3/4/2015 0 Comments
Perhaps no legal punishment for traffic violations is more greatly feared than the HTO. Under Florida law, anyone who receives an HTO cannot drive for 5 years. If anyone with an HTO is found driving, it is a felony offense and can be punished by up to 5 years in state prison.
Therefore, avoiding getting an HTO in the first place should be of primary concern for anyone who has already had issues with their license including DUI or suspension.
Common reasons someone is classified as an HTO
In most cases, an HTO is issued to anyone who is charged with Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) 3 times in 5 years. There are two types of DWLS charges: with knowledge and without. If you receive a DWLS with knowledge, regardless of adjudication or a withhold, you will receive an HTO.
On the other hand, you must be convicted of a DWLS without knowledge on each charge to receive an HTO. It’s important to note that anytime someone pays for their DWLS online, it counts as a conviction towards their total of 3.
Additionally, if charges can be amended to an NVDL or dismissed, the charge will not count towards an HTO. Individuals with two DWLS charges within the 5 year period may also become an HTO if they receive a DUI.
How to avoid being classified as an HTO
Plain and simple, keeping your license valid is the best way to avoid an HTO. To do this, be on-time with all financial obligations and payments with things like insurance and child support. Additionally, take care of infractions in the correct manner and avoid any DUI or controlled substance convictions. Any of these infractions can result in a suspended license.
What about when your license is already suspended? The first thing to do is not drive to avoid putting yourself at further risk. Next, take steps to resolve the suspension as quickly as possible. Important Note: when trying to avoid becoming an HTO, simply paying outstanding tickets may actually hurt your efforts. This is because paying them results in convictions which could add points to your license. A better option is to have them dismissed by seeking qualified legal representation.
What options do you have as an HTO?
If your precautionary steps to avoid becoming an HTO have failed, there are still some options available to you. Though it is extremely difficult, an HTO designation can be fought by a dedicated and qualified attorney. However, lifting an HTO is simply not possible in all cases. No matter what your situation is, seeking qualified legal counsel to explore your options is a clear first step.
Call us at 305-548-5020 for a free consultation.