West Virginia Court Records
What are West Virginia Traffic Tickets?
Traffic tickets in West Virginia refer to written communications issued to road users upon violating a traffic law. The West Virginia Traffic Code governs the definitions of traffic violations and penalties in the state. Traffic tickets are filed in the Magistrate and Municipal Courts in the state. When traffic cases are closed in the court, they are referred to the Department of Transportation and the Division of Motor Vehicles. The West Virginia State Police, County and City law enforcement agencies, the Department of Transportation, the Division of Motor Vehicles, and the state’s Magistrate and Municipal Courts jointly enforce traffic laws.
Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites make searching for public documents less complicated, and as they are not limited by geographic location, they are handy when starting a search for specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:
- The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
- The location or assumed location of the record of the person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that the person resides in or where the offense occurred.
Third-party sites are independent of government sources and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party websites may vary.
What Does a Traffic Citation Mean in West Virginia?
A traffic citation in West Virginia and traffic tickets are phrases that are used interchangeably; however, the official term is traffic citation. A traffic citation contains the following information:
- Name of the traffic violator
- Nature of violation
- Citation number
- Order to pay a fine or appear in court as the case may be
- Address of the court listed
- Code of the traffic violation
How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in West Virginia?
Traffic tickets or citations are paid in a decentralized system in West Virginia—this is applicable to those who have opted not to fight the traffic ticket. It means that traffic citations are paid at county or city levels and not centrally. Parties must pay tickets issued by the State Patrol at county and city levels to the magistrate courts listed in the ticket. County and municipal traffic tickets, on the other hand, are paid to municipal courts. Parking tickets may be paid to the city collector’s office designated by the municipal court. While in-person payments are accepted in all courts, not all provide for online payment of traffic citations. For example, Charleston City allows parties to pay traffic court citations online. It is also possible to pay in person at the court location:
501 Virginia Street E
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: (304) 348–8079
Can You Pay West Virginia Traffic Tickets Online?
There is no central online platform for the state. Some counties provide online payments for traffic tickets, while others do not. Check with the Magistrate Court of interest to confirm the availability of online payment options. If the court listed is a Municipal Court, contact the clerk’s office by visiting the county website for the address.
How do I Pay a Ticket Online in West Virginia?
The first thing about the payment of online tickets in West Virginia is that only tickets with no mandatory court appearance are allowed to be paid using this medium. To start, enter the plate number of the vehicle that was issued a parking ticket. Other moving citations will require the citation number and last name of the individual. Charleston’s Charleston’s online system is an example. The page should return a citation page containing the details of the ticket. Verify that the details of the name and violation match the citation that was issued. Click on “pay.” Electronic payments will incur a non-refundable convenience fee charged by third-party providers. After making payments, the status of the ticket will be updated. A notice is sent to the ticketed individual by email.
What is the West Virginia Traffic Ticketing System?
The Division of Motor Vehicles has a driving point system to monitor and correct erring road users in the state. Points for any traffic infraction will remain on the driver’s record for two years after the date of conviction. The offense itself would remain on the record for five years. Parties earn points for all traffic violations committed anywhere using the point schedule below:
- Trying to elude an officer: 8 points
- Speeding in a school zone: 6 points
- Reckless driving or hit-and-run: 6 points each
- Exceeding the speed limit by 20 miles per hour: 6 points
- Texting-while-driving: 3 points
- Failure to yield right of way: 3 points
- Running a red light signal or a stop sign: 3 points each
- Driving on the other side of the road: 3 points
- Littering: 3 points
- Inappropriate lane violation: 3 points
- Refusal to comply with a safety zone: 3 points
- Tailgating: 2 points
- Improper turns: 2 points
- Inappropriate reversal: 2 points
- Having more than three persons seated in the front: 2 points
- All other moving violations not listed in the brochure: 2 points
Suppose a driver is found guilty of multiple offenses. In that case, the same incident will be accessed only by the point connected to the most severe infraction. When points accumulate to 12, the court will suspend driving privileges for 30 days. An accumulation of 14 to 15 points attracts a 45-day suspension, while 16 to 17 points attract 60 days of suspension. A three-month suspension is enforced at 18 to 19 points. When a driver has 20 points or higher, the court will issue a suspension of the license until the accumulated points are reduced to 11. One way to drop points from a driving record in West Virginia is to complete the approved defensive driving course. If a driver has an impending one-month suspension and presents proof of completion of a defensive driving course and reinstatement fee, the suspension will be reversed. The DMV does not accept online defensive driving courses for points reduction. Additionally, parties may take the defensive driving course only once every 12 months.
How Do I Know if I Have a Traffic Ticket in West Virginia?
Most cases of moving traffic violations are issued traffic tickets on the spot. Parking violations may have a ticket attached to the vehicle in a place where the vehicle user can easily see it. Otherwise, the court will send a mail package containing the citation to the vehicle user’s address. The owner may not be the one with the vehicle at the point of citation. In such a case, notify the Division of motor vehicles of identity theft. To check if all traffic citations have been cleared, request a driving record. Driving records are available at any one of the DMV regional offices within the state. Alternatively, go to the DMV website and follow the instructions.
How Can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in West Virginia?
Suppose a ticketed individual lost his or her copy of the ticket, the individual must visit the law enforcement agency’s office nearest to the place where the ticket was issued. It is necessary to provide the details of the vehicle and personal information to help retrieve the data from the records register. Another way to find a misplaced ticket is to visit the traffic division of the court listed in the citation. Note that all moving traffic violation tickets are filed with the court listed on the ticket.
How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Stay on Your Record in West Virginia?
When a traffic ticket is paid, the court closes the case and refers the record to the Division of Motor Vehicles. The Division, in turn, records points against the driving record of the individual. For infractions, driving points remain on a record for at least two years from the date of conviction before they are removed. There are no additional violations. Although the points are removed, the infraction conviction remains on the record for an additional three years. Serious traffic offenses such as reckless driving, drunk driving, and other serious traffic offenses will remain on a driving record permanently.
Is a Summon Worse Than a Ticket in West Virginia?
Not necessarily. The term summons was initially used in West Virginia traffic citations to refer to an order to appear in court to hear the traffic violation case. Although it is no longer used, the summons principle applies to circumstances defined by law as serious traffic offenses. Some minor traffic offenses that attract higher driving points are also included in this category, and attendance at the court hearing is mandatory. Some traffic citations require no appearance, such as parking tickets.