The Colorado Driving Record - Citations

And then there's everything that falls below that dotted line that says:  


Normally, the first items (or few items, depending on how long you've had your license), are just keeping track of what licenses have been issued.  You can see the record on the left shows in position 001 and 002 that the driver's license was renewed a couple of times.    

Each citation will show on your record as just that - "citation". It will give you: 

The date that the citation was issued (Violation Date)
The date you were convicted of whatever you pleaded to
How many points you were assessed
The Citation Number
Who gave you the ticket
And a description of what you were convicted of.

Again, The first important thing to understand is there is a difference between a driving record and a criminal.   If you’re stopped by a cop for speeding, remember that he gives you a ticket (usually called a summons) to appear in court.  He has accused you of speeding, and this is your chance to argue that you were not speeding in front of a judge.  That’s a criminal proceeding, and anything (and everything) that happens in that criminal proceeding is recorded for posterity.  What you’re charged with, what you please to - whatever. So you show up to court, but you don’t get to talk to the judge right away. Instead, just like any criminal proceeding, you first have a preliminary hearing with the DA (the city or county or district attorney that represents the state, county or city that holds jurisdiction over the area where you were cited.  The DA’s s job is to speak with you and weigh the merits of the case.  This is your first chance to present your case and (hopefully) get the government to drop the ticket.   Of course, you’re going to show up at that hearing and say that you weren’t speeding.  The DA’s main tactic at this point is to say, “Well, I’ll tell you what I can do.  If you will accept a plea of “guilty” to a charge of “defective vehicle”, I’ll drop the charge of speeding.
That charge carries a lower fine and the DMV will assess less points against your license.”  It is important to note that the DA has no real control over how many points get assessed on your license.  The DA is just using that as bait to accept the deal.   The DA doesn’t even have control over your fine - that’s for the judge to decide.  The DA is just an attorney representing the government’s case against you.   You jump at this offer for obvious reasons.  The DA takes the deal to the judge and the case is settled without trial.  It is important to note at this point that you could have refused the deal and the case would have then been scheduled for a trial in front of a judge, magistrate or jury - who would ultimately decide your guilt or innocence.  This, is your criminal record.  Not your DMV record.   All the DMV cares about is what you’ve been convicted of (if anything). After the judge signs off on the deal, the court transmits the information on the traffic (criminal) case to the state Department of Motor Vehicles.  The DMV then lists whatever you were found guilty of on your driving record, and assesses “points” against your license in accordance with a state statute that gives the DMV the power to do so.  Usually, a “defective vehilce” conviction carries less weight than a speeding ticket, so the DMV assesses fewer points.   Here’s the important distinction between the two records: Anybody looking at a driving record has no idea what you were originally charged with.  Charges aren’t listed onyour MVR, only conviction information.  The original charge in court could have been speeding, running a stop sign, reckless driving - it doesn’t matter.  The only thing your driving record will say is “convicted of operating a defective vehicle”. Its not even considered a moving violation in most states, so your insurance won’t even care (another reason for accepting the deal).   So the next time you review your own driving record or that of somebody else - remember that all is not what it seems.  The only way to get to the bottom of what happened is to combine that MVR with a court search to determine what the original charge was.