New Information on Habitual Traffic Offender Status
A very important recent development on the Florida Habitual Traffic Offender status has just been revealed.
There is more than one way to become a Habitual Traffic Offender. The most popular way, however, seems to be when somebody compiles three Driving With Suspended License charges within a five (5) year period. Again, if the underlying charge is a criminal Driving With a Suspended License charge, then for purposes of becoming a habitual traffic offender, it does NOT matter if the Judge withholds adjudication on that third and final charge or adjudicates you guilty. Pursuant to the habitual traffic offender statute, either way will habitualize that person with a third offense.
Interestingly enough, there is a concept called a "Judge's Withhold" which is different from just a withhold of adjudication. A "Judge's Withhold" ordinarily would not count as a third strike for purposes of receiving habitual traffic offender status. That being said, the important development pusuant to the Division of Motor Vehicles is what was suspending the license prior to the Judge deciding to issue the "Judge's Withhold." In other words, if the person's license was suspended due to a financial matter such as unpaid traffic citations and the Judge issues a Judge's Withhold, then that person should be able to avoid habitual traffic offender status if that suspended license charge at issue was the person's third offense.
However, in the event that the person's license was suspended for something non financial, such as a "fail to appear" that shows on the person's driving record, then the "Judge's Withhold" will NOT prevent that person's license from being revoked for five (5) years and from becoming a habitual traffic offender. In other words, it is now also critical in Florida as to what are the underlying causes for the initial suspension of the driver's license.
These are extremely important and technical matters so before resolving any issue pertaining to Driving With a Suspended License, be sure to contact the Law Offices of Russell D. Bernstein, P.A., The Legal Helpline-A Private Law Firm, toll free at 855-FLA-TICKET or 855-352-8425 for any questions you may have.