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How Long Do Traffic Violations Stay On Your Record?

How Long Do Traffic Violations Stay On Your Record?

If you’ve been convicted of a traffic violation, you’re likely wondering how long that ticket is going to follow you around. Traffic violations can feel like ghosts that haunt you wherever you go. Many of them do stay on your record for a lengthy period of time. However, some of them don’t have to hang around forever. And if you’ve just been ticketed but you haven’t paid yet, you still have the option of fighting your ticket and having it removed from your record. How long a citation will stay depends on many things — not the least of which is the state you live in — but here are some of the main factors that can determine how long traffic violations stay on your record.

Type of Violation

Some types of violations stay on your record longer than others. For instance, drug and alcohol-related charges stay on your record a lot longer than rolling through a stop sign will. Typically, the more serious the violation, the longer it stays on your record. High rates of speed, anything considered reckless, and driving under the influence will all linger on your record for several years, at best. If you’re dealing with a criminal citation, like reckless driving or leaving the scene of an accident, you could be looking at seven to 10 years.

Number of Violations

If you only have one speeding ticket in the last decade, it’s probably not going to affect you that much. Sure, it’ll stick around for a year or two, but after that, you can move on. However, if you’re someone who routinely gets ticketed, that can have an impact on how long those violations collectively stay on your record. Sometimes, states will choose to keep violations there longer if they came in a group so that the pattern of behavior is clear to those looking at the record. In some states, even getting one or two tickets a year on a consistent basis is enough for them to keep the records a little longer.

Civil vs Criminal Violations

Civil violations are things like going 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, rolling through a stop sign, or overstaying your parking meter. A criminal citation, on the other hand, would be leaving the scene of an accident, drunk driving, reckless driving, traveling at speeds over 100 miles per hour, and other similar actions. Civil violations tend to fall off your record within a year or two. Criminal violations have much more longevity and can hang around for up to a decade in some cases.

Traffic School

If you’re worried about a citation staying on your record, you might be able to attend traffic school. If you got caught speeding, for instance, and it’s your only ticket in several years, you can probably get rid of it through driving courses like traffic school. At the very least you can lower the number of points you have against your license if your state uses a points system. However, there might be another option if you haven’t yet paid for or pled guilty to your ticket.

Fight the Ticket

A lot of people seem to think that fighting a ticket is silly or trite. However, it doesn’t take long for those tickets to pile up and create a less-than-beautiful driving record. If you’ve been recently ticketed and charged with a traffic violation, it might be worth it to fight the charges. If you win, you can avoid increased insurance rates, the cost of the ticket, the points against your license, and the ding to your record. Finding a reputable and experienced attorney doesn’t have to be hard. We’re here to make the process easier.

At Ticket Void, we’ve worked for years with drivers just like you. We help pair you with a qualified attorney in your area who is vetted and capable of helping you with your specific case. By entering just a few pieces of information about your case, we can find and email you the information of an attorney near you who is best suited to help you with your case. The initial consultation is free, so what do you have to lose? Get started today, and exercise your right to fight.


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