What are My Rights After an OWI Conviction?
Being found guilty of OWI carries a number of consequences, including possible jail time, large fines, alcohol education classes, and more. But perhaps no penalty is more difficult or cumbersome to your day-to-day life than having your driver’s license suspended.
Being found guilty carries a six-month driver’s license suspension for a first offense
, which means that for two years you will be required to either use public transportation or rely on your friends and family to get where you need to go.
However, you may be able to retain your driving privileges in a limited capacity after being convicted of OWI. After 30 days of license suspension, you may be eligible to receive a probationary hardship license
which limits your ability to drive, but gives you the ability to get back behind the wheel.
Obtaining a Hardship License
When your license is suspended for driving while under the influence, you will be forced to wait for 30 days. After this deadline passes, you may apply for a hardship driver’s license from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. A hardship license essentially gives someone the ability to drive to a limited number of places, including:
- To and from your job
- During your job (if your job duties include driving)
- To and from your place of worship
- To participate in visitation if you have been granted court-ordered visitation with your children
- To pick up or drop off your children from school or day care
- To attend a doctor’s appointment
- To attend court-related events
Obtaining one of these licenses is not a straightforward matter. You may not be a “habitual offender” or have any prior DUI convictions on your record in order to be eligible. In order to be granted one of these licenses, you must prove that public transportation is not suitable for your situation, and that your license suspension creates undue hardship to your life by preventing you from going to any of these four functions. It’s strongly advised you seek an attorney to help you with this hearing and present your case in the best possible light.
You may also be required to adhere to other penalties while driving with one of these hardship license. A court may order you to install an ignition interlock device on your car and have it checked periodically. You may also be required to drive only during certain hours of the day.
Need Help Applying for a Hardship License?
If you need help applying for a hardship license, as well as presenting your case before the court at a hardship license hearing, you should not hesitate to contact Baldwin, Kyle & Kamish, P.C.
Our team is comprised of the only two Board Certified Criminal Law Specialists in the entire state of Indiana, giving us a unique and recognized reputation of excellence both in and out of the courtroom.