Loss of License From Traffic Violations
If you’ve been cited for a traffic offense, you should reconsider paying the fine right away and instead try to negotiate a more positive resolution. You may be able to even obtain a resolution that ultimately gets the citation dismissed. Such an outcome is important for a couple reasons.
First, if you are never convicted – which is what happens when you simply pay the fine – it will not end up on your driving record and, consequently, it will not impact your insurance premiums. As previously discussed in this blog, a simple traffic violation can result in an increase to your insurance premiums over several years. And if you have multiple violations within a three-year window, the insurance company may terminate the insurance coverage.
Second, you are at risk of losing your license depending on how many traffic violations you have had within a 12- and 24-month period. Your license will be revoked if you have 3 or more misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor level of offenses under chapter 169 of the Minnesota Statutes:
- Your license will be revoked for 30 days if you have 3 convictions within a 12-month period;
- 90 days for 4 convictions within 12 months; and
- 1-year for 5 or more convictions within 12 months.
It’s important to understand that the date of offense – not the date of the conviction – is what is counted during the 12-month window. And these are for misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor convictions, which exclude petty misdemeanors.
Multiple petty misdemeanor traffic offenses will result in similar consequences though. Your license will be suspended if you have four or more convictions for traffic offenses under chapters 169 or 171. Before your license is suspended, the state should send you a warning letter, advising that you could lose your license with another traffic violation. Assuming it does so, your license will be suspended under the following scenarios:
- 30 days if you have 4 convictions within a 12-month period;
- 30 days if you have 5 convictions within a 24-month period;
- 90 days if you have 5 convictions within a 12-month period;
- 90 days if you have 6 convictions within a 24-month period;
- 180 days if you have 7 convictions within a 24-month period; and
- 1-year if you have 8 or more convictions within a 24-month period.
Given these potential consequences to your insurance and license, it pays to hire a Minnesota traffic violations attorney to help negotiate a positive resolution that will hopefully mitigate any of these potential consequences.