Driving After a DWI Conviction
How You Can Drive in New York Even After a DWI Conviction
Driving while intoxicated is a serious safety hazard, and the sobering reality is that there are significant consequences for this offense. The chief repercussion will be the loss of driving privileges for an extended period. Under certain circumstances, a convicted driver could even permanently lose her or his license. Less severe infractions typically result in temporary suspensions ninety days, six months, or a full year in length.
Being legally unable to drive can prove to be a major limitation; adults must rely on transportation in order to fulfill their employment, schooling, and familial duties. Those who live in areas with limited or no public transit are especially hindered by the suspension of driving privileges. There is no excuse for driving while intoxicated, but there are options for individuals with suspended privileges to be able to drive as needed. Consult your DWI attorney in Manhattan about the following ways that you can continue driving in a restricted capacity until your privileges are restored.
1. To Keep Driving While Suspended, You Must Prove Need to the Court.
Once you have been charged with a DWI, you will have the opportunity to convince a judge that you need to retain licensure for the purposes of commuting. There are five specific criteria that you will have to meet in order to be allowed to drive. When you were first pulled over by a police officer, you must not have declined to take a breath test. In addition, you cannot have been convicted of any DWIs in the five years prior to the case. During the hearing, you will have to testify that driving yourself to work has been your only means of travel, and that financial hardship would ensue if you were unable to drive. A witness will have to testify as well and verify your claim, and other witnesses will have to make it clear that you have no other options, such as carpooling.
2. A Hardship License Can Give You the Ability to Drive.
Satisfying all five criteria discussed above may persuade a court to grant you partial driving privileges. If your plea is successful, the judge will provide you with a hardship license, which permits driving to and from one’s place of employment, one’s home, doctors’ offices, and the court. Bear in mind, though, that if you live in an area with substantial public transit, the likelihood of a judge granting a hardship license is significantly reduced.
3. After Your Trial, You Might Be Eligible for a Conditional License.
While your case is pending, a conditional license is another option for those who require access to transportation during a suspension. Thirty days after your arraignment with a judge, you may visit the DMV and receive a conditional license. The provisions for this license are similar to those for the hardship license; bearers of a conditional license may only drive to their homes, jobs, schools, and other necessary locations during specific hours of the day. Drivers with conditional licenses will also have to participate in an Impaired Driver Program (IDP).
A revocation of driving privileges—even a temporary one—is more than a mere embarrassment. Being legally unable to drive can make the normally simple tasks of driving to work unexpectedly difficult, and this can have a negative impact on finances. With a judge’s approval, though, you may remain able to drive as needed. If you have either pled guilty to a DWI charge or been convicted, you will benefit from immediately discussing your options with experienced DWI attorney in Manhattan, Carl Spector.