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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the California Driver Point Counts?

Negligent Driver Point Counts:
Common California Vehicle Code Violations

Violation points are assigned to Vehicle Code sections and any other code section, or city or county ordinance, involving the safe operation of a motor vehicle. Any violation occurring as a pedestrian or a bicyclist has no point assigned. The department may suspend and place on probation, or revoke, the driving privilege of a negligent operator.

Under Vehicle Code § 12810.5a, a Class C negligent operator has

  • 4 or more points in 12 months,
  • 6 in 24 months, or
  • 8 in 36 months.

Although a Class A or B driver without a special certificate may be allowed 2 additional points, a violation received in a commercial vehicle carries 1 1/2 times the point count normally assessed (12810.5b VC). A minor, under 18 years of age, may receive a 30-day restriction for 2 points in 12 months, or be suspended for 3 points in 12 months (12814.6 VC).

What is a “moving violation?”

A moving violation in California is a traffic violation that can result in points being added to your DMV Driving record. Some moving violations include:

  • Speeding
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Running a red light
  • Unsafe lane change
  • Driving without a license
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • Following too closely

These violations are considered “moving” because the vehicle is in motion at the time of the violation.

If I am guilty of a traffic violation, shouldn’t I just pay the ticket and get it over with?

Pleading guilty to a traffic violation can have serious consequences that can impact you for a considerable amount of time. In addition to paying the cost of the ticket, you will also likely have points added to your DMV Driving Record. By accumulating too many points on your DMV driving record will ultimately result in your license suspension. You can contact us to learn how we can help you avoid these negative consequences.

Do police officers have a quota of tickets that they need to get each month?

Ticket quotas refer to a predetermined number of tickets that must be written during a specified period of time. In California, ticket quotas are illegal because they can pressure law enforcement officers to write fictitious tickets to meet their goals. Tickets often partially fund police departments and some supervisors may push officers to increase their productivity despite the law.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor traffic offense and a felony traffic offense?

Felony traffic offenses represent the most serious type of traffic violations. A misdemeanor traffic offense is a step up from an infraction and involves offenses such as speeding, running a stop sign, red light camera and crossing double yellow lines. A felony conviction can result in imprisonment, fines and other serious consequences. A misdemeanor traffic offense is a step up from an infraction, which is not considered a serious offense and involves offenses such as not fixing a vehicle, speeding and an expired license. A misdemeanor is more serious than an infraction and includes offenses such as driving at an excessive speed or reckless driving. These offenses may result in a punishment of jail time, license suspension and probation.

Can police search my car during a traffic stop?

A police officer cannot automatically search your car just because you were stopped during a traffic stop. Typically, police must have probable cause to believe that your vehicle has contraband (like drugs) or evidence of a crime. Police can search your car if they have reason to believe that you may have access to a weapon. They may also search your vehicle while you are detained or if they impound your car.



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