Urban Legend About Pushing Off Trial Dates

Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.

There is an urban legend out there that if you push off the trial for your ticket for a certain period of time then you will not be affected by the points when you are convicted.

This is not true. This misinformation comes from a number of sources including shady ticket brokers and unclear information on DMV website, specifically footnote 2 on this official DMV webpage

Points accrue by 18 month intervals. Any violation you get within 18 months of another violation is combined. It does not matter if you plead guilty to one ticket a day after you get it and are convicted of another ticket five years later.

Insurance premiums are a different calculation but also are not affected by pushing off tickets. Your insurance can go up for around 3 years (usually 39 months) after a conviction. It does not matter if you plead guilty a day after getting the ticket or you are convicted 5 years later.

The only real benefit in pushing off is that it slightly increases the chances of the officer not appearing. Attorneys push off for this reason and sometimes in the hopes of getting before a more favorable judge at next trial date. There are also other scenarios where pushing off is important such as someone who drives for a living and can’t lose his license today but who knows what will be in a few years.

If in fact you are convicted after 5 years of pushing it off you did not gain anything unless you were on insurance for the five years that you were pushing off the ticket and now are off the insurance. If you are on insurance the whole time nothing was gained, from an insurance perspective. Your rates will go up from the date of conviction for around 3 years. You’re paying higher rates for around three years five years later instead of five years earlier.

Points going onto your record and the points having legal consequences are not the same thing. The legal consequences of points depend on the 18 months before and after the date of the violation. “Points” is a DMV creation. Insurance companies do not care about points. They just look at violations. If something hits your record then your insurance company will hike up your rates for the next 3 years or so. They do not generally care about the date of violation.

The DMV webpage that indicates to the contrary is simply badly written. See footnote 2 on this official DMV webpage: “Once 18 months have passed from the violation date, the points for that violation no longer count toward your total. However, the points remain on your driving record as long as the conviction remains on your record and may be used by your insurance company to increase premiums. “

The points can and do in fact count towards your total after 18 months have passed in such circumstances as when the driver is convicted after 18 months have passed from the violation. This incorrect information has been on the DMV webpage for a long time uncorrected.