Habitual Traffic Offender Revocations in Florida

Florida Habitual Traffic Offender

Can you erase the Florida Habitual Traffic Offender Revocation?


Concerned about removing a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) designation through a post-conviction motion to set aside or vacate one of the underlying convictions?

If your five-year driver’s license revocation occurred within the last two years, you may qualify.

We focus on removing the habitual traffic offender revocation throughout Florida including:

  • Tampa and Plant City in Hillsborough County;
  • St. Petersburg and Clearwater in Pinellas County;
  • Dade City and New Port Richey in Pasco County; and
  • Bartow and Winter Haven in Polk County.

Contact us today at 813-250-0500 to discuss your case.

Did you get a letter in the mail from the Florida DMV saying “Surprise, your driver’s license is about to be revoked for five years because you are a Habitual Traffic Offender?”

If so, you are not alone. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports in 2008 it mailed out 22,742 HTO notices to Florida drivers. In fact, in each of the last three years, more than 20,000 notices when out.

If you have three “convictions” for driving while license suspended or revoked in Florida, then your driver’s license will be revoked for five years as a habitual traffic offender.

Many people wish they could go back in time and avoid one of the three convictions that caused the HTO revocation. Although you can not go back in time, you may be able to undo the damage by filing a post-conviction motion to vacate one of those three offenses that cause the HTO revocation.

If successful, once the judge signs the order to vacate or set aside one of the underlying convictions, the DMV will lift the revocation. Within a matter of days, your driver’s license will become valid again.

Many judges throughout the State of Florida realize how unfair the HTO revocations are, especially for someone with driving while license suspended or revoked revocation as one of the three underlying offenses.

In fact, this is a hot topic at recent judicial conferences in Florida. Different judges in different jurisdictions in Florida handle the problem differently. However, many courts are vacating one of the underlying offenses when the attorney files and litigates the motion properly.

Don’t suffer from the five-year habitual traffic offender revocation. First, you can not obtain a Florida hardship drivers license for any reason for one year. Second, even after you obtain the hardship license your insurance as a habitual traffic offender will be extremely expensive.

Does this really work?

In many cases, you can attack the underlying offense up to two years after the conviction by going back to the traffic court or the criminal court where you were convicted.

However, you only have one chance to file and litigate a post-conviction motion. Call 813-250-0500 to discuss the facts of your case with a lawyer at the Sammis Law Firm today.

How did I become a Habitual Traffic Offender under Florida law?

To become a habitual traffic offender your Florida driving record must show three convictions during a five year period for the following offenses:

  • Driving while license suspended or revoked either with or without knowledge;
  • DUI – Driving Under the Influence;
  • Voluntary or Involuntary Vehicular Manslaughter;
  • Driving a car to commit a felony;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving death or personal injury or another; or
  • Driving a commercial vehicle while your privilege is disqualified.

The most common scenario is a driver who has never been convicted of DUI but has received three tickets for driving while license suspended either with or without knowledge.

In many of these cases, the person was convicted of the “without knowledge” version of this offense by simply paying the ticket. In other cases, the person was cited for driving while license suspended with knowledge.

When the person went to court they entered a plea without ever talking with an attorney. The court accepted the plea without ever saying that a five-year revocation would result as a collateral consequence of the plea.

To make matters worse, attorneys with the Public Defenders Office are not allowed to pursue post-conviction motions for their clients to remove a prior offense that will cause the Habitual Traffic Offender Revocation.

Fighting to remove the HTO revocation depends on timing issues because different post-conviction motions can be filed within 30 days after you receive the notice, within 60 days after you were convicted of the last driving offense or ticket, or even two (2) years after you were convicted of the last offense or ticket.

Get a Copy of Your Driving Record and Then Call an Attorney

Call 813-250-0500 to schedule a free consultation over the phone or in the office. We fight to remove the habitual traffic offender designation primarily in Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, Polk County, Pasco County, and Hernando County.


    1. Thanks for the comment Joseph. It is nice that the judges are so willing to look closely at helping people undo the HTO designation. But it does make you wonder how many people don’t realize that the can seek this relief until it is too late. Hopefully, this is something the Florida legislature will look at in the next few years.

  1. I am a 5 year habitial offender, and wanted to know, how much would it cost to fill in a motion, and get it removed from my record?

    1. Please give us a call to discuss. It depends on whether you need to vacate a criminal driving while license suspended with knowledge conviction or a civil DWLS without knowledge conviction. It also depends on the jurisdiction in which the motion to vacate will be filed (where the conviction occurred). You should also obtain a recent copy of your driving record. Visit the 2nd links on the “track your case” page of our main website at http://www.criminaldefenseattorneytampa.com to find links to order your driving record instantly. These companies will actually e-mail your driving record to you minutes after you order it. Or you can go to any full service DMV office to obtain a recent copy of your driving record.

  2. i have had hto in march will be a year. im wondering when i can get my hardship what kind of insurance i need to carry and i would like to know if you take cases for vop for driver license. i vop soon i got 6 months but i had surgery on my spine so i just started working and i have a month left no way i can 3,000$ in a month. could you help me?

  3. Im a habitual offender dwls and caught a dui in broward county, i got my licence revoked for 5 years, can i get a hardship after a year? I have to go to school and work, please tell me theres some hope.

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Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 250-0200

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New Port Richey, FL 34654
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Clearwater, FL 33762
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Our Attorneys

Leslie M. Sammis

Leslie M. Sammis

Jason D. Sammis

Jason D. Sammis

Joshua L. Monteiro

Joshua L. Monteiro

Dominique Celerin

Dominique Celerin

Katherine A. Aranda

Katherine A. Aranda

Idalis Vento

Idalis Vento