A habitual traffic offender (HTO) is a person who has received either three driving while license suspended (DWLS) offenses in a period of five (5) years, these three driving while license suspended can either be all civil citations for driving while license suspended, all three can be criminal or it can be a combination of the two.
It is also important to know that regardless of whether you are adjudicated guilty (convicted) or you are given a withhold of adjudication the prior offense will still count towards the three within the five-year period.
Another way a person can also be an HTO is for having a combination of three convictions for either DWLS or DUI in a period of five years, or three (3) DUI convictions in five years. A person may also become a habitual traffic offender if they have fifteen (15) convictions for moving traffic offense for which points may be set forth, which can be found in Florida Statute 322.27.
Being designated as a habitual traffic offender will lead to your license being suspended by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for a period of five (5) years. Also, being labeled a habitual traffic offender could result in being prosecuted for a felony driving while license suspended.
An important thing to know is that you may be eligible to receive a hardship driver’s license during this five-year revocation period. After one year of the HTO suspension, a driver may seek a hardship license. First and most important is during that one-year period there were no additional traffic offenses such as a DWLS or DUI.
Next, the driver needs to enroll and complete the advanced driver improvement course (ADI), the course is 12 hours long and can be completed online. Then the driver needs to request a hardship hearing with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Bureau of Administrative Review who will review the request for the hardship license. If the request is approved then the driver may go to their local DMV office and pay to have their license reinstated to that hardship license status. This will allow them to drive for certain purposes during the remaining HTO suspension.
Hiring an experienced attorney is important for any traffic related offense, what may seem like a small criminal charge or traffic citation can add up to cause a very long license suspension.
At Meldon Law, we have the knowledge and experience to review your driver’s license history and criminal history to ensure you’re not charged with the wrong offense and possibly attempt to get the charge reduced or dismissed. We also have the knowledge to help you get on the right path to getting your license valid again, your license can be suspended for numerous reasons, we can help walk you through what you can do to get your license back or potentially get a hardship license.
Call us at (800) 373-8000, or write to us using our online contact form, for more information.