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Bucher Law Group, LLC

Could I Lose My Wisconsin Driver’s License Over Traffic Tickets?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

WI ticket lawyerNot being able to drive can make your life very difficult. If you drive yourself to work or your children to school every day, a suspended license could create serious problems. Even grocery shopping can become a significant hassle when you must rely on someone else to drive you. If you need your driving privileges, it is important for you to know about Wisconsin’s Habitual Traffic Offender Law. The gist of it is that too many traffic offenses will cause the state to revoke your driver’s license for a five-year period. If you tend to get a lot of traffic tickets, it may be worth reviewing your driving record to determine whether you are getting close to habitual offender status and take action if needed.

When Is a Driver Considered a Habitual Traffic Offender?

There are three ways for a driver to be declared a habitual offender for the purposes of this law. You could be considered a Habitual Traffic Offender if, within a five-year period, you get:

  • Twelve moving violations - This includes speeding, running lights, and failure to yield among others. Non-moving violations, like parking tickets and not realizing you had a tail light out, are not counted.
  • Four major violations - This refers to offenses that go beyond the level of a traffic ticket. Driving intoxicated, eluding an officer, reckless driving, and making a false statement to the DMV are all major violations.
  • Combination - Twelve or more moving or major violations combined will also lead to a revocation. For example, if you had 10 moving violations and two major violations, that counts.

Can I Get an Occupational License as a Habitual Offender?

For the first two years of your suspension, no. This means that there will be a two-year period where you have no driving privileges, not even for necessary reasons. You would need to find alternate transportation - which can be quite pricey if public transportation is not convenient in your area.

After two years, you may be eligible to apply for an occupational license. An occupational license, which you may have also heard called a “restricted license,” or a “hardship license,” allows you to drive for very specific purposes. This would generally include at least getting to work. Other typical permitted purposes can include things like grocery shopping, going to doctor’s appointments, and taking your children to school. It is advisable to be represented by an attorney who has experience with license revocation when you apply for an occupational license.

What if I Am on Habitual Offender Status and I Drive Anyway?

Do not do this. You could go to jail for up to one year and six months and/or be fined a total of $7,500. Your license will almost certainly be suspended for much longer. If you have been charged with this offense, it is important to take it very seriously. This is well above the level of a ticket.

Call a Milwaukee County Traffic Offenses Attorney

If you have any concerns about how Wisconsin’s Habitual Traffic Offender Law may affect you, Bucher Law Group, LLC can help. Our experienced Milwaukee traffic offenses lawyers are skilled at preserving driving privileges when possible. Call 262-303-4916 for a free consultation.



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