Read the following statement carefully: driving in Missouri is a privilege. It can be easy to take that privilege for granted and not pay attention to what happens to your driving record when you receive a traffic ticket. So, what does happen to your driving record if you get a traffic ticket? The answer is that it depends on the ticket. Thankfully there are resources out there to help you answer this question. The Missouri Department of Revenue’s Form 899 lists a number of traffic offenses and the points associated with a conviction. Some examples include:
- Speeding more than 5 MPH under state law = 3 points
- Operating a motor vehicle without headlights = 2 points
- Driving While Intoxicated (First Time Offense) = 8 points
It is important to note that some traffic tickets pose additional issues for your license. For example:
- If you refuse a breathalyzer, you could be facing a suspension of your license for a year.
- If you receive a ticket for operating a motor vehicle without insurance you could be facing 4 points, an order of supervision, or a suspension of your license.
WHY DO POINTS MATTER?
If you accumulate a total of 4 points in 12 months, the Department of Revenue will send you a point accumulation advisory letter. If you accumulate a total of 8 or more points in 18 months, the Department of Revenue will suspend your driving privilege. The Department of Revenue will revoke your driving privilege for one year if you accumulate:
- 12 or more points in 12 months
- 18 or more points in 24 months
- 24 or more points in 36 months
CAN POINTS FALL OFF OF MY RECORD?
Every year you drive without getting new points on your record, the points will be reduced on the following schedule:
- 1 year — total remaining points reduced by one-third
- 2 years — remaining points reduced by one-half
- 3 years — points reduced to zero
If you have your license reinstated following a suspension or revocation, 4 points will immediately come off of your record, however, there are some convictions will remain listed permanently on your driving record even though the points associated with them fall off.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET A TRAFFIC TICKET?
You should consult with a criminal defense lawyer immediately. It is easy to plead guilty and pay a small fine for a traffic ticket but that could really put you in a difficult situation a few months later. It might be hard to believe that you could pick up 8 points in an 18 month period through speeding tickets, but it does happen all too often. Protect your driving record and call Chris to help you protect your driving record as soon as you get a ticket.