No one is perfect, however when our imperfections lead us to too many traffic offenses, we can lose our Florida Driver’s license for five years. This is most often known as being a “Habitual Traffic Offender” or “HTO”. The State of Florida feels that people who make it a habit to violate traffic laws should be strongly discouraged from driving on our roads and should be faced with a firm punishment.
There are a few different events that can lead to HTO status, all of which must occur within a five-year period. The most common is to have three offenses of driving while license is suspended or revoked. It is important to remember that this includes convictions as well as cases where withheld adjudication. Some people make the mistake of believing that because adjudication was withheld and no conviction occurred that these cases are not counted when it comes to determining whether someone is should is a HTO. The HTO sentencing guidelines do examine how many points your license has, they count your convictions and withholds instead. Further, no distinction is made as to whether or not you “knowingly” drove while your license was suspended or not.
HTO status lasts for five years and requires the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DMV) to revoke your license, but there are things that may be done to get you back on the road. After sufficient time and class work, a hardship license may be issued to allow you some right to drive, but with restrictions. After the five year revocation is over, you must petition the DMV to have your license reinstated. A hearing may be required to determine whether or not your reinstatement can be granted or if you should have an alternative, restricted license.