Traffic tickets are the bane of many a driver’s existence (as this blog routinely points out!). And, unfortunately, they are often the gift that keeps on giving. That’s because the points that come attached to many traffic infractions –including speeding, red lights, and other moving violations — stay on your record longer than you might think. The damage points on your license do is extensive and long-lasting.

When you consider how points can increase your insurance, how they may eventually result in the suspension of your license and can even cause you to lose your job you’ll begin to understand why it’s important to know all there is to know about the point system – including how long they stay on your record. And why we always suggest you fight your traffic tickets.

Technically, points stay on your record FOREVER, but will only affect you for 3 years.

THREE YEARS!

That’s right, the points you get from a variety of traffic infractions follow you around like pesky critters for 36 months, just under half the length of your average marriage.

Like a rude houseguest, they stick around for longer than they are wanted and their behavior gets increasingly worse. By that we mean the longer they are there and the more of them you accumulate, the more damaging they become.

According to insurance.com – which analyzed information from over 32,000 insurance policies – the average increase to insurance from a single ticket with points was 18 percent. Your third ticket with points in a three year period will boost your insurance by 50 percent.

Just to make it clear: that means if you pay an insurance premium of $1,000, points can skyrocket that figure to $1,500.

Insurance rate increases are only part of the problem with points, however, and not the most damaging.

Accumulation of traffic points is one of the easiest ways to get your license suspended. In Florida, the amount of points and the length of your suspension are as follows:

  • 12 points earned within 12 months results in a 30-day suspension
  • 18 points earned within 18 months results in a 3-month suspension
  • 24 points earned within 36 months results in a 12-month suspension

If 12 points in a year seem like a lot to you, it isn’t. Some tickets like speeding that results in a crash and leaving the scene of an accident burden you with 6 points per infraction, meaning that getting only 2 in a year will result in a license suspension.

If you double that in the three year period points stay on your license, you’re looking at a year without your license!

Want to know how many points different traffic infractions give you? Take Just look at this helpful list the State of Florida decided to hide away on their website.

But even a suspended license is not the worst possible outcome of points on your license. Believe it or not, there is a law that allows employers to consider “misconduct” – which can include points on your license as a reason to deny unemployment benefits.

Being laid off may not be bad enough, now your former bosses can deny you unemployment because of the points you got for speeding in a school zone. It sounds nonsensical, but it is true. Check out the law here:

What does it all mean? Florida’s traffic point system is something you want to avoid if at all possible.

And that’s just another reason – may be the best reason – why strongly suggest to “ALWAYS FIGHT YOUR TRAFFIC TICKETS.”

Got the point? Don’t get points!

For more information on traffic ticket points or to fight your ticket call Unger & Kowitt at 866-374-8355.

No u turn sign

We’ve all been there. Not exactly sure where we’re going, looking on both sides of the street for an address, and when we spot it, it’s on the other side of the street and we’re going in the opposite direction away from it.

And, of course, we’re late.

What to do?

You quickly weigh your options, look around and decide to do it.

An Illegal U-turn.

As you sit waiting for the cars to pass so you can turn, you again take a quick look around, and turn the wheel as fast as you can hoping not to get caught.

But, I ask you, do you know if the U-turn you just made was legal or illegal? Do you know how to tell the difference?

In actuality, in Florida, it’s fairly easy to tell. Most U-turns are, in fact, legal.

Here’s what you need to know.

The Florida Statute on U-turns is 316.1515 and it’s very short and easy to read.

Basically, what it says is that you can make a turn in the opposite direction (a U-turn), on any street, as long as it can be made safely and without interfering with the other traffic.

However, there is also one additional thing to consider.

You have to make sure there is no sign saying that you cannot make a U-turn. Sometimes they use fancy language and say things like “U-turn Prohibited” and sometimes it’s a picture of an arrow in the direction of the U-turn you are about to make along with one of those red circles with the line through it, made famous from the movie Ghostbusters.

At any rate, the sign is really the main thing to look out for. No sign, you should be OK, as long as you do it safely and don’t get in anyone’s way. Watch out for pedestrians as well. Sometimes, they are walking along and don’t expect a car to make a U-turn.

The worst thing to happen, is that you get the ticket for making an illegal U-turn. Not only will you be even later to your appointment, but if you don’t fight the ticket and just pay it, you will end up with points on your license.

As a reader of this blog, you know how I feel about just paying a ticket and taking points (hint: always fight your tickets).

If you received a ticket for an illegal U-turn and want to fight it with a traffic attorney whose law firm has fought over 500,000 tickets, feel free to call 866-374-8355.

Officer issueing a speeding ticket to a Florida driver

One of the questions we ask everyone before they hire us is “how’s your driving record?”  More often than not, the response is “perfect.

Having come across very few actual “perfect” records, we have learned to ask follow up questions that usually lead to a person saying something like “Well, I have no points on my license,” or “I haven’t had a speeding ticket in years. Both of which are nice to hear, but unfortunately, doesn’t mean that the person has a “perfect” record. It means most people really don’t understand how the driving record system works.

