What does it mean to “expunge” a traffic ticket? According
to Nolo at
Cornell.edu Law Dictionary, the definition is, “Expunge. To intentionally destroy, obliterate, or strike out records or information
in files, computers, and other depositories.” However, getting a
traffic ticket expunged is mostly about keeping your insurance company
from charging you a higher premium because of a traffic ticket conviction.
If you just paid the fine, it is the same as a conviction and that made
you a higher risk in the eyes of your insurance company.
There are several things to consider when discussing a ticket and keeping
it from the eyes of your insurance adjuster. Let’s look at some
of those before you just pay your fine, take traffic school, and admit guilt.
The Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) administers a program of letters
and notification to warn drivers with convictions and at-fault accidents
about the status of their assessed points. After a conviction or at-fault
accident the DMV assesses points and at certain levels sends a notification
to the driver. If a driver receives four points within a one-year period,
a suspension is a likely result, but it may be avoided if you consult
with a traffic ticket attorney and schedule a DMV Hearing.
Level 1: The system generates a warning notification after two points have accumulated
within a one-year timeframe, four points within a two-year timeframe,
or six points within a three-year timeframe, plus after all convictions
of major infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies will also prompt a warning notice.
Level 2: The system generates a notice of an “Intent to Suspend” after
three points have accumulated within a one-year timeframe, five points
within a two-year timeframe, or seven points within a three-year timeframe.
Level 3: The system generates the suspension notice along with a concurrent probation
after you reach a four-point threshold within a one-year timeframe, six
points within a two-year timeframe, eight points within a three-year timeframe
when no rebuttal request for hearing has been received at DMV within the
10-day timeframe after notification. The six-month suspension and the
12-month probationary period will run simultaneously.
Level 4: The system generates an increased suspension notice and probation timeframe
when traffic convictions occur, or if an FTA occurs during the timeframe
of the DL suspension or period of probation.
To access a full list of CVC violations and the points assessed for each, check
The “Good Drivers” Discount or Proposition 103 & Traffic School
Proposition 103 was passed in CA in 1988 and guarantees a 20 percent discount
from the rate of premium that a driver without a discount in the same
class would pay after all other considerations are calculated. These are
the only two conditions for the discount:
· Continuous 36-month period of licensing without a lapse or suspension
· One NOTS point or less assessed on your Motor Vehicle Record (MVR)
Therefore, if you meet those two conditions
all insurance companies are required by law to give you the discount. If you
lose it due to a ticket, it will likely cost you $400 to $800 dollars
per year more in auto insurance premiums. Additionally, traffic school
is not always an option. Discuss it with your attorney, even if it is
an option it may not be wise to use it. If it is, make sure it is state-approved.
To find a state-approved course close to you check the DMV website at
A non-moving violation is not assessed points and will not affect your
insurance premium. Even when your citation states traffic school is authorized,
it is a waste of your money, time, and could keep you from using it again
for 18 months and what if you get a moving violation before that time elapses?
Violations such as running a stop sign, red light, speeding under 100 mph,
and even tailgating are minor infractions, which are assessed one NOTS
point by the DMV after conviction. Once again, when you get one of these,
your insurance company should not take your good drivers discount, nor
raise your rate. A second ticket for a minor infraction is when you might
want to use traffic school. However, you should always consult with a
local Central Valley traffic ticket attorney, such as Bigger & Harman
before making a final decision.
Major Infractions, Misdemeanors, and Felonies
Traffic tickets such as over 100 MPH, reckless driving (with or without
a DUI), hit and run (which could be a misdemeanor with damage or a felony
with injuries), and are major infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies,
which are assessed two NOTS points by the DMV after conviction and stay
on your MVR for seven to ten years, but can only affect your insurance
premium for seven. However, if you are applying to a new insurance company,
they can choose not to accept the risk even after 7 years.
You can request a copy of your MVR anytime from DMV for $2.00,
here. This is an unofficial copy, to get an official copy, you must register
and submit an
INF 1125, which is also available on the DMV site. If you discover discrepancies
or convictions that should have been removed, you can request to have
them removed by mail or by requesting a DMV Hearing.
The DMV Hearing
You can request a DMV Hearing if you have received a notice of suspension,
but your time is limited. You can email, write, or call the
Safety Branch of the DMV nearest you. It would be advisable to consult with an attorney
before your scheduled hearing.
Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyers
When you have questions about your MVR or notification of suspension, need
legal assistance In Kern, Kings, or Fresno County, or you have an arraignment
in traffic court in Bakersfield, Delano, Tulare, Visalia, Fresno, or any
court in the Central Valley call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300. Or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org and arrange for your FREE phone consultation or office visit.
En español, llame al 661-349-9755.