In Florida, drivers who have been convicted of three or more serious driving violations within five years may be labeled as a “Habitual Traffic Offender” also commonly referred to as HTO. Drivers with an HTO label are considered to be high risk according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). A habitual traffic offender will automatically have their license revoked and will be ineligible for a hardship license.

Did you receive a notice from DHSMV that you have recently been labeled as a “Habitual Traffic Offender?” If so, then it’s within your best interest to call an experienced and skilled Gainesville traffic crimes attorney. Your license may be revoked for five years with no ability to get a restricted license if you don’t take action.

HTO Defense Attorney Alachua County, FL | Gainesville Traffic Lawyer

Have you been given notice you were labeled as a habitual traffic offender by DHSMV? Then it’s crucial you contact a knowledgeable traffic crimes attorney as soon as possible. The experienced and knowledgeable Alachua County traffic crimes attorneys at Galigani Law Firm can assist you. Our offices have helped many clients reinstate their driving privileges by providing excellent legal representation.

Call our offices today at (352) 375-0812 to set up your first consultation with us absolutely free. Galigani Law Firm is located in Gainesville, Florida, but we accept clients throughout the greater Alachua County area including Micanopy, Archer, Hawthorne, Waldo, High Springs, and Newberry.

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What is a Habitual Traffic Offender in Florida?

The state of Florida may label you as a high-risk driver if you have a traffic record with multiple serious violations. The habitual traffic offender label is triggered in multiple ways. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) may label you a HTO because you’ve accumulated too many traffic points in a given period. You could also be deemed an HTO if you violated traffic laws in another state or in the federal jurisdiction.

According to Florida Statutes Section 322.264, you will be labeled a habitual traffic offender if you were convicted of three of the following within the last five years.

Most habitual traffic offenders are labeled due to serious traffic violations. However, you don’t have to be convicted of a serious traffic offense to be labeled an HTO. HTO status is also triggered if you’ve been convicted of 15 o more moving violations within a year. Some of these moving violations included, but are not limited:

  • Reckless driving
  • Passing a stopped school bus
  • Allowed your driver’s license to be used in a fraudulent or unlawful manner
  • Running a stop sign or red light
  • Rolling stops at a stop sign
  • Changing lanes improperly
  • Following another vehicle too closely
  • Speeding unlawfully resulting in a crash
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage

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How Long is a Habitual Offender’s License Revoked For?

If you’ve been labeled as a habitual traffic offender, then expect your license be to be revoked for some time. According to Florida Statutes Section 322.27(5), a designation as a habitual traffic offender will require DHSMV to revoke your driver’s license for a minimum of five years. In that time, you will not be eligible for a standard driver’s license.

The five-year revocation is a mandatory minimum under Florida law. There is no provision for mitigating or exception circumstances. Habitual traffic offenders are unable to request a restricted license until they’ve completed at least one year of their suspension.

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Can a Habitual Traffic Offender Get a Hardship License?

While you may not be able to secure a regular license, you can get a hardship license as a habitual traffic offender. You must serve at least one year of your suspension before you can file a request for a hardship license. Once the first year is over, you can apply for a restricted license through the Administrative Review Office at DHSMV.

There are a few requirements you must meet before you can get a hardship license. You’ll first need to attend and complete a few Advanced Driver Improvement School classes. DHSMV will not allow you to obtain a hardship license without proof you’ve completed these courses. You may be required to attend a Driving Under the Influence course if alcohol was involved in your most recent traffic law violation.

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License Reinstatement for Habitual Traffic Offenders

There are multiple ways to get your license reinstated after being deemed a habitual traffic offender. You can of course wait until your revocation term is over, which will be at least five years. Florida also permits those with a HTO status to challenge the revocation by filing a request for a hearing. At the hearing, you can contest your status as a habitual traffic offender and argue why you should be granted your driving privileges again.

You can challenge a revocation, but you only have a limited amount of time to do so. DHSMV only allows HTOs to contest their revocation 30 days after they’ve received notice of their HTO status or two years after you’ve been convicted of your most recent traffic offense. If you wish to file a hearing to challenge your revocation, we highly encourage you to secure legal representation. A skilled traffic crimes attorney can assess the facts of your revocation and gather evidence to contest it.

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Additional Resources

FLDHSMV | Habitual Traffic Offenders – Visit the official website for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to learn more about the habitual traffic offender program. Access their site to learn what violations could result in an HTO status, when you can apply for a hardship license as an HTO, and links to court-ordered schools you’re required to attend if you want a hardship license.

Habitual Traffic Offender Florida Statute– Visit the official website for Online Sunshine, a collection of Florida Statutes to learn more about habitual traffic offenders. Access the site to learn what violations you must be convicted of to be deemed an HTO, eligibility status for a hardship license, and the revocation periods for HTOs.

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Alachua County Lawyer for Habitual Traffic Offenders

If you or someone you know has been deemed an HTO by DHSMV, it’s imperative you call an experienced attorney like the legal team at Galigani Law Firm. The skilled and experienced Gainesville habitual traffic offender defense lawyers at Galigani Law Firm can help you by filing a hearing request. Our attorneys can assess the facts of your revocation, chart out a defense plan, and challenge your status as a Habitual Traffic Offender in court.

Call Galigani Law Firm today at (352) 375-0812 to set up your first consultation free of charge. Galigani Law Firm is located in Gainesville, but accepts clients throughout all parts of Alachua County including High Springs, Newberry, Waldo, and Archer.

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