When a dui case has been concluded, many intelligent people who have been sentenced believe it reasonable to rely upon the judge’s sentencing order as it relates to the length of their driver’s license suspension.
However, additional license suspensions imposed by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and not the sentencing judge can often lead to unanticipated consequences for one not properly advised.
For a dui in Hamilton county it is therefore essential that you communicate the present status of your driving record to your lawyer as soon as possible. In so doing, you are taking action to potentially avoid the possibility of an additional 5-10 year Indiana driver’s license suspension imposed as a result of a Noblesville dui conviction. This additional license suspension is the result of what is called a “Habitual Traffic Violator” designation within the State of Indiana.
Apart from a judicially ordered license suspension, a Habitual Traffic Violator is a licensed driver who has accumulated either three “Major” moving violations within a ten year period or one or two major moving violations and eight to nine “Minor” moving violations in combination within a ten year period.
On many occasions one convicted of a dui is not even notified for months after a dui conviction of “HTV” status. Such individuals learn by mail as they near the end of their court ordered suspension that an additional five year or ten year driver’s license suspension has later been tacked on by the bureau of motor vehicles due to the later determined HTV designation.
A “Major” moving violation in Indiana includes but is not limited to dui, driving while suspended with suspension the result of a court order, reckless driving, etc.
“Minor” moving violations include, but are not limited to, speeding tickets, driving while suspended as an infraction and not as the result of a court order, and other moving offenses not subject to jail time.
Within Hamilton county cases where an HTV determination could later lead to tragic consequences, the lawyer representing you must scrutinize all angles to address the situation prior to the case’s conclusion.
For example, on some occasions if the ten year mark for the first calculable offense for HTV can be within reach, tactically postponing resolution of a criminal case and subsequent conviction can prevent the imposition of as much as an additional ten year license suspension!
Unfortunately, on too many occasions, well meaning general practice lawyers not familiar with the possibility of a consecutive additional HTV suspension could have easily prolonged case proceedings so as to prevent an HTV designation with the proper knowledge and experience to draw upon.
Following an HTV status designation determined by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles one is at the mercy of the Indiana BMV and not the court as to proceedings by which to reinstate or allow for minimized driving ability.
At present following an HTV determination the recourse in Indiana by which to drive on a limited basis is for a petition for probationary license for work purposes in two prescribed circumstances, 1.) If one has gone at least five years without a driving offense from the time the HTV status was determined for cases with a ten year HTV suspension or 2.) once the court ordered suspension has elapsed and the court finds sufficient grounds for the allowance of a probationary license for HTV five year suspensions.
Short of that, the only additional alternative is the filing of a “Petition For Post Conviction Relief” (PCR) a costly undertaking that attempts to have one of the underlying moving violations dismissed. In such cases the successful petitioner is eligible for potential full reinstatement of license if successful.
This is customarily done by initiating a request for transcript of any former guilty plea hearings leading to a prior conviction. Based upon the review of the transcript , or lack thereof, the attorney would attempt to determine whether any legal grounds for overturning the prior conviction exist.
Despite any legal options in the wake of an HTV designation, the lesson needs to be made clear: If you have any doubt as to the possibility of prior moving violations prompting an HTV designation, you must communicate these thoughts to your attorney prior to any conclusion to any case proceedings within your dui case in Hamilton county.