Habitual Traffic Offender Revocations: an Unpleasant Surprise

The Massachusetts Habitual Traffic Offender law results in a 4 year automatic license revocation for a conviction of 3 major violations, 12 minor violations, or any combination thereof, within any 5 year period. This 5 year HTO period is measured by conviction and not offense dates.

Major violations include: Drunk Driving, Operating so as to Endanger, making a false statement in a Registry Document, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Operating After Suspension or Revocation, driving without a license, or using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony.

Minor violations include any offense for which the Registry is authorized to suspend a driver’s license for 30 days or more. These include most moving violations such a speeding, and failing stop for a stop sign, red light, etc…

It is important to understand the Massachusetts Habitual Traffic Offender Law when deciding whether to plead out to a criminal motor vehicle offense or take the case to trial. In any cases where there is even a remote possibility of a Habitual Traffic Offender Revocation, your record should be thoroughly reviewed to avoid what could be a very unpleasant surprise, a 4 year license revocation. Although the HTO revocation is automatic, there are some tactical and strategic legal maneuvers which your attorney may be able to use to avoid triggering it.

If your license is revoked under the Mass. Habitual Traffic Offender Law, you can be considered for a hardship license after serving 1 year of the 4 year license revocation. You must have taken the National Safety Council Driver Retraining Class within 3 years of applying for a hardship license.