Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Traffic crimes: Points add up quickly

Traffic crimes are normally situations that you wouldn't think of as having a major impact on others; speeding, weaving in and out of traffic in a rush or violating local traffic laws may all seem innocuous, but they can actually get you into deep trouble.

If you are charged with a crime or receive a violation, you will likely need to go to traffic court. Traffic court is a local court that has limited jurisdiction. It only hears cases involving violations of local ordinances, regulations or statutes involving road use and motor vehicles. This is the court that can decide if you will receive points on your license, face fines or other penalties.

What are points?

Every state has a way of tracking those who have committed traffic offenses. Points are the way to do that. For example, if you are caught speeding, you might have two points added to your license. Once you reach a certain number of points, your license can be revoked or suspended.

Points generally disappear after a length of time, but they can add up quickly. For instance, drag racing might equate to four points, and driving drunk might be six. You could get three points for improperly passing and two points for driving over the speed limit. Just doing those four things could result in the loss of your license.

If you face a ticket, remember that you have the right to attend court and defend yourself. It might seem minor, but points add up and affect you in the future. It's your right to protect yourself.

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