Vail Attorney for Habitual Traffic Offenses

woman police lights phoneIf you’ve received a habitual traffic offender (HTO) charge in Eagle County, or have been charged with driving after revocation prohibited (DARP) after being designated as a habitual traffic offender, here are the steps you must take to resolve your case:

  1. Contact A Habitual Traffic Offenses Lawyer As Soon As Possible. A good HTO lawyer knows that the best thing to do for clients facing habitual traffic offender designation is to work on getting charges that count towards HTO designation dropped or downgraded in the first place. However, if it is too late, and you have already been designated as a habitual traffic offender, your HTO lawyer will work hard to help mitigate your charges or penalties, since being designated a habitual traffic offender generally means that you are facing harsher than normal penalties for your alleged offenses.
  2. Help Your Attorney Build Your Defense. Facts may exist in your case that can mitigate the charges you face, reduce the penalties you are facing, or may even make it so your case should be dismissed, so you should tell your lawyer everything you can about your alleged crime. Your HTO lawyer will know what course of action is best for you based on the facts of your case. On the one hand, going to trial and fighting your charges in court might be the best thing for you to do. On the other hand, maybe there is weakness in the prosecutor’s case against you that could lead to a better plea agreement or the dismissal of your case. Whatever your situation might be, your Vail HTO attorney will know what legal strategy will be best for your case.
  3. DMV Early Reinstatement of Your License. Once you have become designated as a habitual traffic offender in Colorado, your license will be revoked for a period of 5 years. In some cases of habitual traffic offenders, it is possible to get your driver’s license reinstated with driving restrictions before the five years have passed. Your HTO lawyer will know whether you are eligible for early reinstatement of your driver’s license and will help you through the administrative process at the Colorado DMV to get your license back sooner.

 

If you’re from outside of Eagle County, you likely don’t have the time or energy to deal with this. Call us, and we’ll deal with it for you.

An Overview of Colorado Habitual Traffic Offense Laws

 
When a resident or nonresident driver in Colorado has been convicted of three or more major traffic offenses in a period of seven years, the driver becomes a habitual traffic offender. These offenses are sometimes referred to as HTO strikes – three strikes and you are out. Some of the traffic offense convictions that can lead to a driver becoming designated as a habitual offender include:

It is also possible to become designated as a habitual traffic offender if you accumulate ten or more convictions arising from separate incidents in a five year period of time that involve moving violations accounting for four or more points each on your driving record, or by accumulating  eighteen or more convictions arising from separate incidents in a five year period of time that involve moving violations accounting for three or less points each on your driving record.

If you are convicted of a driving offense and you become labeled as a habitual traffic offender, your driver’s license will be revoked by the Colorado DMV for a period of five years. This five year revocation of licensure is in addition to any other restrictions or suspensions that may be placed on your driver’s license due to criminal convictions or other administrative actions against you. Continuing to drive as a habitual traffic offender can lead to a driving after revocation prohibited (DARP) charge if you are caught driving on your revoked license.

Potential Consequences for Colorado Habitual Traffic Offenders

 
Driving as a habitual traffic offender with a revoked license carries serious consequences if you are ultimately convicted. A conviction in Colorado for driving after revocation prohibited as a habitual traffic offender can result in a number of severe penalties including:

If you are charged with driving as a habitual offender at the same time that you are charged with another traffic-related offense, like reckless driving, careless driving or a DUI, your driving as a habitual offender charge will be enhanced to aggravated driving as a habitual offender, which carries a prison sentence of up to three years and a fine of up to $100,000 dollars.

Additionally, nearly all driving offense convictions for habitual traffic offenders carry harsher punishments than the punishment first or second time offenders receive. For instance, getting a driving under revocation as a habitual traffic offender can result in a prison sentence of up to 18 months in jail. Similarly, getting a DUI as a habitual traffic offender results in an upgrade of the charge to a class 6 felony, more jail time, and a steeper fine.

Your time is important. We can help you get your HTO charges resolved so your can get back to what matters.

If you’re from outside of Eagle County, you likely don’t have the time or energy to deal with this. Call us, and we’ll deal with it for you.