If I asked you “How long does a speeding ticket stay on your record?” would you know the answer?

Well, don’t worry, my job here on this traffic ticket blog isn’t to try and trick you, it’s to educate you.  So here goes.

Your driving record, is your record FOREVER.  That ticket your received when you were 16 . . .it’s on there.  The speeding ticket you thought no one knew about because you went to traffic school . . . it’s on there.

When we run a person’s record, because they swore they never had a ticket, there is always that weird moment, when I bring up a speeding ticket from their past and the response is “Oh, I didn’t think that was still on there.”

Part of the confusion is that the points that you may have received from paying a ticket or from a judge, will only stay on your record for 3 years, but your record is your record forever.

According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, speeding ticket violations, where a person elected traffic school, has to stay on the record forever, because the state has to keep track of how many times you went to school.

Other speeding ticket results will be on your record for 75 years (which is essentially forever, because even if you got your speeding ticket at 16, that would mean you’d be 91 when it came off the record and who are we kidding, you probably shouldn’t be driving at 91)

Here’s another question.  “How long does a speeding ticket stay on your record if you hire a traffic attorney to fight it and it gets dismissed?”  HA! That’s a trick question.  By fighting a speeding ticket successfully and getting the case dismissed, it will NEVER appear on your record. 

See why I preach to ALWAYS FIGHT YOUR TICKETS.  So if you have a speeding ticket and think it’s no big deal to just pay it and go to school, think again.  Getting that ticket dismissed is the only way to keep it off your driving record.  That’s why, before you do anything, you should go get a free consultation with a traffic attorney.

suspended driver's license image

In a previous post, I explained how points on your license are something you should avoid at all cost. The main reason for that is in Florida, drivers license points will result in insurance increases of up to 50% over your current premiums. In addition to having to pay more money to the insurance company every year the points stay on your license, you also run the risk of having the state suspend your driving privilege.

So even if YOU don’t mind making the insurance company rich, the state minds, and will take action if you accumulate too many points too fast.

In Florida, the amount of points and the length of your suspension are as follows:

  • 12 points earned within 12 months results in a 30-day suspension
  • 18 points earned within 18 months results in a 3-month suspension
  • 24 points earned within 36 months results in a 12-month suspension

Now 12 points in 12 months may not seem possible, believe me, it adds up fast. Just look at this table from the state of Florida’s website and you’ll see, that one violation can be 6 points, so with just two tickets in a year, you can be looking at a suspension if you are not careful.

Speeding Less than 15 mph over the speed limit3 points
More than 15 mph over the speed limit4 points
Speeding resulting in a crash6 points
Moving violation3 points
Moving violation resulting in a crash4 points
Failing to stop at a traffic signal4 points
Passing a stopped school bus4 points
Reckless driving4 points
Leaving the scene of a crash with property damage6 points
Improper lane change3 points
Violation of a traffic control sign/device4 points
Child restraint violation3 points
Littering3 points

You see how it doesn’t take long before you run the risk of a suspension, which is why it’s so important to always fight your tickets and do whatever you can to avoid the points. Do you have a ticket and want to hire an attorney?

If you prefer to hire an attorney to fight your traffic ticket, and there are many reasons to choose that, you contact us today at 866-374-8355.

Whichever way you decide to go, as long as you are doing everything possible to keep those points off your license, you are at least ensuring that you won’t have your license suspended.

blocks with the numbers one two three

The question of “How many points you can have on your license?” before your license gets suspended is one we receive quite a bit. Points on your driver’s license, you should know, are bad. Most people who come into our office seem to have a general understanding of the fact that they don’t want points on their license, which is why our firm offers a “No Points or Your Money Back Guarantee.”

But ask yourself this, “Do you know why points on your license are bad?” or do you just know you don’t want them. Truthfully, knowing you don’t want them and are willing to do anything to avoid them is a great first step, but here are some of the real reasons you don’t want any points on your license.

Points on your driver’s license will lead to the following:

Huge insurance increases

Suspension of your driving privilege

Possible loss of employment benefits and poor credit rating

Believe it or not, having points on your license can increase your insurance by over 50% while those points remain on your license. That’s crazy when you think about it. If your normal insurance premium is $1,000, having points on your license can cause you to pay $1,500 instead.

Now, most insurance companies won’t raise you 50% for having one violation with points on your record, (for your first ticket, the average increase was 18%), but that’s still per year, and points stay on your record for 3 years. This information was provided by analyzing over 32,000 insurance policies.

In addition to paying an enormous increase in your premium, you run the risk of having your license suspended and screwing up your credit rating, which I address in another post.

So the question shouldn’t be “How many points can you have on your license?” as much as it should be “How do I keep points from ever appearing on my license?” and the answer is easy. Always fight your ticket!!