Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO)
Have you received a letter in the mail stating that your driver’s license has been or is about to be revoked? Do you understand why you received the letter and what you can do about it? Being a habitual traffic offender or HTO in West Palm Beach is both a nuisance and a considerable legal hurdle. Be sure to arm yourself with the right law firm to fight for your license.
HTO Revocations in Florida
Losing your driver’s license for a mandatory period of 5 years is a common occurrence in the Sunshine State. Tens of thousands of people lose their licenses each year, at times over non-driving related matters. Habitual traffic offenders in Florida receive this status from being found guilty of three serious traffic offenses (such as driving with a suspended driver’s license or DUI), within a 5-year period or when 45 points have accumulated on their driving records within 5 years. HTO is used to revoke a driver’s license for 5 years. Specified offenses include three or more convictions of the following, which must occur as separate acts:
- Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from operating a motor vehicle
- Any felony conviction in which a vehicle was used
- Driving with a suspended license or while the license is revoked
- Failure to render aid upon a motor vehicle crash resulting 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 as an HTO
If you get a letter from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) stating your license has been or will be suspended or revoked for 5 years as a habitual traffic offender in Palm Beach County, you need a habitual traffic offender attorney on your case. The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel works to vacate prior driving while license suspended or revoked (DWLSR) convictions to be rid of the 5-year revocation and reinstate your driver’s license.
Before we can begin reviewing your case, you must obtain a copy of your driving record. Act quickly to preserve your rights to contest the five-year revocation. Your HTO defense attorney must file a motion to remove the offenses that lead to your revocation within a set time frame. If one of those offenses is driving with a suspended license, which is the most common offense, your lawyer may have just 30 days after your conviction to file the necessary motion.
How your Status as an HTO Can Affect Your Everyday Life
Imagine all the things you do for which you rely upon your car. Getting to and from work and running errands such as picking up your kids from school or even carrying a trunk of groceries become difficult without a reliable vehicle — and the legal ability to drive that vehicle. Without a driver’s license, you must rely on public transportation, costly ridesharing services, or the kindness of others to get around. In some situations, you may not even be eligible for certain types of jobs without it.
The consequences of HTO status are severe. Your license is revoked for a five-year period, which means that your license will be considered null and void by the state, and you will be legally barred from driving for that period of time. If a hearing is not requested to establish an error with the designation, you will not be eligible for a regular driver’s license. You will have to wait 12 months from the date your license is revoked to petition the DMV to reinstate your driving privilege in the form of a hardship or “Business Purpose Only” license. You may only drive to and from your job with this license in Florida. Additionally, applying for the hardship license typically requires proof of enrollment in a 12-hour traffic school course.
Finding the Right HTO Defense Lawyer in West Palm Beach
Do not let your status as a habitual traffic offender in West Palm Beach affect your driving privileges without exhausting all of your options. You should look to an experienced traffic attorney like Brian P. Gabriel to fight for your driver’s license. Brian has helped countless people resolve long-standing traffic issues that prevented them from driving a vehicle. Through hard work and dedication, he can help you retain the legal ability to drive.
The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel has served habitual traffic offenders in Palm Beach County for over 25 years. Call 561-622-5575 for a free legal consultation with Brian Gabriel or contact us online.