How many convictions does it take before the state declares someone a habitual offender?

Each state governs habitual offenders differently. Some states base designation on points, others on major traffic offenses. And there are many states without a Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO) law on the books. 

DUI, Traffic Tickets, and Speeding Tickets

If you reside in a habitual offender state, designation is usually based on the following major offenses:

  • Vehicular homicide.
  • Vehicular assault.
  • Driving or operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI or DWI).
  • Driving a motor vehicle while your permit or drivers license is suspended or revoked.
  • Leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and or death.
  • Reckless driving.
  • Attempting to elude police.
DUI is the most common cause for HTO status. If you are one DUI traffic ticket away from being designated a habitual offender, its best to have a DUI lawyer at the ready. Otherwise, if you get stopped again you will be in danger of being labeled a habitual offender, which comes with long-term repercussions, including higher car insurance rates and a permanent stain on your driving record.

Alabama Habitual offender law does not apply to DUI.
Alaska No habitual offender law.
Arizona No habitual offender law.
Arkansas No habitual offender law.
California Three or more within a 10-year period.
Colorado Three or more within a seven-year period.
Connecticut No habitual offender law.
Delaware Three or more within a five-year period.
Florida Three or more within a five-year period.
Georgia Three or more within a 10-year period.
Hawaii Three or more within a 10-year period.
Idaho No habitual offender law.
Illinois No habitual offender law.
Indiana Three or more within a 10-year period.
Iowa Three or more within a six-year period.
Kansas Three or more within a five-year period.
Kentucky No habitual offender law.
Louisiana Three or more within a five-year period.
Maine Three or more within a five-year period.
Maryland No habitual offender law.
Massachusetts Three or more within a five-year period.
Michigan No habitual offender law.
Minnesota No habitual offender law.
Mississippi No habitual offender law.
Missouri No habitual offender law.
Montana 30 or more conviction points within a three-year period.
Nebraska No habitual offender law.
Nevada No habitual offender law.
New Hampshire Three or more within a five-year period.
New Jersey Three or more license suspensions within three-year period.
New Mexico No habitual offender law.
New York No habitual offender law.
North Carolina Three or more offenses within a seven-year period.
North Dakota No habitual offender law.
Ohio No habitual offender law.
Oklahoma No habitual offender law.
Oregon Three or more in a five-year period, or a combination of 20 minor and major offenses within five years. 
Pennsylvania Three or more within a five-year period.
Rhode Island Three or more convictions within a three-year period.
South Carolina Three or more within a three-year period, or 10 or more four-point moving violation convictions.
South Dakota No habitual offender law.
Tennessee Three or more within a five-year period.
Texas Four or more convictions within 12 months, or seven or more convictions within 24 months.
Utah No habitual offender law.
Vermont Eight or more convictions within a five-year period.
Virginia Three or more within a 10-year period.
Washington Three or more within a five-year period.
West Virginia No habitual offender law.
Wisconsin Four or more in a five-year period.
Wyoming No habitual offender law.
Washington DC No habitual offender law.

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