Has your drivers license been suspended as a habitual traffic offender in Jacksonville FL? Are you facing a 5-year drivers license suspension due to prior Jacksonville driving on a suspended or revoked license convictions? If so, contact a Jacksonville drivers license attorney for help. Call a Jacksonville drivers license lawyer at (904) 564-2525 or send an email to Find a Lawyer. An attorney with experience may be able to help you reinstate your drivers license.
If you are a Florida habitual traffic offender, your license has been suspended for 5 years due to certain convictions on your driving record. You may have been convicted of civil driving infractions. The most popular civil driving infraction that leads to a habitual traffic offender (HTO) suspension is unknowingly driving while having a suspended or revoked license. You may also become a habitual traffic offender if you received 15 moving violations, such as Florida speeding tickets, within a five-year period. Criminal traffic tickets may also result in an HTO suspension. Knowingly driving on a suspended license is a criminal charge. Jacksonville reckless driving and driving under the influence convictions are also common ways that people become habitual traffic offenders.
When it comes to being a habitual traffic offender, you need to be aware of the consequences. If you are caught driving while your license is suspended as a habitual traffic offender, you may be arrested for a felony. A felony arrest will show up on a Florida criminal background check. It may also lead to you being adjudicated guilty of a felony. This would make you a convicted felon. A conviction will result in further suspension of your drivers license. There are probably a lot of things that you did not know about traffic violation convictions. If you had known how convictions would affect you in the future, you probably would have never become a habitual traffic offender in the first place. Consider this as an example:
You received a couple of Jacksonville traffic tickets, and you did not have the money to pay at the time you received the citations. Your drivers license was suspended indefinitely as a result of the unpaid tickets. You continued to driver while your license was suspended. You were pulled over and given a ticket for driving on a suspended or revoked license. You paid the tickets and the late fees and your license was reinstated. A couple of years later, the same thing happened. This time you were convicted of DUI and driving while having a suspended license. You received a letter from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles telling you that your drivers license is going to a suspended in 3 weeks as a habitual traffic offender. You had no clue that you were even close to becoming a habitual traffic offender. You did not know that paying your tickets would lead to convictions that would later result in a 5-year drivers license suspension. You did not hire an Jacksonville attorney to handle your tickets. You were never advised by anyone as to the consequences of your actions.
If you fall into the example above, you are not alone. The majority of people that I have helped thought that paying their tickets would fix everything, but it ended up leading to convictions that suspended their licenses. Think about the things that you did not know that caused you to become HTO. Now, you have been stopped for driving with an HTO suspension. You are facing a felony. The bottom line is that you probably do not know everything you need to know about this case and the consequences of pleading guilty or no contest to the charge.
As I stated above, you should be aware of the consequences of pleading guilty or no contest to certain driving offenses. You should talk to your Jacksonville criminal lawyer about the ramifications that a criminal traffic conviction or habitual traffic offender conviction would have on your driving record and on your criminal record. Even Florida courts have ruled that a defendant should be advised of the inability to obtain a valid drivers license after a habitual traffic offender conviction. In 2013, the Florida Third District Court of Appeals ruled on a habitual traffic offender case in which the driver did not know the consequences of his felony habitual traffic offender plea. The court outlined the following facts:
“In June 2010, Aiden pled guilty to driving as a habitual traffic offender in violation of Section 322.34(5), Florida Statutes (2010). He testified that he pled pursuant to advice from the public defender. The trial court accepted his plea of guilty, adjudicated him and sentenced him to credit for time served. One year later, Aiden made an oral in-court motion to withdraw his plea. He asserts that as a result of the 2010 plea, he has been unable to get a driver’s license. The record indicates that at the time of the 2010 plea, there were other valid reasons for his license suspension, including a habitual traffic offender revocation dating from 2007.” State v. Aiden, 118 So. 3d 264, 264 (Fla. 3d DCA 2013)
The appeals court agreed with Aiden’s argument and the lower court’s ruling setting aside the habitual traffic offender conviction. The Florida 3rd District Court of Appeals held:
“The record in Aiden’s case is devoid of any showing that the trial court so advised Aiden during the 2010 plea colloquy, as required by the rule in effect at the time of Aiden’s plea. This supports Aiden’s claim on appeal that he was not properly advised by the trial court that one of the consequences of his plea might be ineligibility for a driver’s license. For this reason, the trial court correctly granted Aiden’s motion to withdraw his 2010 plea and vacated that conviction.” Aiden, 118 So. 3d at 265-66