Habitual Traffic Violator (HTV) Laws in Indiana
If you have been labeled a habitual traffic violator, you should contact an experienced traffic attorney right away. Habitual Traffic Violator (HTV) suspensions are typically for five (5) or ten (10) years. However, these determinations are sometimes incorrect and a lawyer can determine if the license suspension is valid and how to challenge the suspension if necessary. If the suspension is valid, you may have other options to regain driving privileges that a lawyer can advise you about, as well.
Five Year Habitual Traffic Violator Suspension
If a driver is convicted of one major offense and nine minor traffic violations in a ten (10) year period, the BMV will label that person a habitual traffic violator for five (5) years, resulting in a five year license suspension. A major conviction includes offenses such as operating without ever having received a license, reckless driving, DUI or operating while intoxicated convictions, failure to stop after an accident, drag racing or engaging in a speed contest, or driving while license suspended (in limited circumstances), among others. Minor offenses include any traffic citation involving the operation of a vehicle, such as driving while license suspended, speeding, running a red light and any other common traffic citation. See I.C. 9-30-10-4(c).
Ten Year Habitual Traffic Violator Suspension
If a driver is convicted of three major traffic offenses in a ten (10) year period, the BMV will label that person a habitual traffic violator for ten (10) years, resulting in a ten year license suspension. A major offense for this section includes any felony in which the operation of a vehicle is an element of the crime, criminal recklessness as a felony involving a vehicle, reckless driving, operating while intoxicated, failure to stop after an accident causing death or injury, OVWI causing death, drag racing or engaging in a speed contest, along with others. See I.C. 9-30-10-4(b).
Lifetime Habitual Traffic Violator Suspension
If a driver is convicted of two serious traffic offenses in a ten (10) year period, the BMV will label that person a habitual traffic violator for life. A serious offense for this section includes reckless homicide involving the operation of a vehicle, manslaughter involving the operation of a vehicle and operating while intoxicated causing death, among others. A suspension under this section is indefinite. See I.C. 9-30-10-4(c).
My License is Suspended as a Habitual Traffic Violator – Now What?
Every time you are convicted of a traffic offense, either a major conviction like DUI or OVWI or a minor speeding ticket, the conviction is certified to the BMV and placed on your driving record. Once the BMV receives notice of the last qualifying conviction, the BMV will create a pending license suspension thirty days out and mail notice to the driver.
If you receive notice of a pending habitual traffic violator suspension, you must act quickly. A lawyer can review the records to verify each conviction and make sure the records are correct. If there is an error, you can request an administrative hearing with the BMV to contest the HTV suspension.
If the HTV suspension is valid and the conviction records are accurate, you may be eligible to apply for Specialized Driving Privileges, which stops the suspension and allows you to drive to and from work, school, church, childcare for your kids, and any other location that the court allows.
I was Caught Driving as a Habitual Traffic Violator? What Happens Now?
If your driver’s license is suspended as a habitual traffic violator, you may not drive. If you are caught driving while you are a habitual traffic violator, you may be charged with a criminal offense for Operating While a Habitual Traffic Violator. (See I.C. 9-30-10-16 and 9-30-10-17).Operating while HTV is a Level 6 Felony, unless you were suspended for life, then it can be filed as a Level 5 felony. If convicted, your driver’s license can be suspended for an additional period by the court, on top of any other pending license suspensions. Additionally, since it is a felony, you may also be facing jail, community corrections, probation and fines and costs.
Julie Chambers – Former Deputy Prosecutor on Your Side
Attorney Julie Chambers can provide competent, professional advice and help guide you through the BMV process or criminal justice system. As a former Marion County deputy prosecutor, she handled misdemeanor and felony cases and was also assigned to the traffic court for a period of time, giving her unique experience she can bring to your case. Today, she focuses a majority of her practice on criminal and traffic law. She will be there with you each step of the way, working diligently to defend your case and help you get back on the road – legally.
Chambers Law Office represents clients throughout central Indiana, including Marion County (Indianapolis), Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson, Madison, Hendricks and Boone Counties. Contact Chambers Law Office, LLC to discuss your case today!