Through the Driver Responsibility Program, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has the authority to assess annual surcharges to individual drivers for certain traffic offenses. Surcharges are in addition to other fees, such as those incurred as a result of suspension, revocation, and cancellation of licenses, even if they arose from the same traffic offense. Failure to pay surcharges will result in the eventual suspension of your driver’s license.
Every time a driver is convicted or pleads guilty to a traffic offense, DPS assesses points to his or her driving record. Most traffic violations result in the assessment of two points, but if the traffic violations result in an accident, DPS assesses three points. The only way to avoid the assessment of points following a traffic violation is to take a defensive driving course, which results in the dismissal of the traffic violation and no points assessed by DPS for the violation.
What is the Driver Responsibility Surcharge Program?
Once drivers accrue six or more points on their driving records, DPS will assess them a surcharge for every year that they continue to have six or more points on their driving records. Drivers receive a $100 annual surcharge for the first six points on their records, and an additional $25 for each point beyond the first six points. Since points remain on a driver’s record for three years, they could face annual surcharges for multiple years in a row.
DPS also assesses points on driving records when drivers are convicted of certain driving-related offenses. These offenses do not result in the assessment of points because of the automatic surcharges that are assessed at the time of conviction. For instance, a first-time conviction for DWI, whether it occurs in Texas or another state, results in an annual $1,000 surcharge for three years following the conviction.
The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges, including charges relating to the smuggling of contraband into jails and prisons. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf in order to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys today.