What to do When Facing Points or Suspensions on Your License:
Almost every single person that has driven a motor vehicle has been pulled over at some point by a police officer — whether wrongfully or rightfully, it happens, unfortunately. Nevertheless, what most people don’t realize is that for every moving violation you are convicted of, you accumulate points on your driver’s record. And those records are meticulously maintained by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Even more a mystery to those that drive the roads in Indiana is what the point values are and what they mean as they begin to accumulate.
In order to determine how points are assessed, the Indiana legislature created an administrative board called “The Point Study Committee.” Typically, that Committee evaluates points based on the serious nature of the offense — for example, the lowest point value is two (2) points for minor moving violations and the maximum point value is eight (8) points or more for serious infractions and possibly a suspension as well.
Here is a list of common infractions and their respective point values. For a complete list, click here.
|Speeding 1-15 over||2 points|
|Speeding 16-25 over||4 points|
|Speeding 25+ over||6 points or Reckless Driving|
|Disregarding a Traffic Device||4 points|
|Failure to Yield||6 points|
|Failure to Yield to Emergency Car||8 points|
|Improper Passing||4 points|
|Following too closely||6 points|
|Failure to Signal||2 points|
|Disregard Traffic Device||6 points|
|Reckless Driving||6 points (8 with injury)|
|Passing a School Bus||8 points|
|Operating without Valid License||6 + points & Administrative Hearing|
|Driving While Suspended||8 + points & Administrative Hearing|
|Operating While Intoxicated||8 + points & Administrative Hearing|
|Habitual Traffic Violator||8 + points & Administrative Hearing|
|Criminal Recklessness w/ Vehicle||8 + points & Administrative Hearing|
|Criminal Mischief w/ Vehicle||8 + points & Administrative Hearing|
These point values become important the more you accumulate in short period of time, and the Indiana BMV has put a limit of eighteen (18) points within a twenty four (24) month period. What happens if you get eighteen (18) or more points in two (2) years? A hearing is set, and most likely your license is automatically suspended or placed on probation. At that hearing, you or your lawyer can argue against a suspension or a probationary license, but if you fail to appear, the judge will make the determination on their own. The law says that the administrative judge can suspend your license for up to one (1) full year or order your license to be in a probationary status for up to one (1) year as well. The judge can also do a combination of suspension and probation so long as it doesn’t exceed one full year.
At this point many of you are doing quick calculations in your head to see how many points you have earned over the past two years, right? That may not be enough, however. That’s because the BMV has also said that if you get three (3) moving violations within a twelve (12) month period, they can require an administrative hearing before a judge to determine you eligibility to continue driving on the roads. If you have no clue how many points you have, click here, create an account, and you can view a free copy of your driving history. We suggest you do this once a quarter to make sure there aren’t outstanding fees or suspensions you aren’t aware of yet.
Though points only stay on your license for two (2) years, the conviction itself stays on your license for ten (10) years! This often has a larger impact on Commercial Driver’s License holders as employers often are able to see back far into your driving history in order to determine your eligibility for employment. It also affects regular drivers as insurance providers can still see convictions beyond two years and can base your insurable rates on those convictions. The good news is that if your convictions are criminally based, they may be able to be sealed from the record, even your driving record, too.
So what happens if you live out of state and received a ticket in Indiana or vice versa? A few years ago you may have been in the clear. However, with the advancement of technology and the Driver’s License Interstate Compact, states openly communicate with one another about convictions against out-of-state-offenders that happened within their borders. Even if the violation isn’t an exact match in Indiana, the BMV will find a similar offense and assess a point valuation based on the seriousness of the infraction.
Contact Banks & Brower
So what should you do if you are facing a traffic infraction in Indiana? You need to hire a trusted Indianapolis traffic attorney with experienced litigators who understand traffic law in Indiana. Banks & Brower, LLC is a firm with the skills that you need to ensure your rights are protected. As former prosecutors who have dealt with thousands of traffic-related offenses, we have the experience to determine what the best course of action you have moving forward is based on the allegations against you. We can determine if you are deferral eligible, if a lower level infraction is negotiable, if the charges are unwarranted, and/or if a hearing or trial is necessary to fight it outright. Give our Criminal defense attorneys in Indianapolis a call today to discuss your case. The consultation is free, the advice may save you. Call us at (317) 870-0019.