One of the methods to avoid jail, habitual traffic offender (HTO) or a felony conviction on a driving on a suspended license case is to collaterally attack the prior convictions. This is can be successful but also has limitations. A collateral attack is not a legal defense. It is based on the principle that if you get it together and come to court with a valid license it is rare that the state would convict you of a suspended license. A suspended license conviction could cause an additional suspension on your license and put you back in the system. So what is a collateral attack? A collateral attack usually comes into play for multiple offenders. Generally the state will offer a better deal if you can come to court with a valid license. If you forgot to pay a ticket this isn’t a big deal. It becomes impossible when you are designated as a habitual traffic offender. When you are trying to undo a habitual traffic offender designation collateral attack is the remedy. What a collateral attack does is attempts to overturn prior convictions. This is easier with non-criminal traffic infractions. It is possible on criminal infractions but can be an uphill battle without a legal basis. Collateral attack is not available on a first time suspended license case because you would not have a prior to attempt to overturn. It is typically used when someone gets arrested for driving on a suspended license as a habitual traffic offender. So what happens when the prior case is opened up? Generally the goal is to amend the suspended license without knowledge to either a withhold of adjudication or to a fail to display a valid driver’s license. Simply paying a non-criminal suspended license ticket can make you a habitual offender. This is the result of a strange rule in Florida. In Florida if you pay a ticket without a hearing you automatically get adjudicated guilty. This causes that non-criminal suspended license case to potentially suspend your license for 5 years and potentially set you up for a felony. An experienced attorney can make all the difference in a suspended license case. An understanding of the law can help you avoid jail and the collateral consequences of a suspended license case. We handle suspended license cases in Volusia County, Seminole County, Orlando, Brevard County, Osceola County, Palm Beach County, Flagler County, St. Johns County and Lake County. If you are accused of driving on a suspended license contact attorney Kevin J. Pitts. Mr. Pitts handles first offense suspended license cases and repeat offender cases. Mr. Pitts handles cases in Daytona Beach, DeLand, Seminole County and Flagler County. Mr. Pitts works with attorneys in the above listed counties and can get you in touch with a lawyer in those counties. Do not handle a suspended license case without an attorney. A wrong step could result in a 5 year license suspension. Your driver’s license is too important. Click the link above for the county closest to you and call today for a free consultation.