Barbara A. Bowden

Tacoma, WA DUI Attorney

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Suspended License and Habitual Traffic Offenses

Of course, we all have a responsibility to drive safely, to follow Washington traffic laws, and to obey law enforcement officers. That being said, there are days when all of us may fall short of those responsibilities. Perhaps you have a broken taillight, but simply have not had time to have it repaired, or you are running late for work, so are driving faster than normal—and faster than the posted speed limit.

Or, maybe the traffic light changed just as you were about to cross the intersection. You must make a decision in a split second, so you decide to go for it, only to find you just ran a red light. If you receive a single traffic ticket, it may not be that big of a deal. That’s not the case, you should call our office immediately.

At the Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, we work with those who are in danger of having their license suspended as well as those who already have a license suspension—whether due to a DUI or other traffic violations. If you are a habitual traffic offender and want to avoid probation or suspension, it is important that you contact an experienced traffic ticket lawyer.

What is a Habitual Traffic Offender?

If a Washington driver has any of the following, HTO status may be reached:

  • Three major moving convictions (DUI, Hit and Run Attended, Reckless Driving, Eluding an Officer, DWLS 1, DWLS 2, Vehicular Homicide, Physical Control or Vehicular Assault), or
  • A combination of twenty (20) separate moving traffic infractions or convictions within a five-year period.

Your license cannot summarily be suspended by the DOL, rather you must receive notification of intent to suspend and be given the opportunity to request a hearing. Read your paperwork closely and contact our firm immediately. At the hearing, the DOL will attempt to determine whether you have the requisite number of infractions or convictions within a five-year window of time. If you have received four moving violations in twelve months, or five moving violations in twenty-four months, you may be put on probation, however, once you are on probation, your risk of suspension increases.

When Probation is Not an Option

Even if you haven’t requested a timely HTO hearing, contact us immediately.

Should you be caught driving during that period of time without getting back your license, you will be charged with Driving on a Suspended License in the First Degree (DWLS 1), and will spend a mandatory 10 days in jail, plus, in all probability, a longer suspension. If you are caught driving on a suspended license a second time, (DWLS 1), you will spend a mandatory 90 days in jail (180 days for a third DWLS 1).

In some cases, after being declared a habitual traffic offender, you may be able to regain your driving privileges on a probationary basis if it can be proven that you suffer from alcohol or drug dependency and you agree to enter a chemical dependency program. It is imperative that you contact a knowledgeable Washington traffic ticket lawyer from The Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden as quickly as possible after learning you could have your license suspended.

Getting Help for Your License Suspension or HTO Status

Whether your license is suspended because of a DUI, or you are in—or close to being in—HTO status, you are facing long-term, even life-altering consequences. Most of us find driving a necessary part of life—we drive to and from work, we take children to school or go to school ourselves, we run errands, we go on recreational trips, or we go to church. If you are facing an HTO suspension or a DUI suspension, or if you believe you qualify for early reinstatement or a probationary driver’s license, contact an experienced traffic ticket lawyer from the Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden.

A highly knowledgeable attorney will review your specific situation, determining the best way to avoid an HTO suspension, or gain relief from an HTO suspension already in place. At the Law Offices of Barbara A. Bowden, we not only specialize in avoiding license suspensions, we help drivers with suspended licenses obtain a valid license and we can often get you back your license well before the end of your seven-year suspension. Contact our Lakewood, WA offices today so we can immediately begin assessing your problem—and solving it in the best way possible.