Driving in Florida is a privilege and not a right. To drive lawfully, you must have a valid license, liability insurance, and meet the legal requirements to drive the vehicle you are operating. Failure to meet these requirements could result in a criminal traffic charge, such as driving without a valid license.

Florida also has a driver’s license points system designed to motivate drivers to respect traffic laws. When a driver accumulates enough points over a given period, his or her license will be suspended.

How Do Driver’s License Points Work in Florida?

If you get a traffic citation, it will add points to your Florida driver’s license. Here are some examples of traffic violations and the number of points that each infraction would add to your license:

  • Leaving the scene of an accident causing property damage — 6 points
  • Causing an accident by speeding — 6 points
  • Reckless driving — 4 points
  • Moving violation causing an accident — 4 points
  • Passing a stopped school bus — 4 points
  • Driving 15 mph over the limit — 4 points
  • Ignoring a traffic signal — 4 points
  • Driving with open alcohol container — 3 points
  • Not securing child passenger — 3 points
  • Littering — 3 points

If you accumulate too many points over a certain period of time, your license will be suspended. When you accrue too many points, you may experience:

  • 30-day suspension — This is the penalty for collecting 12 points within a 12-month period.
  • 3-month suspension — This results from accumulating 18 points over an 18-month period.
  • 1-year suspension — This is the punishment for accumulating 24 points in 36 months, including any points that went towards a 12 or 18-point suspension.

Is it Possible to Reduce Points on a Driver’s License?

Obviously, the best way to avoid traffic points is to drive lawfully and safely at all times. But we all make mistakes that could result in a traffic citation. Although fighting a traffic citation may seem like too much effort, depending on your driving record you may need to take action to avoid suspension of your license.

Additionally, when your offense is a criminal traffic violation, you face additional consequences such as possible jail time, house arrest, probation, and fines. By hiring a Sarasota traffic defense lawyer to fight your criminal traffic charge, you may be able to be found not guilty or get your charge dismissed or reduced.

Another way you may be able to reduce your fine and have points removed from your license is by attending the four-hour Basic Driver Improvement course. Florida permits you to attend no more than one course per year, or no more than five within a 10-year period, to reduce your fines or points.

Is it Possible to Reinstate a Suspended License?

After your license is suspended for accumulating too many points, you may either apply for the full reinstatement of your license or for the issuance of a hardship or business purposes only license. The latter will only allow you to drive to and from work or school during restricted hours.

To obtain the full reinstatement of your license, you will first need to attend the Advanced Driver Improvement course and then take an exam. Depending on your driving and criminal history, hiring a Sarasota traffic defense lawyer familiar with the process can increase your chances of getting your driving privileges back.

Contact a Sarasota Traffic Defense Lawyer

Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. has a successful track record of helping Florida drivers to retain their driver’s licenses in the face of criminal charges or traffic infractions. Attorney Erika Valcarcel has detailed knowledge of both the criminal and administrative proceedings necessary to get your driver’s license back.

If you have a suspended or revoked Florida driver’s license, call Erika Valcarcel, Criminal Defense Lawyer, P.A. today at (941) 363-7900 for a free consultation. Let Erika Valcarcel fight for you.