Florida Driver's License Suspension - Too Many Points
This legal guide will help readers understand the impact of accumulating excessive points on their Florida driving record and the legal processes to remove points / remove points-based suspensions.
What are "points" and why do they exist?The "point system" is a system used by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles ("DHSMV"), which assigns a numerical (point) value to certain (moving) offenses based on their severity. The value assigned to an offense will range from as little as 3 points, all the way up to 6 points. DHSMV uses this system to track driver's conviction and suspend the license of a driver who accumulates too many points within a certain period of time. Unlike other license suspensions (or revocations) that are based upon the accumulation of certain offenses, points-based suspensions are calculated using the "offense date", as opposed to the "conviction date" (when you either paid the citation or were adjudicated guilty by a Judge or Magistrate).
What are the points-based suspensions and how many points are required to trigger them?Your Florida driver's license may be suspended if you have accumulated as little as 12 points (within a 12 month period). During the suspension period, you may be eligible to apply for a hardship license, but not everyone is eligible for the hardship license (CDL holders cannot receive a CDL hardship). If you have accumulated 12 points within a 12 month period, your license will be suspended for a period of thirty (30) days. If you have accumulated 18 points within an 18 month period, your license will be suspended for a period of three months. Finally, if you have accumulated 18 points within a 36 month period, your license will be suspended for ONE YEAR. Remember, points-based suspensions are calculated using the offense date and not the conviction date.
Options for those with Points-Based License Suspensions in FloridaIf your license has been suspended for points, you basically have three options. First, you can "wait out" the suspension period and apply for full license reinstatement once the suspension period has ended. Using this approach will require you to complete an ADI Course (12 hour online), pay reinstatement fees, and you may also be required to carry SR-22 insurance for a period of THREE YEARS. Another option is to apply for early reinstatement (hardship license), which requires payment of several fees and once the suspension period is up, you will still be required to complete the ADI course, pay the reinstatement fees, and likely be required to carry SR22 insurance for a period of THREE YEARS. Your third option, which is often the best option, is to contact an experienced Florida Traffic Lawyer who can help you remove a sufficient number of convictions from your record, which should result in the removal of your points-based suspension.
Removal of Florida Driver's License "Points Suspension" Using a Florida Traffic AttorneyIf your license has been or will be suspended for accumulating an excessive number of points within a 30 day, 18 month, or 36 month period, an experienced (and reputable) Florida traffic attorney may be able to help you remove your points-based suspension (or avoid it before it goes into effect) by filing the appropriate motions with the Court, which, if granted, will result in the removal of conviction(s) from your driving record. If your points-suspension is successfully removed, you will not be required to complete the ADI course (although Judge may order it), you won't be required to pay reinstatement fees, you will not be required to carry SR22 insurance, and your driving record will have less points (and no entry for a points-based suspension) - which can help avoid auto insurance rate increases.