Ticket Fines and Penalties in Delaware

DE Traffic Ticket Fines and Costs

Traffic ticket fines vary by violation and court. DE traffic tickets are supposed to have the violations' fines printed on them, but if yours doesn't, you can contact your court.

Our section on replacing lost traffic tickets can help you retrieve misplaced citation information.

Court Costs and Other Surcharges

Like ticket fines, court costs and most surcharges vary by court―and can vary by violation. If this information isn't printed on your ticket, contact your court.

DUI Surcharges

DUI surcharges do not vary by court. If you're convicted of driving with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, or any trace of drugs in your system, you face the following fines:

  • 1st Offense: $500 to $1,500
  • Subsequent Offenses: $750 to $15,000

These fines are in addition to other penalties, such as license revocation and imprisonment.

Electronic Red Light Safety Program Fines

A red light violation costs $137.50, but late fees add to that cost.

  • 30 days late: $147.50
  • 60 days late: $157.50
  • 90 days late: $167.50

Behavioral Modification/Attitudinal Driving Course Costs

These court-ordered driving courses are rare and typically only pop up in response to a serious offense or habitual offender situation.

NOTE: Courts aside, the DMV can order these courses for point accumulation. See below.

Suspension and Revocation Reinstatement Fees

If your driver's license is suspended or revoked for any violation, you must pay the following reinstatement fees:

  • Suspension: $50
  • Revocation: $200

NOTE: These fees are in addition to any other fees related to reinstatement requirements, such as driving course completion. Reinstatement requirements are at the court's discretion.

Pay Ticket
(Choose Voluntary Assessment)

  • Pay the fine.
  • Accumulate driving record points.
  • Use defensive driving course to offset driving record points and get an auto insurance discount.

Learn more about
Paying your Traffic Ticket »

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty)

  • Contest the ticket during a hearing.
  • Hire a traffic ticket lawyer or represent yourself.
  • Participate in the Probation Before Judgment Program (if eligible).
  • Possibly forfeit the opportunity to avoid points.
  • Face no penalties if found not guilty.
  • Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).

Learn more about
Fighting your Traffic Ticket »

Auto Insurance Rate Increase

Unless it's for a red light violation, most auto insurance companies will increase their policyholders' rates for traffic violation convictions. Delaware drivers can combat this increase by:

Delaware Traffic Ticket Penalties

Penalties don't vary as much as do fines and other costs.

DE Driver's License Suspension, Revocation, and Cancellation

Drivers can lose their licenses to suspension or revocation due to a variety of offenses.

License Suspension: During a suspension, you temporarily lose your license. Sometimes, you have to meet certain reinstatement requirements; always you have to pay a reinstatement fee.

License Revocation: During a revocation, you lose your license for a longer amount of time (either predetermined, or until you meet reinstatement requirements). Delaware considers a license revocation and a license cancellation to be the same thing, and revocations are financially costlier and generally require more involved reinstatement procedures than do suspensions.

For more details about license suspensions and revocations, refer to the Delaware Driver Manual. Below are is an extremely abbreviated list of the ways drivers can lose their privileges:

  • DUI-related charges, including those involving drugs.
  • Using a motor vehicle to commit a felony or a serious crime, or contribute to a person's death.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Racing.
  • Turfing (causing damage to grass, yards, and other property).
  • Spinning wheels.
  • Being deemed a habitual offender.

Point Accumulation

Point accumulation also leads to license suspension.

If you accumulate 8 points, the DMV will send you a warning letter; if you accumulate 12 points, you must complete a behavior modification/attitudinal driving course at the court's and DMV's discretion and usually within 90 days of the DMV notifying you.

After that, suspension kicks in:

  • 14 points: Suspension for 4 months.
  • 16 points: Suspension for 6 months.
  • 18 points: Suspension for 8 months.
  • 20 points: Suspension for 10 months.
  • 22 points: Suspension for 12 months.

Learn more about point-related suspensions, and reinstatement requirements, in the Delaware Driver Manual.

Penalties for Delaware Commercial Drivers

Before you deal with any fines or penalties, remember that you must notify your employer within 30 days of receiving a traffic citation―regardless of the type of vehicle you were driving at the time.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) set forth the following regulations.

Major Offenses

If convicted of any of the following offenses, you'll lose your CDL for 1 year:

  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a BAC of 0.04%.
  • Refusing a sobriety test.
  • Leaving an accident scene.
  • Committing a felony with the vehicle.
  • Driving a CMV with a suspended, revoked, or canceled CDL.
  • Causing a fatality through negligent driving.

Serious Offenses

These violations include:

  • Speeding 15 MPH over the limit.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Improper lane changes.
  • Following a vehicle too closely.
  • Driving a CMV without holding a CDL.
  • Driving a CMV without having your CDL in your possession.
  • Driving a CMV without the proper CDL endorsement.
  • Violating a state law of texting while driving.

A 2nd offense of any combination of these violations within 3 years, will lead to the loss of your driving privileges for 60 days. A 3rd offense or subsequent conviction within 3 years means losing your privileges for 120 days.

CDL Disqualifications

The following convictions mean CDL disqualification for anywhere from 180 days to 2 years:

  • Violating a driver or vehicle out-of-service order while transporting nonhazardous materials.
  • Violating a driver or vehicle out-of-service order while transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded, or while driving a vehicle designed to transport 16 passengers or more.

For more information, refer to FMCSA and the State of Delaware Commercial Driver License Manual.

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