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The determination of a negligent operator status is by the number of Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS) points assessed within a specific timeframe. CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 12810, Issuance of Licenses, Expiration, and Renewal, gives the DMV authority to track and assess points for at-fault accidents and traffic infractions, misdemeanors, and felony convictions.

CVC 12810 establishes that reckless driving, most convictions involving alcohol or drugs, hit and run accidents, driving without a valid license, speeding 100+ mph, and some other convictions get assigned two points. Most convictions for minor infractions, such as speeding less than 100 mph, failure to stop, and at-fault accidents are one point. Law enforcement officers (LEO) determine at-fault accidents, and the DMV assesses one point upon notification that a driver was more than 0% responsible. Responsibility for an accident can be rebutted through an administrative hearing.

How to Determine a Negligent Operator

Using CVC 12810 as a guide, the DMV tracks a driver’s behavior by placing the appraised points on the individual’s motor vehicle driving record (MVR). CVC 12810.5, Issuance and Renewal of Licenses stipulates that a person whose MVR shows four NOTS points or more within 12 months, six points or more within 24 months, or eight or more points within 36 months is “presumed” a negligent operator.

The reason for the presumed negligent operator status is when a driver receives an order of suspension/probation, they may request a DMV Hearing within ten days. The DMV Hearing is to determine whether there was an incorrect assessment of points, erroneous points added (such as a person with the same name and/or similar driver’s license number), or can result in removal of an invalid conviction. If no hearing is requested or no invalid points discovered, the suspension/probation goes into effect 34 days after the order’s mailing.

Although the DMV Hearing does not require legal representation, it is advisable to seek legal advice before attending and have a traffic lawyer with you for the hearing. Traffic ticket defenders know which convictions can be overturned by the DMV.

Upon receipt of a suspension order, you should request a copy of your MVR to ensure all the data is correct and convictions and assessments are yours. You can do this by registering at DMV.CA.GOV; however, you must be a registered user. Just because you never received a conviction or had an accident doesn’t mean your record is clean, people make mistakes. Register and request an unofficial copy of your MVR, which cost $2.00 (there are many payment methods). If you need an official MVR, fill out an INF 1125 and mail it to the address provided on the form.

Note: Although the DMV assigns the same points to a “provisional” driver, those under 18 years of age, there is a more stringent set of rules for minor drivers. Check The 2018 CA Driver Handbook .pdf pp. 10-15 for more details.

There are four levels within the negligent operator system, with warning and notices sent at each level of accumulated points, as follows:

Level I: Is a warning letter automatically generated when a driver collects two points in 12 months, four points in 24 months, or six points in 36 months, or upon conviction of a major violation.

Level II: Is a “Notice of Intent to Suspend” that automatically generates when a driver accumulates three points in 12 months, five points in 24 months, or seven points in 36 months, or upon conviction of a major violation.

Level III: Is a “Order of Suspension/Probation” automatically generated when a driver compiles four points in 12 months, six points in 24 months, or eight points in 36 months. This order will become effective 34 days after mailing unless rebutted in a DMV Hearing. The suspension is for six months, with a concurrent probation period of 12 months.

Level IV: Is a “Violation of NOTS Probation” automatically generated when a driver receives a ticket for a traffic violation, failure to appear (FTA), or when involved in an accident and purposefully disregards fault. An additional six months suspension and 12 months of probation are added from the date of the incident or violation. Also, a third probation violation will result in an automatic 12-month revocation of driving privileges.

When you receive an Order of Suspension/Probation, you should immediately request a copy of your MVR, a DMV Hearing, and consult with a traffic ticket attorney to possibly avoid being a negligent operator.

Traffic Ticket Defenders For Los Angeles, CA and the rest of California,

Los Angeles, CA, or anyplace else in California, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, if you receive an order of suspension as a negligent operator. Bigger & Harman only practice traffic law and know what it takes to get invalid or erroneous points removed from your MVR during a DMV Hearing. However, the best method to avoid being ruled a negligent operator is to obey traffic laws and when you receive a ticket, hire Bigger & Harman to represent you in fighting the ticket. Even one traffic ticket conviction could mean significantly increased insurance premiums, likely double or triple what you would pay to fight the ticket.

Email, and give them the details. Include a photocopy of your ticket and as much detail as possible. They will reply when the office opens or they return from traffic court.

Bigger & Harman’s Facebook business page contains important traffic updates, lane closures, and information on how to obtain the new Real ID driver’s license, which the DMV started issuing as 22 January 2018. Visit DMV.CA.GOV for more details about the Real ID Driver’s License.

Note:As of 1 January 2018, it is illegal to smoke marijuana or any derivative while driving or as a passenger in any vehicle on CA roadways.

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The 2018 CA Driver Handbook .pdf

The DMV.CA.GOV portal

CVC 12810 & 12810.5, Issuance and Renewal of Licenses

The 2018 California Superior Court Bail Schedule for Infractions and Misdemeanors .pdf
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