Picture this: you find yourself facing DUI charges in Virginia, and questions about the associated points system start swirling in your mind. What impact will these points have on your driving record? How long will they linger? Let us address these key issues related to DUI points in Virginia with guidance from the experienced DUI defense attorney Michael Pignone.
Points Value System in Virginia
In Virginia, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) operates a points system to assess and track the driving records of individuals. The purpose of this system is to identify and address unsafe driving behaviors, ensuring the safety of road users. Points are assigned for various traffic violations, including DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offenses.
Accumulation of DUI Points
Different traffic offenses carry different point values. A DUI conviction in Virginia results in six demerit points being assigned to the individual’s driving record. This is a substantial point value, reflecting the serious nature of DUI offenses.
Notably, relatively serious infractions like speeding, failure to stop when entering a highway, and tailgating carry a higher penalty, resulting in a 4-point traffic violation. On the other hand, less severe offenses such as improper U-turns, failure to obey traffic signals, and turning left in front of a red light constitute a 3-point violation.
You should note that in Virginia if an individual is caught committing two of these offenses simultaneously, the traffic violation with the higher charge prevails.
Duration of Points
Points accrued from traffic violations, including DUI, remain on an individual’s driving record for a specific duration. In Virginia, these points generally stay on the record for two years from the date of the offense.
Consequences of Accumulating Points
Accumulating demerit points can lead to various consequences, including increased insurance premiums, the requirement to attend a driver improvement clinic, and potential license suspension. For instance, reaching a certain threshold of points within a particular timeframe may result in license suspension.
Possibility of Point Reduction
Virginia offers the opportunity for drivers to reduce up to five demerit points from their driving record by completing a state-approved driver improvement clinic. However, this option is available only once every two years.
Impact of Points on Insurance
Insurance companies often use an individual’s driving record, including demerit points, to determine insurance premiums. Higher point totals may lead to increased insurance costs.
Virginia DUI attorney Michael Pignone’s Role in Point Reduction
Virginia DUI attorney Michael Pignone employs a range of strategic defense approaches to effectively contest DUI points, aiming to minimize their impact on his clients’ driving records.
- Challenging Traffic Stop Validity: Attorney Michael Pignone carefully reviews the circumstances of the traffic stop that led to the DUI charge. If there are grounds to challenge the validity of the stop, such as lack of probable cause or improper procedure, he may pursue this as a defense strategy.
- Questioning Field Sobriety Tests: Field sobriety tests are commonly used in DUI cases, but their reliability can be contested. DUI lawyer Michael Pignone may question the accuracy of these tests, highlighting factors such as weather conditions, health issues, or improper administration that could impact the results.
- Disputing Breathalyzer Accuracy: If a breathalyzer test was a key factor in the DUI charge, Michael Pignone may investigate the accuracy of the device. Factors like calibration issues, maintenance records, or improper usage can be examined to cast doubt on the reliability of the breathalyzer results.
- Medical Conditions and Medications: Virginia DUI lawyer Michael Pignone explores the possibility of medical conditions or medications that could have influenced a client’s performance on sobriety tests or breathalyzer results. This information can be presented as a defense to challenge the assertion of intoxication.
- Procedural Violations: Any procedural violations during the arrest and processing of a DUI case can be grounds for defense. Virginia DUI attorney Michael Pignone scrutinizes the entire process, ensuring that law enforcement followed proper procedures and that the defendant’s rights were not violated.
- Inaccuracies in Police Reports: DUI Attorney Michael Pignone carefully examines police reports for inaccuracies or inconsistencies that could be exploited in the defense. Discrepancies in the timeline, observations, or statements made by officers may be used to cast doubt on the reliability of the evidence.
- Focus on Rehabilitation and Positive Changes: Emphasizing rehabilitation efforts and positive lifestyle changes, attorney Michael Pignone may present evidence of the client’s commitment to responsible behavior. This can be a persuasive factor in seeking a reduction in points during legal proceedings.
- Legal Challenges to Point Accumulation: In cases where multiple offenses are involved, Virginia DUI defense lawyer Michael Pignone may strategically challenge the accumulation of points, especially if there are grounds to contest the validity or severity of one of the offenses.
How to Remove Points from My Driver’s License in Virginia?
In Virginia, points can be accumulated on your driver’s license as a result of traffic violations. Fortunately, there are ways to remove or reduce points from your license. Here are some steps you can take:
Driver Improvement Clinic
Virginia offers safe driving points, which can be earned by completing a driver improvement clinic. Attending such a clinic can lead to the addition of safe driving points to your record, potentially offsetting accumulated negative points.
Voluntary Driver Improvement Course
Completing a voluntary driver improvement course, even if not mandated by the court, may result in positive points being added to your driving record. This can demonstrate a commitment to safe driving practices and potentially offset negative points.
Point Reduction for Safe Driving
Simply avoiding additional traffic violations for a specified period can lead to automatic point reductions. Virginia’s point system allows for a reduction of three points for every 12 months of safe driving.
Get Strong Legal Representation for Point Reduction in Virginia
Legal representation from experienced Virginia DUI attorney Michael Pignone can be your best bet to successfully accomplish the process of point reduction. With a formidable reputation of fighting aggressively and winning DUI defense cases for his clients, attorney Michael Pignone and his team at the Law Offices of Michael Pignone can help you find legal avenues to minimize the impact of points on your record. Call (571) 450-9887 to request a consultation today or contact us online for a free case review.