One of the most serious sanctions that the Kansas Department of Revenue can issue is being labeled as a “habitual violator.” KSA 8-285 defines how the Department of Revenue determines when a person is a habitual violator. Essentially, if a driver obtains three or more convictions within the prior five years of any of the offenses listed in this statute, then they will be determined as a habitual violator. While all the offenses are too lengthy to list here, the convictions can be in this state or another state and can be any combination of offenses listed. Finally, diversions of the listed offenses can also count as prior convictions.
We will not review the possible penalties for the offense of driving while declared as a habitual violator in this blog post. As one might imagine, however, the penalties can be severe given the State of Kansas legislature would have an interest in setting a strong deterrent to stop a driver from obtaining new convictions once a they have reached habitual violator status. Besides the potential of mandatory jail time, there are further licensing penalties that can reach into multiple year suspensions.
It is important to understand that when the Department of Revenue determines a driver is a habitual violator, they must send notice to the driver and give them an opportunity to contest the label and suspension. So, remember to always make sure the Department of Revenue has your updated mailing address. Any failure to notify the Department of Revenue of your mailing address usually does not stop a habitual violator determination as it is a driver’s responsibility to make sure all their contact information is correct. Be warned that a simple mail forward done at your local post office is usually not enough. You need to update your address specifically with the Department of Revenue!
We will examine possible penalties for a conviction of driving while habitual violator in a future post. Until then, drive safe!