If you have multiple traffic offenses in Virginia, getting your license reinstated becomes a complex task. The state has specific guidelines for reinstatement, and it can be difficult to determine if, and when, you’re eligible.
In this article, we'll discuss the DMV-required actions to take when you have a history of traffic offenses.
Virginia’s Habitual Traffic Offender Laws
Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) laws in Virginia are designed to keep dangerous drivers off the road. The consequences for HTO offenses can be severe.
If a driver is deemed an HTO, their license may be suspended for up to five years.
The length change depending on:
- The number of violations
- The severity of the offenses
Virginia courts take HTO violations very seriously. HTO drivers who are operating with a suspended license or who commit violations face significant penalties. They can go to jail for up to 12 months, pay fines as high as $2,500, and receive lengthier license suspensions.
Habitual Traffic Offender Criteria in Virginia
The state can declare you a habitual offender if:
- You have at least 3 major traffic convictions
- You have at least 12 minor traffic convictions
However, there are some caveats to this standard. Habitual offender laws were changed as of July 1, 1999. Now, people are allowed to petition the courts for their driving privileges.
HTO License Suspensions in Virginia
If you’ve had your license suspended due to habitual traffic offenses, here are some steps you can take to get back on the road.
- Understand exactly why the state suspended your license. You should have received notice of exactly what your offenses are. Typical HTO offenses include a pattern of reckless or negligent driving, speeding, driving under the influence, or driving without a license.
- Once you've identified the reason for your suspension, work on remedying the situation. This might involve attending a driver improvement clinic or completing a substance abuse treatment program.
- Pay any fines or court fees associated with your offenses.
- Attend a hearing with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Get help from a good attorney who can help you manage the paperwork and build a strong case for reinstatement. The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller has a long history of handling traffic offenses, and our team can stand by your side.
Appealing Your HTO License Suspension
To successfully appeal your suspension, you must provide convincing evidence. Your job is to show the court that you are addressing the issues that led to your habitual offender status.
Some examples of this include:
- Attending traffic school
- Completion of a substance abuse program
- Regular attendance at counseling sessions for anger management, impulse control, or any other contributing factor
If the court believes you are sincerely committed to reform, you may be eligible for license reinstatement.
The Court Process for HTO License Reinstatement
The process typically involves:
- Attending a court hearing
- Completing any required courses or programs
- Demonstrating a commitment to safe and responsible driving
Help for Habitual Traffic Offenders in Virginia
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers a Driver Improvement Clinic that can help you achieve compliance with the law and regain your driving privileges.
The DMV can also help you set up a payment plan to pay off any fines or fees associated with your traffic violations.
Checklist of Things for to Do When Applying for License Reinstatement
- Gather all of the necessary documentation, including proof of insurance and completion of any required driver improvement clinics.
- Pay any outstanding fines or court fees.
- Depending on your circumstances, enroll in substance abuse treatment or education programs. This helps demonstrate that you are taking steps to address the root cause of your previous traffic violations.
- Be prepared to answer questions about your driving history and provide a detailed explanation for your previous infractions.
If you need help reinstating your driving privileges for any reason, our firm is here to help. Set up a free consultation with us by calling (757) 267-4949 or contacting us online.