If you've been arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) you might be wondering what could be in store if you are convicted. Make no mistake about it, depending on the skills of your defense attorney you could be facing some pretty serious punishments, and one of those is losing your driver's license. Read on to learn more about how the law handles the loss of driving privileges.
Your DUI offense and the consequences
In most states, your ability to get a special license that might allow you to continue to drive after being convicted of a DUI depends on several factors, such as:
1. Number of violations. If you've already had a DUI conviction, for example, it might be more difficult to be approved for limited driving privileges.
2. Whether or not there were injuries, a death or an accident concurrent with your DUI arrest.
3. Whether or not you broke additional traffic laws, such as failing to stop or resisting arrest.
Getting limited driving privileges
If you are eligible and can prove a need, you may be approved for a limited driving privilege. This means that you must be able to show the court and the DMV that you need to drive for some or all of the following:
- Taking your kids to school
- School for yourself
- To attend drug and alcohol classes and counseling
- In an emergency (such as to the emergency room)
- Other miscellaneous reasons that can be verified. For example, if you care for an elderly relative you may be approved to travel to and from that person's home during the suspension period.
What is a hardship license?
In all likelihood, your regular driver's license has been suspended and you must apply for the special license. If you are approved, you must pay close attention to the restrictions and stay within the guidelines. This license will come with rules about where and when you can travel. For example, you may only be allowed to drive to and from work during daylight hours on weekdays only.
How to get a hardship license
Once you are convicted, you will be stunned at the fees and paperwork required and getting a hardship license is no exception. The procedure varies, but in most cases, you must often undergo what's known as a "hard suspension" for a number days during which you must find someone else to drive you to work or other locations. Once you've served the suspension period you can apply for a hardship license by requesting a hearing and having a judge approve it and then applying to the DMV for their approval.
You may be able to avoid these issues if your defense attorney can determine that you were unfairly arrested for DUI. Speak to a DUI attorney today for help dealing with the complicated issues that surround a DUI arrest.