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What is a habitual traffic offender under Florida Law?

Tampa traffic ticket attorneys are often asked about habitual traffic offenders because it is unfortunately one of the most common ways folks’ driver’s license are suspended in Florida.  Most folks simply refer to it as “HTO.”  They are totally unaware of how to correct the situation. This sets them up almost certainly to get charged with new charges of driving while license is suspended or revoked and other criminal charges associated with it.

A habitual traffic offender is any person who is convicted of three or more of the following offenses arising out of separate acts within five years. The separate acts are as follows:

1) Voluntary or involuntary man slaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;

2) Any violation of S.316.193, former S.316.1931, or former S.860.01;

3) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;

4) Driving a motor vehicle while his or her license is suspended or revoked;

5) Failing to stop and render aid as required on the laws of the state in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting the death or personal injury of another; or

6) Driving a commercial vehicle while his or her privilege is disqualified.

It’s also worth noting that 15 convictions for moving traffic offenses for which points may be assessed to set forth in S.322.27 including those offenses, that we just identified above, may also result in one being deemed a habitual traffic offender in Florida. This habitual traffic offender status is so significant because it results in a five (5) year driver’s license suspension for the individual. As you can imagine, five years is an incredibly difficult time for one to be totally unable to drive.

It’s also worth noting that individuals are often puzzled as to whether their out of state convictions will count towards the qualifying offenses required to be deemed a habitual traffic offender in the state of Florida. Yes, they will count as a violation under this statute. Previous convictions that have result in a suspension, revocation or disqualification under another section are not exempt from being used to again satisfy the statutory requirements of this Statute.

If you have questions concerning a habitual traffic offender status in Florida, contact the Tampa traffic attorneys of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We’ve handled thousands of traffic tickets in the Tampa Bay area and work with you in getting your charges reduced or dropped. Even more importantly, we will work with you to get your license back and out of suspension.  If you like to contact one of our Tampa traffic attorneys immediately, please use the “Contact Us Now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. We appreciate your time in checking out our Tampa traffic ticket attorney blog and look forward to working with you in the future.