Do I Qualify for a Hardship License?

If you have been arrested for DWI in New York, the law usually requires that your driver’s license be immediately suspended. Even though your license has been suspended, this does not mean that travel to places like school, work, or medical appointments has to be suspended, too. If it is absolutely necessary for you to travel to these places and you have no other way of getting there, you may be able to apply for a hardship license. A hardship license allows someone with a suspended license to travel to work, doctors’ appointments, and school until their full license is reinstated. Find out when to apply for a hardship license, what the restrictions are, and how a DWI attorney can help you to obtain your hardship license.

Extreme Hardship

If your license has been suspended and that suspension has resulted in “extreme hardship” for you, the court can grant you hardship privilege. Extreme hardship means that you are unable to arrange alternative ways to get to:
  • Your place of employment
  • Medical treatment for you or a member of your household
  • School, college, or university if travel is necessary complete your degree
The hardship license only applies under these conditions; travel to any other places does not apply. If you drive outside the scope of what the hardship license allows, you can get sanctions in your pending DWI case. You could also potentially get charged additionally if you violate this privilege.

Proving you need a hardship license

Just because you need a hardship license to travel to work, school, or medical appointments does not mean that the court will automatically grant you one. You are not eligible for a hardship license if you refused to take a chemical blood alcohol content test, which means you can only get a hardship license if some sort of chemical test was performed. The burden of proof is on you to convince the court that you really are in need of a hardship license. Proof of extreme hardship cannot be based just on your testimony. You should be prepared to present paperwork and other evidence, such as a live witness who will testify that you need to travel to these places, in order to support your claim. 
The timing for applying for a hardship license is very limited. Your hardship license hearing must take place at the same time as or within three days of the criminal court arraignment for your DWI. Because of this time constraint, it is important that you assemble the evidence for your hearing quickly. An experienced DWI attorney will be able to help you assemble that evidence and demonstrate to the court that you are entitled to a hardship license.

Trusted DWI Attorneys

If you believe you are eligible for a hardship license, or you have other concerns about being charged with a DWI, contact Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria. Lipsitz Green’s DWI attorneys understand the complexities of trial procedures, juries, and investigations. They will work quickly and aggressively on your behalf to ensure that you are treated fairly by the court.
This article does not purport to give legal advice and is for informational purposes only.