It’s always a bummer to be pulled over by the cops for speeding or for reckless driving, and the situation isn’t made any better if the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) subsequently “awards” you with the one thing that most of us dreads secretly: demerit points. This might result in your license being revoked – in California, 4 demerit points in a period of 12 months is enough for you to be labeled as “negligent”, and your license may be suspended if your latest traffic violation is serious enough.
Thus, all drivers have been desperately trying to avoid accumulating these penalty points under their name, even kneeling onto the ground to plead with the traffic police to let them off. However, if you’ve already been given demerit points, then you’ll find the information below useful as it will teach you how you can strike off those points from your name.
1. Apply for driving safety and accident reduction courses
In certain states, it is possible for you to deduct up to 4 penalty points by simply attending classes conducted in traffic schools. These courses are designed to help drivers understand the key concepts of safe driving, such as how to look out for accident precursors and the art of defensive driving. In fact, in some states, the DMV will make it mandatory for you to attend these courses if you have accumulated a certain number of demerit points.
However, you must note that some offenses cannot be struck off, such as demerit points from collisions, driving under influence (DUI) or repeated offenses. In addition, you can only remove demerit points this way every 5 years (18 months in some states).
2. Appeal against your traffic violation
Sometimes, it is possible to appeal successfully against the offense that you are charged with. The authorities sometimes do not have sufficient evidence to indict you, and you the charges on you can be cleared on these grounds. In addition, the authorities might even waive the charges on you if you’re a first time offender, and have a generally good track record on the roads (i.e. has never been in a major traffic violation, and were rarely involved in minor traffic violations).
In addition, you can also base your defense on the fact that the traffic police might have made a human error when recording your traffic offense. As usual, if you’re a first time offender, they will probably let you off based on these grounds. This way, you’ll avoid getting demerit points on your license.
3. Know the rules and regulations for traffic violations
Sometimes, you might be unfairly indicted of a traffic offense. For example, if you were driving less than 10 mph below the speed limit, doing so in a school zone and it’s your first speed-limit offense, you can appeal for this charge to be dropped, thus saving you from being slapped with penalty points in your license. Know how the traffic police issue offenses, and if you think you have spotted an unfair judgment, let the authorities know. This might reduce your demerit points by quite a far bit.
4. Wait it out
If you have been awarded penalty points, it will do you good to drive carefully for the rest of the year. Observe all traffic rules, such as overtaking procedures, staying within the speed limit and keeping to the right if you’re a slow moving vehicle, and your demerit points will be lifted after one year. Usually, DMV will remove 3 demerit points from your records for every year of good behavior on the roads.
5. Prayer of Judgment Continued
As a last resort, you can invoke this act known as the “Prayer of Judgment Continued”. If you plead guilty to your charges, but invoke this act, any punishment that is to be dealt to you will be lifted. However, the success of the Prayer of Judgment Continued will depend on the decision of the judge. Usually, if the district attorney supports this move, the judge will decide favorably as well.
However, your traffic violations will still be recorded under your name. In addition, you can only use it twice every 5 years. If your traffic offense is a major one, the probability of it being approved is minimal. Moreover, if you’re holding a commercial driver’s license, or were driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the offense, you will not be able to invoke this act.
With these tips to remove penalty points in place, you’ll find that your accumulated points will start to reduce. The next step is then clear: make sure you don’t gain back those demerit points again.