Florida is one of more than twenty states that have habitual traffic offender (HTO) laws, and impose associated penalties. If, due to your driving record, you’re given HTO status, you’ll receive a letter of notification from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). This letter will detail the loss of your driving privilege.
What Is A Habitual Traffic Offender?
Each state defines a habitual traffic offender differently. In Florida, HTO status is given to drivers who accumulate three or more of the following convictions within a 5-year period:
- voluntary or involuntary manslaughter stemming from the operation of a motor vehicle
- driving while impaired as a result of alcohol or chemical substance
- committing a felony while operating a motor vehicle
- driving with a suspended or revoked license
- failing to stop and render aid after being involved in a car crash
- driving a commercial vehicle without proper qualification
Drivers may also be given HTO status in Florida if they accumulate 15 moving violation convictions within five years.
How HTO Status Impacts Your Driving Privilege
Florida HTO laws stipulate that drivers who meet the above standards will have their driver’s licenses suspended for up to five years. This can impose a serious burden. Having a suspended Florida drivers license due to an HTO designation inhibits your ability to drive. You’re prohibited from driving to and from work, driving your children to school, and using your vehicle to run errands, go grocery shopping, and visit friends and family.
Aside from getting rides from friends and family members, your only option during the 5-year suspension may be public transportation.
When To Seek A Traffic Attorney
If you’re at risk of being designated an HTO in Florida, contact an experienced traffic law attorney immediately. It may be possible to fight recent charges, and even reduce past convictions, thereby helping you to avoid being labeled a habitual traffic offender.
If you’ve received a letter from the DHSMV notifying you that your license is being suspended as the result of being designated an HTO, you still have options. Contact us so we can evaluate your case and work to prevent the license suspension.
Skubiak & Rivas have more than 60 years of combined experience helping thousands of drivers keep their driving privileges after receiving traffic tickets of every kind. If you’re in danger of being labeled an HTO, contact our Florida traffic law attorneys at 407-894-4449 or fill out the form on this page. Take advantage of a free, no-risk consultation, and learn how we can help protect your driving record.