Florida habitual traffic offenders face having their driver’s license revoked for up to five years and paying significant fines as well as time in Jail. These are significant penalties which can greatly affect someone’s financial situation as driving to work will simply not be an option.
If you have been arrested for being a habitual traffic offender (HTO), contact an experienced West Palm Beach habitual traffic offender lawyer to discuss the charges against you. A capable traffic attorney can determine what legal defenses may be available to you, and get the information you need to make an informed decision about what is best for you.
What Does It Mean To Be a Florida Habitual Traffic Offender?
According to Florida Statute Sec. 322.264, a habitual traffic offender is defined as someone who is found guilty of three serious traffic offenses within a five year period or when 45 points have accumulated on their driving records within five years, including:
- Being convicted of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from operating a motor vehicle
- Driving while under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs
- Having a felony conviction in which a vehicle was used
- Driving a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license
- Failing to render aid after a motor vehicle crash which resulted in personal injury or death
- Having 15 convictions for moving traffic violations (45 points within 60 months)
- Driving a commercial vehicle with disqualified driving privileges
- Driving while designated a Florida habitual traffic offender
Anyone caught driving as a habitual traffic offender can face a conviction of a third-degree felony which can result in prison time of up to five years, fines up to $5,000 or both.
In most cases, being convicted as a habitual traffic offender will result in someone having their license revoked or suspended by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) for five years. A lawyer in West Palm Beach can help fight any charges related to a habitual traffic offense.
Collateral Consequences of Multiple Traffic Violations
License suspension and revocation can make finding employment very difficult. An experienced habitual traffic offender attorney in West Palm Beach can review the charges against someone and determine whether having those charges dismissed or mitigated through a plea bargain is possible.
However, it is important to keep in mind that there may be specific time limits in which to file motions, so time is always of the essence.
Applying for a Hardship License
For many Floridians with an HTO status, it may be possible to petition the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for a hardship license (one where driving is allowed for business purposes only) a year after the initial revocation date. It generally requires participating in a 12-hour traffic school educational program.
Overturning HTO Status
Legal counsel has, in many instances, been able to have a person’s HTO status removed or overturned by appealing any offense on a person’s driving record that would designate or declare them as such.
The bottom line is that anyone who has been labeled as a Florida habitual traffic offender may have options they do not realize exist. That is where experienced legal counsel can be the most helpful.
Assistance from a West Palm Beach Habitual Traffic Offender Attorney Can be Crucial
If you have been arrested, charged or cited for being a habitual traffic offender, it is important to find out what can be done to keep your license as it will affect your livelihood as well as your liberty.
An experienced West Palm Beach habitual traffic offender lawyer can review the charges against you, determine what legal defenses may be available to you which could possibly get those charges mitigated through a plea bargain. Call to learn more about your options.