Habitual Traffic Offender Law in Colorado
To be revoked as a habitual traffic offender in Colorado, you must be convicted of 3 strikes in 7 years. Strikes include major traffic offenses such as DUI, DWAI, reckless driving, vehicular assault, and driving under restraint. Once revoked you lose your license for 5 years. Early reinstatement may be possible in some situations. There are less common ways to become a habitual traffic offender, too: see Colorado Revised Statutes 42-2-202.
Once you are a habitual traffic offender (HTO, for short), if you are caught driving you face serious penalties: up to a $5000 fine and 18 months in jail. There is a mandatory minimum of 30 days. The charge is titled Driving After Revocation Prohibited, though most prosecutors and lawyers just call it “HTO” or “DARP”. See Colorado Revised Statutes 42-2-206.
Note, it is a class 6 felony in Colorado if, while revoked as HTO, you commit certain driving offenses, such as reckless driving, vehicular eluding, hit and run, and DUI. This charge is called Aggravated Driving with a Revoked License, punishable by up to 18 months in prison in most cases.
Defending Habitual Traffic Charges: What a Criminal Lawyer Can Do
If you are revoked, chances are you have already be dealing with a great deal of expense and stress, trying to manage your life without a vehicle. These criminal charges won’t help. A criminal lawyer can help you defend these charges, either by going to trial, by demonstrating mitigation to the prosecutor and judge, or by showing the weaknesses in the case to the prosecutor, and thereby getting a better plea offer. Sometimes there are opportunities to get evidence suppressed or a case dismissed. Sometimes a lawyer can pierce the bureaucracy at the DMV and help you that way. At all times, a criminal lawyer will help ensure your interests are defended and you are treated fairly.
HTO charges are an aggravated type of driving under restraint case. For more on how these cases are defended, see the page on driving under restraint.
Matthew Hand has handled hundreds of habitual traffic offender cases and can fight for the best possible resolution for you. Read more about Denver criminal lawyer Matthew Hand, or call (303) 900-8480 for a free consultation.