What constitutes a habitual traffic violator in Indiana?
If you are determined to be an Habitual Traffic Violator by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, your driving privileges can be suspended for 5 years, 10 years or even for life. If you drive as an Habitual Traffic Violator after a BMV determination, you can be charged with a Level 6 felony and face up to 2.5 years in prison.
A conviction for operating a motor vehicle as an Habitual Traffic Violator also carries a lifetime driver’s license. However, if the conviction is entered as a Class A misdemeanor, a lifetime suspension can be avoided.
There are several defenses to a Habitual Traffic Violator charge. Steven Knecht obtained a not guilty verdict at a jury trial because the State was unable to prove that his client was properly notified by the BMV of the habitual traffic violator suspension. He has also won several jury trials with the defense that someone else was driving the vehicle. Further, it is a defense that the person operated the vehicle in an extreme emergency that was necessary to save life or limb.
As of January 1, 2015, Indiana eliminated hardship and probationary licenses and replaced them with special driving privileges permits. Under this new law, individuals with habitual traffic violator suspensions are potentially eligible for immediate driving privileges for work or other necessities of life approved by a court. Therefore, there is no excuse for most individuals to ever be arrested for operating as an habitual traffic violator with the availability of special driving privileges.
Judges do not have to grant requests for specialized driving privileges, but may if the judge believes the driving privileges are appropriate. Therefore, if your license is suspended or you have been arrested for being an habitual traffic violator, you should hire an experienced traffic and criminal defense lawyers such as Steven Knecht with Vonderheide & Knecht to discuss your options. You may be eligible to get back on the roads with our assistance.