a law enforcement officer may arrest you at any time. Warrants may appear on background checks and may affect your ability to gain employment or housing, or obtain loans. If a traffic warrant is issued, you should seek legal representation immediately.
Contact a Traffic Ticket Lawyer
Depending on the nature of the violation or the number of points, a traffic ticket can result in loss of driving privileges or considerable surcharges and increased insurance costs. If you or a loved one receive a traffic ticket, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer at Peveto Law Firm. We serve clients in the Dallas, Plano, Allen, McKinney, and surrounding areas. Call us today or contact us online to arrange a free, confidential consultation. We will review your case and advise you of your options.
- Harris County Justice Courts: Information About Traffic Cases http://www.jp.hctx.net/traffic/points.htm
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Your Texas Driving License https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/
- Car Insurance: How much does insurance go up after a speeding ticket? https://www.carinsurance.com/how-much-insurance-goes-up-for-speeding-ticket.aspx