Habitual Traffic Offender
The state of Florida will designate an individual as a habitual traffic offender (HTO) if that person accumulates a specified number of traffic convictions or moving violations in a five-year period. When a motorist is designated as an HTO, his or her driver’s license will be revoked for five years.
Alleged offenders in these cases usually learn about licenses being suspended or revoked because of their HTO designations via mailed correspondence from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). When a person knows that he or she is considered an HTO, that individual must take quick action in order to be legally able to drive again and avoid additional costly penalties.Attorney for Habitual Traffic Offenders in Miami-Dade County, FL
Did you receive a letter or were you charged with a criminal offense as an HTO in South Florida? Do not make any kind of statement to authorities without legal counsel. Contact The Hoffman Firm right now.
Miami criminal defense lawyer Evan A. Hoffman represents people charged with traffic crimes in numerous parts of Miami-Dade County, including Coral Gables, Aventura, South Miami, Homestead, Miami, and several other nearby areas. Call (305) 249-0090 right now to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.
Overview of Habitual Traffic Offenders in North Miami
- How do people end up being classified as HTOs?
- What ways can drivers challenge HTO statuses?
- Where can I learn more about habitual traffic offenders in Miami-Dade County?
Habitual Traffic Offender Status in Florida
A motorist may be designated as an HTO under Florida Statute § 322.264 when he or she compiles a specified number of traffic convictions in a five-year period. An individual will be designated as an HTO if he or she accumulates three or more convictions of any one or more of the following offenses arising out of separate acts:
- Any driving under the influence (DUI) violation;
- Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
- Driving a motor vehicle while his or her license is suspended or revoked;
- Driving a commercial motor vehicle while his or her privilege is disqualified;
- Failing to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death or personal injury of another; or
- Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle.
An alleged offender can also be labeled an HTO for 15 convictions for moving traffic offenses for which points may be assessed as set forth in Florida Statute § 322.27, including—but not limited to:
- Leaving the scene of a crash resulting in property damage of more than $50 — 6 points;
- Passing a stopped school bus — 4 points;
- Reckless driving, willful and wanton — 4 points;
- Unlawful speed, or unlawful use of a wireless communications device, resulting in a crash — 6 points;
- Unlawful speed not in excess of 15 miles per hour of lawful or posted speed — 3 points;
- Unlawful speed in excess of 15 miles per hour of lawful or posted speed—4 points;
- A violation of a traffic control signal device as provided in Florida Statute § 316.074(1) or Florida Statute § 316.075(1)(c)1. — 4 points;
- Any conviction under Florida Statute § 403.413(6)(b), relating to the Florida Litter Law — 3 points;
- Any conviction under Florida Statute § 316.0775(2), relating to interference with official traffic control devices or railroad signs or signals — 4 points; and/or
- Any moving violation covered in this paragraph, excluding unlawful speed and unlawful use of a wireless communications device, resulting in a crash — 4 points;
- All other moving violations (including parking on a highway outside the limits of a municipality) — 3 points;
- A moving violation covered in this paragraph which is committed in conjunction with the unlawful use of a wireless communications device within a school safety zone — 2 points, in addition to the points assigned for the moving violation.
Habitual Traffic Offender Hardship License in Miami
A person who has been designated as an HTO may still be able to retain his or her driving privileges. A criminal defense lawyer can review the convictions that caused the alleged offender to be labeled as an HTO and possible file a motion to vacate one of the convictions.
In such cases, alleged offender only have a limited amount of time to file certain motions. State law only allows people 30 days to file motions to withdraw pleas, 60 days to file motions to reduce or correct sentences, and two years to claim ineffective assistance of counsel when people were not advised that their licenses would be suspended or revoked because of HTO status.
Alleged offenders can also request administrative hearings with the Florida DHSMV to challenge the validity of suspensions or revocations. If a lower court or agency errs in its review of a case, these people may also have appeal options.
State law does allow for people with HTO statuses to apply for hardship licenses through the Administrative Review Office that allow them to drive to and from work. Such hardship licenses, however, are not available to alleged offenders during the first year of their revocations or suspensions.
Florida Habitual Traffic Offender Resources
Clerk of Courts | Miami-Dade County — Visit the Clerk of Courts to pay traffic citations online. You can also find additional information about the traffic court, including the difference between civil traffic infractions and criminal traffic violations. You can also view answers to frequently asked questions.
Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts
Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building
1351 NW 12th St.
Miami, FL 33125
Florida DHSMV — On this website, you can find all kinds of information about driver’s licenses. You can review the current status of your driver license and learn how to purchase your own driver record. You can also review the fee schedule and find answers to frequently asked questions about driver records.
If you have been designated in South Florida as an HTO, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. The Hoffman Firm defends individuals in Key Biscayne, Hialeah, Opa-locka, North Miami, Doral, Miami Beach, and many surrounding areas of Miami-Dade County.
Evan A. Hoffman is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Miami who can fight to possibly protect or reinstate your Florida driver's license. He can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (305) 249-0090 or fill out an online contact form to receive a free, confidential consultation.