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How Long Will a Traffic Ticket Stay On My Record?

If you drive on public roads, you’re probably well-aware of the threat of a traffic ticket. While these offenses are most often minor and result in nothing more than a fine, it’s the impact to your public driving record that could hurt the worst. Depending on the offense you are cited for as well as the severity, you will be issued points which will remain on your record with the DMV for some time. Insurance companies use these points to assign you a risk level as a driver, and the higher your risk level, the more you’ll pay in insurance premiums.

This fact often brings a common question from most clients who contact us about their traffic ticket issues: how long will points stay on my record? The answer depends on a few factors, but for the most part, people aren’t usually all that happy with what we have to say.

For the vast majority of traffic infractions, the points will typically stay on your record for five years from the date of your conviction. This includes most basic infractions like speeding, failing to yield, improper lane changes, running red lights or stop signs, and most others. Non-moving violations, such as parking tickets, don’t usually carry any points. Also, you can have up to three points removed from your record by taking a Wisconsin traffic safety course one time.

The only exception to the five-year rule pertains to driving while intoxicated, or DWI. While the consequences of these infractions are widely known, what most people don’t recognize is that these convictions will stay on your record for a mind-boggling 55 years! That means you’re likely going to pay elevated insurance premiums for most of the remainder of your life. Really makes you want to think twice before getting behind the wheel after drinking, doesn’t it?

Points Schedules

How much will your insurance go up? Honestly, that’s hard to say, since it depends on your insurance company, how they view certain infractions, and what your conviction actually was. However, Wisconsin sorts violations into a few simple “schedules:”

  • 2 point offenses: Obstructing traffic (driving too slowly), or having a defective speedometer in your car
  • 3 point offenses: Failing to signal, driving without a license, making an illegal turn, tailgating, speeding by 10 miles per hour or less
  • 4 point offenses: Driving on the wrong side of the road, speeding by 10 to 20 miles per hour, failure to yield to emergency vehicles, driving too fast for road conditions
  • 6 point offenses: Leaving the scene of an accident, eluding police, speeding by more than 20 miles per hour, reckless driving, DWI, not stopping at a railroad crossing
Got a ticket? Contact the Law Offices of Christopher J. Cherella and let our Wisconsin traffic ticket attorney at (414) 882-8382 and let us help you fight back!
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