You don’t quite remember how your license got suspended. You never went to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to take care of it. Instead, you were stopped by police a few times for Operating After Suspension. Each time you got a charge, you “took care of it” by going to the Court, entering a guilty plea and paying a fine. The next thing you know, you received a letter in the mail saying that you are going on Habitual Offender status. In this situation, you might be wondering does the Court make me go on Habitual Offender status?
The answer to the question (does the Court make me go on Habitual Offender status?) is no, it is the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that imposes the Habitual Offender designation. A Habitual Offender designation goes on your driving record, and the BMV is the one that puts that HO designation on your driving record. The BMV makes the designation off of the information available to them from the Court, as well as the contents of your driving record itself.
It is best to avoid becoming a Habitual Offender in the first place. The way you avoid Habitual Offender status is to fight any and all motor vehicle crimes or violations with the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer. This also means do not plead guilty to those charges or violations.
How does someone become a Habitual Offender?
You become a Habitual Offender with any of the following combination of offenses and violations:
- 3 driving-related convictions within a five (5) year period
- 10 traffic violations for which demerit points can be added to your driving record within a 5 period.
- A combination of 10 driving-related convictions and/or traffic violations for which demerit points can be added to your driving record within a 5 period.
A Habitual Offender has his or her driver’s license revoked (suspended indefinitely). In many instances, a Habitual Offender in Maine will have to wait a minimum of six (6) years before becoming eligible for any form of relief or work license.
While avoiding Habitual Offender designation is the best defense, The Nielsen Group has been successful in helping clients to obtain relief from Habitual Offender status. Since each case is unique, I’d like to share with you an article on how I advocated with the Courts and BMV fighting a habitual offender status. In this case the habitual offender status was removed by the BMV because I successfully moved the Court to vacate my client’s plea in his last OAS conviction and got the charge dismissed. Having criminal defense counsel is definitely a step in the right direction. The sooner our legal team becomes involved in your case, the more time we will have to assist you. The worst thing you can do when facing Habitual Offender status is to do nothing.
Our committed legal team is determined to take immediate action to seek a positive case outcome. If you or someone you know is facing Habitual Offender designation from the BMV, I encourage you to contact The Nielsen Group for your free legal consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney. We will take the time to answer your questions and to put your mind at ease.
It is well worth your time to check out:
If you would like to call us now at (207) 571-8555, we can begin to develop your case strategy.
If you enjoyed this answer to the question (Does the Court make me a Habitual Offender), you may also want to read:
- Habitual Offender Revocation
- Relief from Habitual Offender Status
- What Happens to my License After my Third Suspension?