If you’ve been charged and convicted of drunk driving or driving under the influence, you could be in for a rude awakening if you are charged and convicted of any other driving-related offenses. Florida’s Three Strikes Law will activate with the combination of any felony motor vehicle offenses. Being charged with a DUI after you’ve been convicted of driving with a suspended license, fleeing, or attempting to elude an officer, you will qualify for a habitual offender enhancement.
Habitual Traffic Offender Under Section 322.264
The Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) law states that if you get three strikes in 5 years, you will be classified as a habitual traffic offender, which carries a penalty of 5-years license suspension. A habitual offender is defined as a person whose record shows an accumulative number of similar and specific offenses within a five-year period.
According to Florida law statute 322.264:
(1) Three or more convictions of any one or more of the following offenses arising out of separate acts:
(a) Voluntary or involuntary manslaughter resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
(c) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
(d) Driving a motor vehicle while his or her license is suspended or revoked;
(e) Failing to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in the event of a motor vehicle crash resulting in the death or personal injury of another; or
(f) Driving a commercial motor vehicle while his or her privilege is disqualified.
(2) Fifteen convictions for moving traffic offenses for which points may be assessed as set forth in s. 322.27, including those offenses in subsection (1).
If you face a 1st offense DUI, you may be unaware that you could face a longer suspension of your license if you have more than one additional criminal traffic violation. A six-month driver’s license suspension could quickly turn into a life-altering five-year suspension. Being without a driver’s license for six months would be inconvenient for school, work, or daily household obligations, but a five-year suspension could lead to job loss and school withdrawal.
Defend Against an HTO Status with a Seasoned Traffic Lawyer
It’s important to choose an attorney with experience fighting DUI and habitual offender cases. If you plead guilty or take a deal for a criminal traffic violation with two already on your record, you will not be able to fix the situation once it’s inputted into the system. The DMV will receive notice of your three charges and suspend your license for five years. Many defendants aren’t aware of the HTO laws until it’s too late, which is why choosing a criminal defense attorney with experience in these matters is extremely important. If you have been charged with a criminal traffic offense in Florida, you need legal representation to help you fight these charges. If you have multiple criminal driving infractions, your driver’s license might be in jeopardy from habitual offender enhancements that can be applied to your case. Don’t wait to secure legal representation; one of the attorneys from Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A., can review your case and answer any questions you may have about your situation.
Call us at (727) 245-9009 or reach out to us online right now.