Florida Driving Offense Points - Aaron Delgado & Associates

Florida Driving Offense Points (Updated: 2023)

by Aaron Delgado
06/01/23 (Updated: 06/01/23)

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post represents the current state of Florida's driving points system and the associated consequences as of June 2023. However, traffic laws and regulations are subject to change, and the point values for various offenses, as well as the penalties for accumulating points, may be updated by the relevant authorities over time.

In the practice of law, we often say that knowledge is power. This sentiment is especially true when it comes to navigating Florida's roadways. As a driver, understanding the rules of the road isn't just beneficial— it's essential. After all, driving is a privilege bestowed upon us by the state, and it's incumbent upon us to uphold the responsibilities that come with it.

One such responsibility is understanding Florida's driving offense points system. This system, administered by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), assigns points to various driving offenses. These offenses range from relatively minor infringements like texting while driving, to more severe violations such as leaving the scene of an accident. Over time, these points accrue, and if they surpass certain thresholds, you risk losing your driving privileges.

In this blog post, we aim to arm you with a comprehensive understanding of this points system. We'll break down the points assigned to common offenses, discuss the implications of accumulating too many points, and shed light on how more serious offenses are handled. As experienced criminal defense attorneys, we understand the complexities of this system and its impact on your driving record and personal life.

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Whether you're a seasoned driver or a novice behind the wheel, this information is invaluable. As we journey through the intricate landscape of Florida's driving offense points system, remember that our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and guidance you need to maintain a clean driving record, and to keep our roads safe for everyone. Stay with us as we navigate these rules, regulations, and their potential consequences together.

Florida Driving Offenses and License Point Values

As we delve deeper into the details of Florida's driving offense points system, it's important to first familiarize ourselves with the specific offenses and their corresponding point values. These points reflect the severity of the offense, with more dangerous or disruptive actions carrying a higher point value.

Below is a breakdown of common offenses and the number of points typically assigned for each:

  • Texting while driving: This offense carries a relatively lower point value of 3 points. It's worth noting that texting while driving is a risky behavior that can lead to more severe consequences if it results in a crash.
  • Texting while driving that results in a crash: If texting while driving causes an accident, the point value doubles to 6 points.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident resulting in property damage of more than $50: This offense is also considered serious and results in 6 points.
  • Crashing into an unattended vehicle, causing damage, and not leaving information: Such an offense also results in 6 points being added to your driving record.
  • Reckless driving: This is a more serious offense, attracting 4 points. Reckless driving usually involves actions that endanger other road users.
  • Failing to stop at a red light: Failing to obey traffic signals is a common offense, earning offenders 4 points.
  • Passing a stopped school bus: This violation is also given a penalty of 4 points, reflecting the potential danger posed to children.
  • Following too closely (tailgating): This offense, often seen as aggressive driving behavior, carries a penalty of 3 points.
  • Open container of alcohol or consumption of alcohol in vehicle: This offense results in 3 points. It's important to note that drinking and driving don't mix.
  • Driving during restricted hours: If you're found driving during hours when your license doesn't permit it, you'll receive 3 points.
  • Speeding 16 MPH or more over the limit: This is a serious offense, attracting 4 points.
  • Speeding 15 MPH or less over the limit: A lesser offense but still significant, this results in 3 points.
  • Speeding that results in a crash: If your speeding leads to an accident, the points double to 6.
  • All other moving violations (including parking on a highway outside the limits of municipalities): These are typically assigned 3 points.
  • Violation of curfew: For those subject to curfew restrictions, violation results in 3 points.
  • Open container as an operator: If you're operating a vehicle with an open container of alcohol, you'll receive 3 points.
  • Child restraint violation: Ensuring children are properly secured in vehicles is essential. Violation of this rule results in 3 points.

Understanding the points associated with each offense is the first step to maintaining a clean driving record.

Consequences of Accumulating Too Many Points

In Florida, the severity of your license suspension hinges on the number of points you accumulate on your driving record. Each traffic violation you commit carries a certain number of points, and these can quickly add up if you're not careful. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) operates on a strict point system:

  • 12 points within 12 months: 30-day license suspension
  • 18 points within 18 months: 3-month license suspension
  • 24 points within 36 months: 1-year license suspension

These suspensions are serious consequences that can severely impact your daily life, limiting your ability to commute to work, run errands, or simply enjoy the freedom of the open road.

Automatic Suspensions for Serious Offenses

It's important to note that certain offenses may result in an automatic suspension of your license, irrespective of the points you've accumulated. These offenses are generally considered more serious and pose significant dangers to public safety. They include failure to pay child support, drug or alcohol-related offenses, failure to pay traffic violation fines, and street racing.

For example, in 2017, 28% of traffic fatalities in Florida were attributed to alcohol-impaired-driving. This staggering statistic underscores the severity of such offenses and the necessity for stringent penalties like automatic license suspensions.

Additional Penalties for Teen Drivers

For teen drivers, the penalties can be even more severe. For instance, if a teen driver accumulates 6 points within 12 months, they could receive a restricted license that can only be used for business purposes. Additionally, if a teen driver has a blood-alcohol level of 0.02% or more, they could face a 6-month suspension. These heightened penalties aim to discourage reckless driving habits from forming at a young age and underscore the importance of responsible driving.

The Lifespan of Points and Driver Improvement Courses

When it comes to the lifespan of points on your driving record, they typically remain for 3 to 5 years. However, more serious infractions could stay on your record for 10 years or longer. This long-lasting impact is another reason why it's crucial to drive safely and responsibly.

For some traffic violations, the state may require you to take a state-approved driver improvement course. These courses are designed to refresh your knowledge of driving laws and promote safer driving habits. In some cases, completing such a course can help offset points added to your driving record. There are different types of driver improvement courses available, depending on the nature of the offense. However, it's important to remember that you can only take traffic school 5 times within your lifetime, and no more than 1 time within 12 months.

These measures, while seemingly harsh, serve a crucial purpose. They are designed to make Florida's roads safer for everyone by discouraging dangerous driving behavior and encouraging responsible, law-abiding conduct behind the wheel.

Daytona Traffic Offense Lawyers

Navigating the complexities of Florida's point system can be a daunting task. From understanding the point values assigned to various infractions, to grasping the long-term implications of accumulating too many points, it's clear that being a driver carries significant responsibilities. More importantly, facing the consequences of traffic violations, license suspensions, or more serious offenses can be overwhelming.

However, you don't have to face these challenges alone. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Aaron Delgado & Associates understand the intricacies of Florida's traffic laws and the point system. We stand ready to provide guidance, represent your interests, and fight for your rights.

Whether you're dealing with a minor traffic violation, a serious offense, or grappling with the consequences of accumulated points on your license, we are committed to offering you the best possible defense. Our aim is to help you navigate the legal system, protect your driving privileges, and get you back on the road.

Don't let a traffic violation or an accumulation of points disrupt your life. Contact Aaron Delgado & Associates today and let our experience work for you. We're here to help, one point at a time.

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