What is a Habitual Traffic Offender?
There's nothing quite like the freedom of the open road. However, with the freedom to drive also comes the responsibility to follow the traffic laws. If you accumulate an excessive amounts of points on your driver's license, the law and your insurance company could designate you as a habitual traffic offender. This designation can have serious consequences on your ability to maintain a job, get hired, gain auto insurance coverage or maintain the coverage you already have. It's important to know what a habitual traffic offender is, how someone gets this designation and what you can do if you find yourself in this serious situation.
What a Habitual Traffic Offender Is
Each state has their own definition of what a habitual traffic offender is. Under Florida Statute Section 322.264, a habitual traffic offender is a person who has three or more serious driving offenses. Those offenses include:
- Driving with a suspended license
- 15 or more moving violations within five years
If you accumulate 15 or more moving violations, the five years starts with the first guilty plea or conviction. A habitual traffic offender could have their license revoked for up to five years. During the first year of that five-year period, you can't apply for any type of hardship reinstatement. After one year has passed, you may be able to request a specific hardship reinstatement, which may grant you permission to drive for restricted purposes, such as to get to and from work or to and from a regular doctor's appointment.
How a Person Becomes Designated As a Habitual Traffic Offender
You may be labeled as a habitual traffic offender if you commit certain crimes with a motor vehicle. For example, a conviction of vehicular manslaughter could result in this designation. Failing to stop at a stop sign or stoplight and causing an accident that results in the injury or death of another person could also result in your designation as a habitual traffic offender. Other crimes that may cause this designation are:
- Driving a truck without the proper license
- Driving any other commercial vehicle without proper endorsements
- Driving while your license is revoked
If you find yourself facing a designation of a habitual traffic offender, you need legal representation. We're also available to assist you with the legal procedures related to applying for a hardship license after your first year of being designated as a habitual traffic offender.
If you've been designated as a habitual traffic offender, it's important to seek legal representation. Our attorneys offer consultations to learn about your case and explain your rights under the law. For more information, contact us at First Coast Criminal Defense today.