Driving is a major part of growing up, and young drivers tend to be enthusiastic about their new privileges. In some cases, this enthusiasm transforms into recklessness. However, your child does not have to suffer undue consequences because of strict California traffic laws. If he or she is an otherwise safe driver or just made an understandable mistake, you could have options.

Younger drivers also have rights. Here is a brief description of the consequences of teen traffic tickets and some things you may be able to do to help.

The first thing you should know is that the California courts I have a long memory when it comes to traffic accidents. As explained on the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles website, points could stay on your child’s license for 13 years. That 13-year expiration date is for serious issues, such as hit-and-run convictions. However, your child could have a record well into young adulthood due to a 39-month record for more common offenses, such as speeding.

Your child would not receive points automatically. California traffic tickets only become part of your child’s criminal record once you pay the ticket or take a conviction. However, certain juvenile court cases could add points. If you have any doubt at all about the long-term consequences for your child’s ticket, you may want to investigate the matter or hire someone to do so on your behalf.

Advice from police and other state representatives may be unreliable — these individuals may not have the knowledge or obligation to advise you as to your best course of action for your child’s specific situation. On a similar note, please do not use this article as legal advice. It is only general information.