If you have been convicted of a DUI, you are certainly worried about going to court and any fines and jail time you might face. However, one of the biggest inconveniences of getting a DUI conviction can be the license suspension you will face. Fortunately, if you work or have medical appointments that you must attend, and you can prove that you meet certain qualifications and requirements, our attorneys can work to get you a hardship license.
A hardship license is granted to people who must drive their vehicle for business, educational, or medical purposes. In order to get such a license, you must not have driven at all on your suspended license and first offenders must be enrolled in the 9024 D program, which is an alcohol education program. You must also provide documentation from your school, doctor, or employer showing that you must have your license for transportation to and from work, school, or medical obligations and appointments.
What May Cause You to Get Your License Suspended?
Although breathalyzer tests have caused controversy in the Bay State, the Registry will still suspend your license if you refuse to take one. So, you may get a suspension before you are even convicted of an OUI. It is possible to appeal breathalyzer refusal suspensions, so long as the appeal is filed within the required 15 day time period.
When you are convicted of an OUI you are almost certain to have your license suspended for at least a short period of time. If you are granted a 24D disposition your first offense should only be 45 to 90 days, or 1 year if you do not get a 24D disposition. A second conviction will get you a license suspension of two years with no consideration of a hardship license for at least one year. A third OUI will result in an 8 year license revocation. You will not be able to get a hardship license for at least two years after the conviction date, unless you have previously served a 5 year chemical test refusal suspension. In that case, the Board of Appeal can consider you for a hardship license immediately, upon the expiration of the refusal suspension.
How to get a Hardship License
In order to obtain a hardship license in Massachusetts, you should first hire a lawyer. Court appointed lawyers and “public defenders” to not handle license suspensions and many criminal defense lawyers are not completely familiar with the suspension and revocation consequences associated with OUI convictions, plea bargains, and alcohol program assignments.
When you and your attorney decided that you need a hardship license, you will apply for one with the either Registry of Motor Vehicles or the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal. If this is your first offense, they will make sure there is no evidence of your having driven so far in the suspension period. If you have another OUI conviction that is over 10 years old, you may qualify for a second chance first offender reinstatement. If you do apply for a second chance reinstatement, you must agree to the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in your car.
You will provide documentation that you are enrolled in alcohol education classes. If you are self-employed, you will need solid evidence, such as tax returns or a professional license. If you are employed by someone else, or you need the hardship license for doctors visits, you must provide documentation from your employer or your doctor. You must also provide proof that public transportation is something that is not available to you or practical in your case.
Remember, there is a difference between a hardship and an inconvenience. You may have trouble taking kids to soccer practice or getting groceries, but it may not constitute a true hardship.
How Much Will You Pay for Reinstatement?
Both hardship licenses and reinstated licenses require a fee in Massachusetts. Just the hearing https://www.mass.gov/info-details/suspensions-from-multiple-offenses for a hardship license cost $500 for a first offense, $700 for a second offense and $1000 for a third offense. Whether you apply for a hardship license or not, you are going to have to pay fees if you ever want your license back. If you are granted a hardship license, you will not have to pay these fees again to get your full time license; you will only pay the reinstatement fees once.
What to look for in an Attorney
Experience in OUI in your state is the key to hiring a good attorney. You want to find someone who has a stellar reputation with the state bar and a good track record in court. With the right advocate, you can get a hardship license, get back on track and put your OUI behind you.