But while DWLS is a criminal traffic offense, you can become an HTO by pleading guilty to DWLS without knowledge, which is a simple traffic citation. But if you are convicted of this infraction, it can count against you and ultimate result in the loss of your driving privileges for five years.
When you go online and pay a traffic ticket, you are pleading guilty and will receive a conviction (adjudication). In order to receive a withhold of adjudication, you need to go to court and ask the judge.
A withhold of adjudication for a DWLS without knowledge will not count toward your HTO designation. Neither will a reduced charged of no valid driver's license (NVDL).
Fixing your suspended license or habitual traffic offender designation can be done, but you should retain a criminal defense attorney who practices in the area of license suspensions.
Driving in Florida is a privilege, not a right, so getting your license back takes work. If you have pleaded guilty to a traffic citation within the last thirty (30) to sixty (60) days, you may be able to withdraw your plea of guilty with a motion to the court. If this ticket helped to make you a habitual traffic offender, then by vacating your guilty plea, the ticket will be considered open, and will not be a conviction. With that open citation, a criminal attorney can either attempt to get the court to withhold adjudication, reduce the charge to an offense that will not habitualize you, or fight the ticket at trial.
The same goes for DWLS criminal charges. Your attorney can vacate the plea on the grounds that you did not know you would become an HTO by pleading guilty. Then with a re-opened case, your attorney can fight to have the charge reduced to an NVDL.
Living in Miami or Broward, driving is essential. Our public transportation system is not extensive or user-friendly enough for us to rely upon it. And with Miami-Dade and Broward so spread-out, it often takes an hour or more just to get from Point A to Point B, and that's not even taking into account the traffic congestion. In other words, you need to be able to drive here in South Florida.
Call my office today to discuss how to fix your suspended license, or how to remove the habitual traffic offender (HTO) designation.