You can become a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) in the State of Florida a number of ways. Click here to learn how somebody becomes an HTO.
When you are deemed an HTO, you lose your driver's license for 5 years. You may be able to obtain a hardship license if you complete an Advanced Driver Improvement (ADI) class and can show the DHSMV that you have not driven for one year.
If you are deemed an HTO and you are pulled over, you will be arrested and charged with a third-degree felony.
However, upon review by the State Attorney's Office, it may be possible to get that felony charge reduced to a misdemeanor charge of driving while license suspended (DWLS) if it can be shown that your suspensions were the result of unpaid tickets. Recent changes in Florida law state that it is no longer a felony to drive while an HTO provided the underlying suspensions are for financial reasons.
But many times, the State Attorney's Office may accidentally overlook an accused's driving record and file the felony charge. It takes a criminal defense attorney to exploit weaknesses in the State's case. This includes showing the intake prosecutor that prior suspensions are financial.
Call me today to discuss your case if you have been charged with driving while a habitual traffic offender in Miami-Dade or Broward.