In an effort to curb recidivism and keep potentially dangerous drivers off the streets, many states have enacted what are known as “habitual violator” laws. Pennsylvania is among several states in the country that have these laws on the books.
A “habitual offender” is a person who has been convicted of multiple driving violations. Once an individual has been deemed one, they'll be at risk of losing their driving privileges temporarily or permanently. If you're in this predicament, it's important you understand Chester County law enforcement and judges aren't likely to exercise mercy to habitual offenders. This is why you need the representation of an experienced Chester County criminal defense attorney. Joseph D. Lento is a legal professional who can help guide you through the legal process and protect your rights.
For the purposes of this article, we'll discuss under what circumstances a person is considered a habitual violator in Chester County, and the laws and penalties associated with this classification.
What is a Habitual Violator in Chester County?
Pennsylvania labels someone a habitual violator if they have 3 or more convictions of the following offenses within a five-year span:
- Operating under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
- Homicide by vehicle
- Aggravated assault by vehicle
- Accidents involving damage to another vehicle or property
- Driving on a suspended license
- Reckless driving
- Failing to stop when involved in a crash
- Fleeing from or attempting to elude law enforcement
- Illegally operating a motor vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock device
- Driving with your lights off to avoid identification and arrest
In the event that a person is convicted of three of the offenses above or has acquired three DUIs within five years, their license will be revoked for five years. For each additional offense committed after being deemed a habitual violator, a defendant's license will be revoked for two more years.
License Suspension/Revocation Process
Habitual violators who are due for a license suspension or revocation will receive a notification in the mail informing them of the condition of their license from PennDOT. Motorists will then send their license to the listed agency prior to the assigned date of the suspension or revocation. From here, drivers have two choices: they can either endure the duration of the probation period or seek legal counsel to assist them in appealing this suspension or revocation.
It is your responsibility to submit proof of payments of outstanding fines or tickets owed in order for your license to be restored. It is only after you have completed the suspension period and a driver's program that you will be able to renew your license.
Are You a Habitual Violator? Contact the Lento Law Firm Now
Being labeled a habitual violation in Chester County will put you at risk of losing your driving privileges. The sooner a legal representative can get on your case, the more time we have to build a solid defense and get you out of this situation.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento has the experience and credentials to defend people who've acquired driving violations. For more information about his representation, contact the Lento Law Firm either online or by phone at 888-535-3686.