What Happens If I Get a Traffic Ticket in Nevada?
Did you get a traffic ticket in Nevada? Don’t worry, we’ll help you take care of it. This quick guide tells you everything you need to know about traffic tickets in the Silver State and how to deal with them.
The Nevada Demerit Point System
To understand the true consequences of Nevada traffic violations, you need to understand how the demerit system works.Nevada’s demerit point system is used primarily as a way to keep track of how well motorists drive by notating traffic violations.
Here’s a breakdown of what happens after you get a traffic ticket in Nevada:
- You are convicted of a traffic violation.
- The DMV receives the conviction notice from your court.
- The violation is recorded on your driving record.
- You receive demerit points for the violation.
The more severe your offense is, the more demerit points you will be assigned. Some examples of traffic violations and the points that accompany them include:
- Speeding 1-10 MPH over the posted speed limit: 1 point
- Impeding traffic/driving too slowly: 2 points
- Following too closely: 4 points
- Failure to give information or render aid at the scene of an accident: 6 points
- Reckless driving: 8 points
The points that are divvied out help to determine the penalty for a traffic violation. After 12 months have passed from the date of the conviction, the points are removed from your driving record. However, the traffic citation will be on your record permanently.
Losing Your Driving Privileges
In some instances, you may face more severe consequences like a driving license suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Your license will be automatically suspended for 6 months if you accumulate 12 or more points within a 12-month period. If you’re teetering on the edge you can take a Nevada traffic school course to get three points removed.
If you’re convicted of a serious traffic violation, like a DUI in Nevada, demerit points don’t even apply. Your driver license will be automatically revoked or suspended.
Higher Auto Insurance Rates
The DMV isn’t the only one looking at your driving record. Auto insurance companies also check out your driving record to determine how risky you are behind the wheel. The number of demerit points you receive can have a direct effect on the monthly premium you pay and your deductible.
How to Deal With a Traffic Ticket in Nevada
If you’ve gotten a speeding ticket or traffic citation, you can do one of two things: plead “guilty/no contest,” or challenge it by pleading “not guilty.”
We’ve outlined the procedure for each so that you know what to expect before choosing either option.
Notifying the Appropriate Court First
No matter what you choose, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with the court that’s handling your case. It doesn’t matter if you’re pleading guilty, not guilty, or you happened to lose your ticket, you must adhere to the due date on your citation. Failure to do so could result in a warrant for your arrest.
Pleading Guilty and Paying Your Traffic Ticket
In Nevada, you must settle your ticket with the court in the county or municipality where you received the ticket. This means that it might not necessarily be where you live.
By pleading guilty (no contest) and paying the fine you are admitting your guilt and waiving your right to a trial by court. Your traffic ticket will have all the information you need on it if you’re going this route. Depending on where you were cited, you will be able to pay your ticket:
- In person
- Via mail
- Via phone
What Happens After Paying Your Nevada Traffic Ticket
Paying your ticket just squares you away with the local court, but that isn’t the end of the story. Depending on the traffic violation, you will have:
- Demerit points added to your driving record.
- Notice of the traffic violation is added to your driving record.
- Your car insurance rate may go up if you’ve accumulated too many points.
- Your driver license may be suspended.
- You may have the option to take a traffic safety course to remove points from your record.
Whether you’ve had points added to your record or you’ve taken a course to have them removed, you should always keep an eye on your driving record to make sure it’s accurate. Mistakes can happen, and you don’t want to have unnecessary points on your record, especially when it could cause your insurance premium to go up.
Fighting a Nevada Traffic Ticket
If you believe that you were not guilty of the violation you were ticketed for, you’re able to contest your ticket. The steps to follow for this process vary depending on where you were cited, but you’ll likely need to do the following:
- Enter a ‘not guilty’ plea with the court: Typically drivers are required to appear in court to enter a not guilty plea. You may be allowed to submit a plea by mail, but if you are unsure, you should check with your court to verify.
- Think about hiring a traffic ticket attorney: A traffic ticket attorney can offer you the best legal advice when it comes to dealing with your citation and represent you in court. But keep in mind hiring an attorney isn’t a guarantee that your charge will be dropped.
- Prepare for your trial: If you elect to hire a traffic ticket lawyer, he or she can help you build your case. Otherwise, you will need to gather all the evidence you can, including contacting witnesses if there are any.
- Make detailed notes about the incident: Write out exactly what happened, so you have a reference of the events. If your story and the officer’s differ, you might be able to prove you were innocent. In addition, thoroughly examine your ticket to look for any errors or inaccuracies. Use them to discredit the entire citation.
- Present your case in court: You will plead your case in front of a judge, who will determine whether or not you are guilty of the violation. If you are found not guilty, you will not need to pay the ticket fine. If you are found guilty, you will be told what steps need to be taken next.
No matter which course of action you end up taking, be sure you respond to your citation before the date listed on the ticket. If you don’t, you could face even more serious penalties.
Taking Nevada Traffic School to Get Demerit Points Off Your Driving Record (and an Auto Insurance Discount!)
The good news is that demerit points aren’t permanent. But they can cost you money and driving privileges, so keeping points to a minimum is important. In addition to driving safely to avoid traffic violations,you can keep demerit points low by taking a Nevada traffic school course.
After completing an approved traffic school course three demerit points will be removed from your driving record. However, you must meet the eligibility requirements:
- Less than 12 points currently on your driving record.
- Have a valid Nevada drivers license that isn’t suspended.
- The course is approved by the Nevada DMV.
- You haven’t taken traffic school in the last 12 months.
- You have no pending traffic violations.
Nevada only allows drivers to attend traffic school once within a 12-month period to get points taken off their record. But if you get another citation more than a year later you can wipe the slate clean of points by taking a traffic school course again.
Got a Clean Driving Record? Taking a Traffic School Course Still Has Its Benefits!
Not everyone in traffic school has gotten a ticket. In Nevada you can take a traffic school course to earn credits and auto insurance discounts. Completing the course on your own shows that you’re committed to driving safely, which is rewarded.
Get a 3-Point Credit
If you take a traffic school course proactively you can earn a 3-point credit. The credit can be banked so that if you do get a traffic ticket in the future points won’t be added to your driving record.
Auto Insurance Discounts
You could also earn a safe driver discount on your insurance policy by completing traffic school. Every insurance company is different, so check with your provider about earning an auto insurance discount. Many auto insurance companies give customers a 10% discount on their monthly premium if they pass the course.
Want to know more about Nevada traffic school? Ready to find out which traffic school course you need? Learn How Nevada Traffic School Works