How is public transportation where you live? Kind of nonexistent? Well, if you are convicted (or sometimes even charged) with certain criminal offenses (like DUI) or infractions (like not having valid insurance), the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles steps in and suspends your license. But you have to get to work! Ignore the suspension at your peril. If stopped, you can be charged with further traffic infractions (that may come with additional suspensions) and even crimes. Why take that risk when recent changes in Indiana law allow you to drive legally (usually with certain restrictions)?
We have many clients in need of specialized driving privileges (SDPs). What we offer them is our in-depth legal expertise not only of the SDP laws but of what is required in different counties to file the necessary paperwork and present evidence to a judge in seeking these privileges. No bus stop near you? No subway? Don’t drive illegally.
Awards & Affiliations
Indiana Senate Bill 98, signed into law in 2018, helped to give clarity to the process and conditions placed on SDPs and who is eligible for them. However, navigating legal processes and making sense of all the legalese in any documents you have to review can be challenging. Applying for SDPs is no exception. To be granted SDPs, you need to be able to craft a compelling case that your and your family’s basic needs cannot be met unless you are able to drive to work, drive to another location to care for a loved one, or drive for some other critical reason.
A qualified Indianapolis special driving privileges lawyer from The Criminal Defense Team will be able to assess your circumstances and craft a compelling case to present to a circuit or superior court requesting that they grant you SDPs. A lawyer will also be able to understand whether there are any conditions that may impede your ability to get SDPs, and what remedies need to be taken to ensure your best chance at getting SDPs.
Finally, a lawyer will be able to help you understand what you need to do to maintain your SDPs for the duration of your license suspension so you can make sure that you are still able to get to work and take care of family. Legal advice and representation for your SDPs case is a small investment that can pay large dividends later on, and that will allow you to stay behind the wheel so you can continue moving forward with your life.
If you apply for SDPs, having your application approved is far from a given. In fact, there are several pitfalls that you may face when applying. For starters, you will need to make sure you are eligible for SDPs in the first place. You are not eligible for SDPs in Indiana if:
- You have never had a valid Indiana driver’s license or only had an Indiana learner’s permit
- You have a conviction for an offense related to operating a motor vehicle that caused another person’s death
- You have been granted SDPs in the past and have more than one conviction for violating the conditions placed on SDPs
If none of the above applies to you, and you were holding an Indiana operator, public passenger, or chauffeur’s license at the time of the offense that triggered your suspension, you are generally eligible for SDPs. Speaking to a qualified attorney would be the best step to verify that you are eligible and can proceed with your application.
Once you have verified that you are eligible for SDPs, you will need to make sure that you have cleared any additional obstacles with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) before proceeding with the application. You will need to check for the following with the BMV before moving forward:
- Check for required reinstatement fees. If you owe reinstatement fees to the BMV and are otherwise eligible for SDPs, you may be able to ask the court to waive those fees. If you live in certain Indiana counties, you may need to file the request with a different court than the one where you file your SDP application.
- You may need to show proof of state-required minimum liability insurance
- If you owe any fines from previous traffic violations, you will likely need to pay them before filing for SDPs.
- Finally, you will likely need to buy SR22 insurance coverage, with the minimum liability amount for at least six months.
When these fines are paid, and other conditions are met, you will be ready to apply for SDPs. A qualified Indiana criminal defense lawyer will be able to help you through this process to make sure that you have the best chance possible to receive SDPs. When you apply for SDPs in Indiana, you are petitioning the court to grant them to you. Your petition should include:
- A written affidavit that swears that all information contained in the petition is true
- Your age, date of birth, driver’s license number, and current address
- The basis of your petition for SDPs (why you want them)
Your petition for SDPs must be filed in a circuit or superior court for the county in which you live. You will also need to ensure that copies are shared, usually by mail, with the BMV, the local prosecutor, and the Office of the Attorney General. Timelines can vary widely for a decision, and approval is not guaranteed, so keeping in close contact with a qualified Indiana criminal defense lawyer is your best option for ensuring that your application process goes smoothly.
What Can I Expect with Special Driving Privileges (SDPs)?
Courts in Indiana grant SDPs on an individual basis, and SDPs often come with conditions attached. These conditions are often presented based on the application that you filed with the BMV and can result in a Class C misdemeanor if the conditions are violated. When driving with SDPs, you are expected to keep the court order that granted SDPs in the car with you at all times, and you should be prepared to present the order to law enforcement upon request.
Copies of your insurance policy information should always be kept in your car or on your person when you have SDPs. Any other additional conditions set by the court must be followed for the duration of your SDPs. A mandatory review hearing will likely take place every six months, depending on the jurisdiction in which your SDPs were granted.
With SDPs, you should expect to be allowed to operate a motor vehicle only between specific locations and during specific hours of the day. Breaking any traffic laws can result in your SDPs being revoked. SDPs may include a requirement that you use an ignition interlock device, such as a breathalyzer, to start your vehicle.
SDPs are generally valid for a minimum of 180 days. If the court sets a longer period or a period that outlasts the suspension of your license, you are still subject to the requirements of the SDPs until they expire.
The Criminal Defense Team is a group of dedicated and trusted individuals that handle a wide variety of criminal cases throughout Indiana. As criminal defense is our only practice area, our Indiana criminal defense attorneys have the focus and the know-how to channel our 90 years of combined experience into fierce advocacy for you.
Our experience with criminal defense extends to offenses that include suspended licenses, so applying for and getting SDPs is a practice area that is routinely on our radar. We will be able to help you through the SDP application process from start to finish, helping you to avoid the legal and logistical pitfalls that can often trip up applicants that do not have a knowledgeable advocate by their side.
When you are up against the suspension of your driver’s license and the loss of your livelihood as a result, you should not have to rely on an inexperienced attorney. If you have an inexperienced attorney, they may not understand the nuances of applying for SDPs, may treat your case as just another in their docket, and might only give you attention in passing. The Criminal Defense Team is ready to aggressively advocate on your behalf, helping you navigate the often frustrating and complex legal system.
We promise to give you personalized attention that will help to give you the peace of mind that your case is in some of the most experienced and knowledgeable hands in the business. Give The Criminal Defense Team a call today at (317) OUR-TEAM or online for a free initial case evaluation.
Having your driving privileges revoked due to a DUI or other charge can have a serious impact on your ability to work and provide for your family. In our modern society, driving is absolutely crucial to being able to function in the world and make a living. Special driving privileges (SDPs) are a way to meet your basic needs and continue to earn money if your driver’s license is suspended. A qualified Indiana criminal defense lawyer can help you put together the best case possible for getting SDPs and being able to move forward with your life.
Getting SDPs can be a lifeline but obtaining them isn’t guaranteed. Your best chance to get those SDPs is to contact the Indiana criminal defense lawyers of The Criminal Defense Team today at (317) 565-2221 today or fill out a form here on our website for a free initial consultation. We are here to help you get back on the road.