Many people consider traffic tickets and their associated fines just part of life. Some people just pay the fine without a second thought. If a person rarely gets a ticket, this may not be that big of a problem. However, as little as two tickets in three years can become a big problem. Not only do traffic violations have an impact on a person’s automobile insurance, they can also get a driver’s license suspended before the person realizes it is going to happen.
The Texas Transportation Code provides for the “Driver Responsibility Program” in Chapter 708. This is essentially a tax and penalty system that applies to a driver upon a certain number of moving violations within a fixed time period via a “point” system. The State of Texas began keeping track of points for all traffic convictions after September 1, 2003.
Basically, the Driver Responsibility Program creates a “point” system that applies to each traffic violation conviction a person receives. Two points are recorded for a moving violation conviction in Texas or from another state. Three points are recorded if the violation involved an accident. Nonmoving violations, such as driving without a seat belt, having an expired inspection, having an expired registration and equipment violations, do not accrue points. Once a driver reaches six points within a 36-month period, a surcharge (code word for penalty) is applied. This surcharge is $100 for the first six points and $25 for each additional point. This surcharge must be paid to the Texas Department of Public Safety each year for three years. If you do not pay surcharge, the Department of Public Safety automatically suspends your driver’s license.
Certain offenses are treated more seriously. If you receive a single conviction of Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) or No Financial Responsibility (No Insurance), the point system doesn’t apply — you owe a surcharge of $250 per year for three years. Driving with No Valid Operators License (No DL) will also result in a surcharge of $100 per year for three years.
Points only apply to convictions. This is why it is very important to try to get your ticket dismissed or get deferred adjudication. Even though a deferred sentence involves a fee paid to the city in which the violation occurred, the ticket does not result in a conviction. Only convictions are sent to the Department of Public Safety to be entered into the system for points.
Our DWI Attorneys offer a free initial consultation to all clients. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to protect your rights when you have been charged with a DWI. Complete the form below or call us to set up an appointment. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. Se habla Español.
Our attorneys protect the rights of clients across south Texas, including in Dallas – Ft. Worth, Houston, Bedford, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Irving, Weatherford, Harlingen, Brownsville, Mesquite, Plano and McAllen, TX.
Your Rights When Stopped for Suspicion of Drinking and Driving
Your first right is to remain silent. The first question the officer will likely ask you is if you have been drinking. You don’t have to answer that question and you cannot be arrested or have your license suspended for not answering the question.
The police officer may then ask you to take a field sobriety test. You have the right to refuse to take the field sobriety test, though police officers will seldom, if ever, tell you this.
You do not have the right to consult an attorney before taking a field sobriety or blood alcohol test, but can make the request anyway. The law does not prohibit an officer from allowing you to call an attorney before submitting to any test.
If the officer places you under arrest, you must immediately be advised of your Miranda rights, including the right to a lawyer, the right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney present and the right to terminate an interview at any time.