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Pleading Guilty to a Non-Criminal DWLS Violation

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Non-criminal traffic infractions such as driving while license suspended without knowledge can lead to your becoming a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO).

Remember - driving while license suspended (DWLS) with knowledge is a crime. Driving with a suspended license without knowledge of the suspension is a non-criminal infraction.

However, you can pay your DWLS without knowledge tickets online, much the way you can with a speeding ticket or any other infraction. The problem is, if you pay the ticket (which for many seems like the simple solution), you are pleading guilty. A guilty plea in traffic court leads to a conviction. If you are adjudicated (convicted) of two or more DWLS without knowledge tickets, one DWLS with knowledge plea, even if adjudication is withheld, can lead to your becoming an HTO.

Driving while an HTO is a felony that carries a maximum of 5 years in prison.

You should not pay your tickets online. Set them for court and ask the traffic hearing officer for a withhold. The hearing officer will usually give you a withhold (no points on your license, no conviction) if you have a decent traffic record.

This simple step can save you trouble later on.