For some it is getting the letter or notice of Habitual Traffic Offender (“HTO”) in the mail. For others it is getting arrested after being pulled over for no reason or even if there was a traffic citation, surprise! The license is being, or has been, suspended for five (5) years. The driver has been habitualized! After Notice from the DHSMV, we can determine the next step to attempt to reinstate the license. An analysis of the driver record may be required.
A person caught driving on a license that has been revoked pursuant to the habitual offender law can be charged with a third degree felony, punishable by up to five (5) years in prison. People do serve jail or prison time for driving offenses in Florida. Therefore, upon receipt of a letter, informing that because of points or too many criminal traffic offenses, the license is lost for five (5) years, DO NOT drive after the effective date of the suspension. Because driving on a habitual suspended license is a felony, it will be taken seriously by the Courts.
Not all hope is lost; there are things that can be done to reverse the habitual suspension. For example, if the reason for the suspension letter is that recently several traffic tickets were paid, then a traffic attorney may be able to help get your license back. A hardship license is available after one (1) year of no driving. Changing the disposition or sentence in one or more civil traffic ticket cases could mean the difference between being arrested for driving, no driving for a year and reminstating the license. A reinstatement fee will have to be paid, if the driver is able to have the license reinstated.
There are also reasons for suspension that cannot be easily undone. If the reason is too many criminal traffic cases such as, knowingly driving on a suspended, revoked or cancelled license, failure to stop or leaving the scene of a crash, drunk driving (DUI), manslaughter or homicide, then the remedy may be more difficult. There may be no remedy.
Getting a driver’s license back is a completely separate matter from being arrested or accused of a crime. Please click, call or fill out the form for a consultation. We can also help after arrest or receipt of a criminal or “court appearance required” citation.