Los Angeles DUI and DMV Points

  • May 26, 2017

    There are many legal consequences drivers can face after receiving a conviction for driving under the influence. The direct repercussions happen in court when the driver is convicted and the punishment is handed down. Other repercussions occur regardless of the actual punishment received. Upon conviction of a DUI, the driver receives two points from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. If a driver has received a certain amount of points on their driver’s license within a specified timeframe, the person’s license may be suspended by the California DMV.

    Reaching a predetermined threshold of points triggers a suspension or complete revocation of the person’s driver’s license due to being a negligent operator. Suspensions from the DMV occur if the person has received four or more points within one year. If a person receives at least six points within two years, a suspension will occur. In a three-year period, a person will find their licenses suspended if they receive eight points or more.

    Drivers may receive points against their driver’s license for a variety of driving offenses. The more common violations include running a red light, illegal lane change, or speeding. Convictions of these violations usually result in the driver receiving one point from the DMV. Unlike DUIs which are considered serious criminal cases and involve prosecution by the state, minor traffic violations usually just involve the defendant and a judge.

    After receiving a citation for the offense, the driver has the option to pay the ticket or request a trial. Most traffic violations are handled by a judge, court commissioner, or attorneys acting as judge pro tems. A judge pro tem decides the outcome of minor offenses, like traffic violations, if the defendant agrees prior to the arraignment. A traffic violation trial does not involve a prosecuting attorney. It only involves the defendant, a judge, and the police officer who issued the citation. In many cases, a driver has the option of attending traffic school instead of receiving points against their license. Traffic school may only be used in lieu of receiving points against the driver’s license once every 18 months.

    A DUI conviction automatically causes the DMV to place two points against the person’s driver’s license. Sometimes the defendant will be allowed to plead to lesser charges. California law allows for two different types of lesser charges instead of a DUI. A wet reckless charge may be allowed if the person’s blood alcohol level was very close to the legal limit. The lesser charge may also be used if the person had no prior record or if the initial reasons for the police officer’s involvement were questionable. An exhibition of speed charge may be levied instead of a DUI if the person’s driving record was clean, the blood alcohol level was within the limit, and there were no other issues, such as endangerment of others, involved.

    Any DUI conviction results in the assessment of points on the defendant’s record which can trigger a suspension of the person’s driver’s license without his or her knowledge. Anytime the DMV suspends or revokes a person’s license the person has the right to contest it. Successfully contesting a suspension could mean the person would be allowed to use a restricted license or serve out a probation term instead of a suspension period. People charged with a DUI should enlist the help of Los Angeles DUI Lawyers immediately.

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