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Habitual Traffic Violator: How Did I Get Here?

Very few things can cause as much hardship as a notice from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that one's driving privileges will be suspended. So often one depends on their driving privileges for more than just recreational travel; one's employment and family responsibilities can all be adversely affected. This can leave a person wondering. "How did this happen? How did I get here?"

Under current Indiana law, an individual can be adjudicated a Habitual Traffic Violator ("HTV") in one of three ways. See Indiana Code 9-30-10-4. First, an individual can be convicted two qualifying fatal traffic violations (i.e. operating while intoxicated resulting in death, driving while license suspended resulting in death). This category of HTV, referred to as a "4(A) Suspension," is exceptionally rare and results in a lifetime suspension of an individual's driving privileges. Second, an individual can commit three major violations within a ten (10) year period of time. Examples of major violations include: operating while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, operating never received a license, etc. This category of HTV, referred to as a "4(B) Suspension," is the most common and results in a ten (10) year suspension of an individual's driving privileges. Lastly, an individual can commit ten (10) moving violations – of which one is a major violation – within a ten (10) year period of time. Note: moving violations, most commonly traffic infractions, do not include equipment violations. This category of HTV, referred to as a "4(C) Suspension," is the most innocuous of the HTV suspensions and results in a five (5) year suspension of an individual's driving privileges.

Regardless of the type of HTV suspension, it is a Class D Felony to operating a motor vehicle while one knows that their driving privileges are suspended as a Habitual Traffic Violator. More onerous still, a felony conviction for Operating While HTV will result in the lifetime suspension of a person's driving privileges. And, it is a Class C Felony to operating a vehicle with one's driving privileges forfeited for life.

Given the serious consequences associated with violating an HTV suspension, it is not surprising that individuals routinely contact the attorneys at Keffer Barnhart LLP to evaluate whether their HTV suspension was correctly imposed. In many instances – even if an HTV suspension was properly imposed – an individual may be eligible for probationary driving privileges that will allow for limited driving during their suspension. However, there are certain requirements that must be satisfied before any appeal of one's HTV suspension can be executed, or before any probationary driving privileges can be sought.

The attorneys at Keffer Barnhart LLP have experience in executing administrative appeals with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles as well as petitioning for probationary driving privileges for clients who were adjudicated HTV. If you have received a notice that you will be HTV, if you have been laboring under an HTV suspension, or if you are uncertain about the status of your driver license, contact the attorneys of Keffer Barnhart LLP today at (317) 857-0160 or at 1-800-NOT GUILTY.