Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) in Olympia

traffic violationBeing designated a habitual traffic offender (HTO) will negatively impact you in numerous ways for years. If you are at risk of being designated as HTO, you must speak to an attorney before it is too late. Once designated as HTO, you will have a 4 year license suspension which can go up to 7 years. Unfortunately, many people contact our office too late after the damage has already been done.

We certainly understand you might need to drive for work purposes but the unfortunate reality is you have lost that privilege due to your past driving. A court and the DOL are not going to put the community at risk because it is inconvenient for you. Basically, their rational is you made your bed and now you have to sleep in it.

There are two key ways to be classified as a habitual traffic offender. The most common way is by getting three “strikes” within a 5 year period. There are numerous criminal traffic charges which qualify. The most common examples are a DUI, Reckless Driving, Physical Control, Hit & Run Attended, and Driving while license suspended 2°. It is especially important to be aware of the fact that all of those criminal convictions will also result in a license suspension (DWLS 2°) so many people get one strike on the initial conviction and then quickly get a second strike due to driving on a suspended license. If you get caught driving again, you have three quick strikes.

The second way to be designated HTO is by having 20 moving violations go on your record within that 5 year period. Moving violations include driving crimes as well as moving traffic infractions, such as speeding and failure to stop. Normally, people who are facing HTO status due to tickets will have already been suspended previously for getting too many tickets. The Department of Licensing will suspend your license if you get 4 moving violations in a one year period of 5 within two years. Hopefully, this will have put people on notice of the greater danger that lays ahead of them if they do not change their driving. Obviously, we would also encourage you to contact an attorney before getting the first suspension as well.

If you are concerned about possibly getting a license suspension, give our office a call. We will be more than happy to discuss your record and what you could be potentially facing.

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