The amount of Indiana demerit points assigned as a result of a traffic violation generally varies based on the severity of the offense. Per the rules of the state driver point system, more serious violations lead to a larger number of IN penalty points, in comparison to minor infractions. Note that, in addition to the administrative traffic ticket penalty issued by the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), drivers are also subject to court-imposed traffic fines. Learn more about the Indiana point system and how to avoid a conviction on your driving record by reading the sections below:
- Moving violations and points in Indiana
- Penalties in Indiana
- How to fix a driving record in Indiana
- Disputing a moving violation charge in Indiana
Moving Violations and Points in Indiana
The state BMV assesses moving violation points in Indiana for a wide variety of offenses. The number of driver violation points you can accumulate varies based on the seriousness of the infraction. For example, the bureau assigns the maximum number of DUI points and reckless driving points to drivers who commit a serious offense, such as driving under the influence or reckless driving, respectively.
Several offenses and their IN demerit point penalties are outlined in the following list:
- Failure to use headlights: 2 points.
- Disregarding stop signs: 4 points.
- Failure to yield to an incoming emergency vehicle: 6 points.
- Speed racing on roads within the state: 8 points.
- Driving with a suspended license: 8 points.
When administering demerit points for speeding-related offenses, the BMV increases the point count by two driving points for each 10 mph over the posted limit. For example, while speeding 1 to 15 mph over the limit results in two speeding ticket points in IN, speeding 16 to 25 mph over the limit leads to four points.
Per the rules of the IN driver point system, drivers who commit a certain type and number of offenses within a 10-year period will be penalized with a severe driving license suspension. For instance, if you accrue DWI points from two major offenses that result in death or injury, your license will be indefinitely suspended. If you commit three major violations that do not result in fatalities, on the other hand, you will be suspended for 10 years.
Penalties in Indiana
The severity of the Indiana traffic violation penalties issued within the state generally varies based on the type and seriousness of the committed offense. Note that, in addition to the traffic ticket penalty administered by the BMV, motorists are also subject to penalties issued by the court that was processing their ticket. For instance, the DUI penalties that courts administer when they report a DUI conviction on your driving transcript may include any combination of the following:
- A large traffic fine.
- A jail sentence and/or a community service sentence.
- An additional license suspension ordered by the court.
- A mandatory participation in an alcohol and/or drug rehabilitation program.
- Installing an ignition interlock device (if applying for a probationary license).
Note: Harsher IN drunk driving penalties are issued to repeat offenders.
How to Fix a Driving Record in Indiana
Drivers can complete a defensive driving course in Indiana and earn a four-point credit, which will be applied to any future convictions of traffic violations. Even if you may be unable to directly reduce license points by completing a driver safety course, you may be able to offset any future point accumulation by earning these four safe driving points.
Instead of utilizing methods to clean your driving record in IN, you may also be able to avoid a traffic violation conviction and the resulting demerit points. For example, certain courts offer eligible drivers the option of participating in their ticket deferral programs. By doing so, you will effectively mask the conviction and the resulting IN infraction points once you meet the program's requirements.
Disputing a Moving Violation Charge in Indiana
Contesting a speeding ticket in Indiana or other types of citations is a procedure that can be initiated with the court that is processing your ticket. Drivers can initiate the procedure to contest traffic tickets by contacting the corresponding court via one of several methods. You can start preparing for the process of disputing a traffic ticket in IN after your court date is scheduled. Prior to appearing at the trial, motorists are encouraged to hire a traffic ticket lawyer in order to increase their chances of winning the case. When presenting your reason to fight a speeding ticket or another type of citation, ensure to submit any evidence that supports your recount of the incident. You will not be subject to any traffic violation penalties if the judge finds you "not guilty" to the offense. Your driver's record will also remain unaffected.