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Habitual Traffic Offenders

If a Florida resident receives a specified number of moving violations or traffic convictions in a five-year period, he or she will be classified as a habitual traffic offender (HTO). An HTO designation means that the motorist's driver's license will be revoked for five years.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) usually notifies alleged offenders of HTO statuses through mailed correspondences. Any person who has received a notification relating to HTO classification should immediately retain legal counsel.

Attorney for Habitual Traffic Offenders in Gainesville, FL

If you were recently notified about being classified as an HTO in north central Florida, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible.

Galigani Law Firm defends clients accused of traffic crimes in communities all over the greater Gainesville area, including Bradford County, Columbia County, Alachua County, and Baker County.

Gainesville criminal defense lawyer Dean Galigani is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law by the Florida Bar. Our attorneys can review your case and discuss all of your legal options when you call (352) 375-0812 to receive a free, confidential consultation.

Alachua County Habitual Traffic Offenders Information Center

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Definition of Habitual Traffic Offender in Gainesville

Under Florida Statute § 322.264, an HTO is defined as any person whose record, as maintained by the DHSMV, shows that he or she has accumulated a specified number of convictions for offenses described in Florida Statute § 322.264(1) or Florida Statute § 322.264(2) within a five-year period.

A person can be designated as an HTO for three or more convictions of any one or more of the following offenses listed under Florida Statute § 322.264(1) arising out of separate acts:

  • Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
  • Any felony where, during the commission of which, a motor vehicle is used;
  • Driving a motor vehicle while his or her license is suspended or revoked;
  • Failing to stop and render aid as required under Florida law in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death or personal injury of another; or
  • Driving a commercial motor vehicle while his or her privilege is disqualified.

Under Florida Statute § 322.264(2), a person can also be classified as 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;
  • Unlawful speed, or unlawful use of a wireless communications device, resulting in a crash — 6 points;
  • Passing a stopped school bus — 4 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;
  • All other moving violations (including parking on a highway outside the limits of a municipality) — 3 points;
  • Any moving violation covered in this paragraph, excluding unlawful speed and unlawful use of a wireless communications device, resulting in a crash — 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; or
  • 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.

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HTO Hardship Licenses and Removing HTO Status in Alachua County

Even when a person has been notified of HTO designation, he or she still has multiple options to retain his or her driving privileges. One way might involve filing a motion to vacate or set aside one of the convictions that contributed to the HTO status—but quick action is usually required to file such motions.

People only have 30 days to file motions to withdraw pleas under the Florida Criminal Rules of Procedure, and only 60 days to file motions to reduce or correct sentences under the Florida Rules of Traffic Court.

Additionally, there is a limit of two years to claim ineffective assistance of counsel when there was a failure to advise the client that his or her license would be suspended or revoked because of HTO status.

Individuals who have been classified as HTOs can also request administrative hearings with the Florida DHSMV to challenge the validity of suspensions or revocations. Additional appeal options may exist in cases involving lower court or agency errors in reviewing cases.

A person who has been designated as an HTO can apply for a hardship license through the Administrative Review Office. Hardship licenses—which usually allow individuals to drive to and from work—are not available during the first year of an HTO revocation or suspension.

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Florida Habitual Traffic Offender Resources

Traffic Citations & Fees | Alachua County — Visit this section of the Alachua County Clerk of the Court website to view your traffic ticket options. You can pay the ticket (and thus have points assessed against your driver's license), go to driver's improvement school, or contest the ticket in court. Elsewhere on this website, you can also perform an online citation search and check the status of your driver's license.

Alachua County Clerk of the Court
201 E. University Ave.
Gainesville, FL 32601
(352) 374-3636

Driver Licenses & ID Cards | Florida DHSMV — On this section of the DHSMV website, you can access various information about Florida driver’s licenses. Read more about your driving privilege, find answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), and make appointments. You can also find information for teen and senior drivers.

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Galigani Law Firm | Gainesville Habitual Traffic Offenders Defense Lawyer

Did you receive a letter from the DHSMV notifying you about being designated as an HTO? You will want to contact Galigani Law Firm right away.

Dean Galigani is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Gainesville who represents individuals in Bradford County, Union County, Columbia County, Baker County, and many surrounding areas of Gainesville.

Call (352) 375-0812 or submit an online contact form to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.

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Florida Counties

Galigani Law Firm proudly serves Gainesville and surrounding areas of
North Central Florida.