How Traffic Tickets Could Suspend Driving Privileges
Driving is a privilege and not a right in Ohio. If you accumulate too many tickets or commit certain traffic offenses, you could lose your driving privileges temporarily or permanently.
Ohio uses a point system that works like a demerits system and could cost you to lose your license. Anyone who accumulates at least 12 points over a two-year period will lose their driving privileges temporarily. Also, your driver’s license could be suspended even if you have no other moving violations for certain offenses, such as driving 30 mph or more over the speed limit.
How Drivers Get Points Against Them
A variety of minor Ohio moving violations will net you at least 2 points. These include running a stop sign, hitting an object on private property and leaving the scene, crossing a yellow line, and some speeding offenses. Other more serious violations will net you 4 points. These include some speeding offenses or operating a vehicle recklessly or without regard for safety. More major offenses are six points. These include street racing, drunken driving offenses, and vehicular assault or homicide. Many of these are also criminal offenses.
How Long Do Points Remain on Your Record?
Fortunately, points don’t remain on your record forever. They disappear after two years. Insurers don’t necessarily wipe your slate clean every two years, however.
What Happens When You Get Too Many Points?
Drivers who continually violate traffic laws and accrue points on a regular basis will lose their driving privileges for six months when points total 12 or more. To have their license reinstated after six months, they’ll have to attend remedial driver training, file an insurance form, pay a reinstatement fee, and retake the entire driver’s license exam. Driving while your license is suspended is a criminal offense that includes a fine and jail time, as well as a longer driver’s license suspension.
Ohio BMV sends out a warning letter listing offenses and the number of points when someone reaches six points. The letter reminds drivers of the penalties if their points reach 12.
Where to Pay Your Traffic Fines
When you are ticketed, you can either plead guilty and pay the fine or contest it by requesting either a mitigation or contested hearing with your local municipal court. In a mitigation hearing, you plead guilty but may have extenuating circumstances that would cause the judge to reduce your fine or allow you to pay it in installments.
If you are contesting, you must enter a plea before the fine is due, generally within 15 days. If you are not contesting and want to pay the fine, you can generally do so online, by mail, by phone, or in person. The back of the ticket will contain information about the amount of the fine and where and how to pay it. Paying a ticket is considered an admission of guilt in Ohio, and BMV will assess points against your license. Your insurance rates might also increase.
Off The Record: Ohio Traffic Tickets
Ohio BMV: Suspensions and Reinstatements
Ohio State Bar Association: Ohio’s Point System for Traffic Violations
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