What is an HTO?

Under Florida Law, anyone with a  Florida Driver’s License is subject to what is called Habitual Traffic Offender Status pursuant to Florida Statute 322.264.  Under the Habitual Traffic Offender law one is subject to having their driver’s license suspended for 5 years if they accumulate 3 convictions for certain types of offenses detailed in 322.264(1), or 15 convictions for moving traffic offenses for which points can be assessed to their license pursuant to 322.264(2).  Very often our clients have been granted the unwelcome gift of habitualization pursuant to accumulating 3 driving while license suspended charges within 5 years.  What many Florida drivers don’t know is that if they simply pay a civil unknowing driving while license suspended ticket, they are admitting guilt to the charge and will be convicted for habitualization purposes.

Of course there are numerous ways upon which one can be classified as a habitual traffic offender pursuant to Florida law.  In addition to losing one’s license for 5 years, that person will not even be eligible for a restricted driver’s license for one year after the habitual traffic offender status engages.  Unfortunately, unlike many other urban areas like Chicago, New York, or Boston, Tampa’s mass transit system is both inconvenient and costly.  Thus, when a Florida driver loses their privilege to drive, it can effectively strip them of their livelihood for a year.  It is of utmost importance that if a Florida driver receives notice that they are about to be habitualized, that they contact an experienced attorney, well versed in traffic and habitual traffic offender law.  It is possible that an attorney can “reverse” the habitualization process, thus saving one’s license from being suspended for 5 years. If you have been charged with an HTO, contact The Law Office of Jeffrey M. Rich.

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