Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO)

When a motorist in Florida has accumulated a certain number of traffic convictions or moving violations in a five-year period, that person may be designated as a habitual traffic offender (HTO). An HTO designation can lead to an individual having his or her driver’s license suspended or revoked for five years.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) will usually send alleged offenders some kind of letter that notifies them that their driving privileges are about to be suspended or revoked because of their HTO statuses. It is critical for people to immediately take action upon receiving this kind of letter.

Attorney for Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) Revocations in Brooksville, FL

Were you recently notified of being or charged as an HTO in Central Florida? You will want to contact The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. as soon as possible.

Ashley Aulls is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Brooksville who represents clients accused of all kinds of traffic crimes in communities throughout the greater Hernando County area, including Weeki Wachee, New Port Richey, Inverness, Spring Hill, Wildwood, Brooksville, and many others. Call (352) 593-4115 right now to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a initial consultation.

Overview of HTO Suspensions in Florida

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Definition of Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) in Hernando County

Florida Statute § 322.264 defines a habitual traffic offender as “any person whose record, as maintained by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, shows that such person has accumulated the specified number of convictions for offenses within a five-year period. A person can be designated as an HTO is he or she accumulates three or more convictions of any one or more of the following offenses arising out of separate acts:

  • Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
  • Any felony in 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 the laws of this state 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.

An alleged offender can also be labeled 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:

  • Reckless driving, willful and wanton — 4 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) — 4 points; and/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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Removing HTO Status and HTO Hardship Licenses in Brooksville

When a person is notified that he or she is an HTO, that individual may have several options to possibly keep his or her license. A criminal defense attorney may be able to file a motion to vacate or set aside one of the convictions that contributed to the HTO status.

The timing of these motions is incredibly important, as people have only 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. Alleged offenders have two years to claim ineffective assistance of counsel when there was a failure to advise them that their licenses would be suspended or revoked because of HTO status.

People may also be able to request an administrative hearing with the Florida DHSMV to challenge the validity of the suspension or revocation, and alleged offenders may have other appeal options if a lower court or agency makes an error in reviewing their cases. People who have their licenses revoked or suspended because of HTO status can apply for hardship licenses through the Administrative Review Office only after the first year of suspension or revocation.

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Florida Resources for Habitual Traffic Offenders (HTOs)

Advanced Driver Improvement Courses | Florida DHSMV Answers — People who have had their driver’s licenses suspended as a HTOs must complete advanced driver improvement courses. Visit this section of the DHSMV website to find a listing of approved advanced driver improvement course providers. Providers offer classroom and/or internet delivery methods.

Crain v. State, 79 So. 3d 118, 122 (Fla. 1st DCA 2012) — George William Crain was convicted as a habitual traffic offender for while his license was revoked. He appealed and pointed out that he never had a Florida driver’s license (or any other, as far as the record revealed). The First District Court of Appeal reversed Crain’s felony conviction, but remanded for entry of judgment for driving without a license, a lesser included misdemeanor.

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The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. | Brooksville Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) Defense Lawyer

If you have received a letter about or were charged in Central Florida as an HTO, it will be in your best interest to retain legal counsel. The Law Office of Ashley Aulls, P.A. defends individuals all over Pasco County, Hernando County, Citrus County, and Sumter County.

Brooksville criminal defense attorney Ashley Aulls can fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case, including possible restoration of your driving privileges. He can review your case and help you understand all of your legal options when you call (352) 593-4115 or fill out an online contact form to receive a confidential consultation.

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