A person can be certified a habitual offender if that person has multiple driving convictions on his or her driving record, as follows:
- Any combination of 12 minor motor vehicle convictions for speeding, crossing a solid line, operating without a license, or operating without proof of financial responsibility when required to obtain it; or
- Three (3) major motor vehicle convictions (see below); or
- One (1) major motor vehicle conviction and any combination of eight (8) of the minor motor vehicle convictions shown in above; or
- Two (2) major motor vehicle convictions and any combination of four (4) of the minor motor vehicle convictions shown above; and
- These convictions are based upon the date of the underlining violations and have all occurred within a five (5) year period.
The most common major motor vehicle convictions are:
- Driving while Intoxicated (DWI/DUI, Drunk Driving)
- Reckless Driving
- Leaving the Scene of (Conduct After) an Accident
- Operating after Revocation or Suspension
- Taking a Vehicle without Authority
- Disobeying a Police Officer
- Unlawfully Passing a School Bus
Once a driver has committed the necessary underlying offenses within a five (5) year period, the Department of Motor Vehicles will hold a hearing wherein they will that driver's license for a period of one (1) to (4) years. Most importantly, if a person is arrested for driving after having been certified as a habitual offender, that person may be sentenced to a mandatory sentence of 12-months in jail!
In order to earn back your New Hampshire operating privileges, a habitual offender must meet all the criteria of the court including the one (1) to four (4) year loss of license as well as completion of driver improvement course and other related coursework. Further, the Department of Safety, Bureau of Hearings determines you are eligibility after a hearing. A person certified as a habitual offender cannot drive until the Department of Motor Vehicles reinstates that person's driving privileges and the person re-obtains a license.
If you are charged with Operating as a Habitual Offender, or are contesting certification as a Habitual Offender, you need an experienced and effective criminal defense attorney to represent you immediately. A person convicted of this offense can be guilty of a felony, face jail or prison time, can pay heavy fines, and will lose his license for an extended period of time. The criminal defense lawyers at Wilson, Bush & Keefe have the proven record of success to defend you when you need it the most.