Driving is a privilege you probably cannot afford to lose. After all, you likely drive to work, shopping centers, entertainment venues and other places. Unfortunately, violating traffic laws may result in a suspension of your driver’s license.

In Florida, knowingly driving with a suspended license may be a misdemeanor. If you continue to drive without authorization, you may ultimately face felony charges. To increase your odds of staying out of jail, you should understand Florida’s driver’s license point system.

Accruing demerit points 

When you climb behind the wheel of your car, you realize that you must comply with traffic laws. Failure to do so results in the assessment of demerit points. You should understand, though, that points only accrue for moving violations. That is, parking tickets and other similar citations usually fall outside Florida’s point system.

Punishing specific conduct 

Under Florida law, some moving violations are more serious than others. The state’s point system reflects this notion. For example, while speeding often counts as three points, leaving the scene of an accident is worth six. More extreme conduct, such as driving under the influence, may result in an immediate suspension of your driving privileges.

Receiving a license suspension 

Accumulating too many points may result in a suspension of your driver’s license. The length of the suspension, however, depends both on how many points you accrue and when you accrue them:

  • Accumulating 12 points in 12 months results in a 30-day suspension.
  • Accumulating 18 points in 18 months results in a three-month suspension.
  • Accumulating 24 points in 36 months results in a one-year suspension.

Because your driver’s license is essential, you should obey traffic laws every time you drive. Still, life has a way of interfering with good intentions. By understanding Florida’s point system, you can better plan for staying out of legal trouble. If you already have a license suspension, though, you can also estimate when you may be able to drive again.