Specialized Driving Privileges after drivers’ license suspension

Driver’s License, Hardship License & Specialized Driving Privileges Attorney – Serving Lake County / Northwest Indiana

In 2015, new laws in Indiana regarding specialized driving privileges came into effect. The old laws, seen as harsh and unprogressive, gave way for a newer set of rules and regulations. Here are some of the more important repercussions of the new law for specialized driving privileges and driver’s license suspensions

Probationary and hardship licenses

Effective January 1st 2015, drivers in Indiana will no longer be able to look for probationary licenses for the violations related to the habitual traffic violator suspensions or hardship licenses. This rule will cover violations like the failure to provide the financial responsibility/ proof of insurance, a conviction or arrest for DUI or excessive points from speeding tickets and other violations. Those that have had their driver’s licenses suspended will require specialized driving privileges.

Waiting periods

Another major change in the law potentially allows individuals with the habitual traffic violator tag to drive to and from locations like church, doctor visits, child visitation or parenting and work in instances where the past laws could not have allowed it. In the past, one had to wait for a period of between three and five years to ask for driving privileges.

Driving while suspended

Even with the January 1st rule change, some things still remain the same. Sections of the rule still make it a felony to drive while under a HTV suspension or when a license has been suspended for life. This is still a felony and could potentially carry such negative consequences as prison time, fines, court costs and probation.

Pending DUI arrest

When there is a DUI arrest, one almost always has their driving privileges immediately suspended, even when the case still remains ending in court. In most cases, the individual will still need to get to and from work, school or run errands. The new law took this into consideration, and allows courts to take this into consideration and be able to stay suspensions, giving driving privileges while the case goes on.

Court discretion

Another profound change in the new law is the amount of leeway it gives judges with respect to the ability to give you driving privileges. Under the past regime, Indiana lawyers could not give probationary or hardship driving privileges without the individual meeting certain strict requirements.

Out of state individuals

The laws also take into account the plight of out of state individuals with Indiana suspensions. The past laws required one to file for privileges in the county where they resided. This left out of state individuals with Indiana suspensions without relief. Today, as long as the individual has a suspension from a court in Indiana, they can seek specialized privileges from any appropriate court in Indiana.

Laws are constantly changing and evolving, and are location dependent. A random search for what to look for in the best lawyers will return such results and suggestions like a good law firm, strong reputation, experience, success rates and positive reviews. However, given the Indian situation, especially regarding driving privileges after the suspension of a drivers’ license, it is important to choose a lawyer with that local experience.

For instance, in the past, the law was pretty strict and rigid, and so in some respect there was the advantage of knowing exactly what to expect. With the rule change that took effect at the beginning of 2015, there is a lot of room for the judges to hear cases and grant them driving privileges. However, this only happens with sound legal guidance and an understanding of the process.

Another example is the application for driving privileges when charged with driving under the influence. Under the past laws, petitioning for privileges before the first hearing was important. This was because the courts had the authority to suspend licenses if they found probable cause at an initial hearing. The amended law allows you to apply for privileges even after being suspended for probable cause or for failing chemical test.

The bottom line is that much of what was cast in stone and therefore definite, has now been rendered open for debate. There is greater freedom to receive driving privileges in scenarios where you could not think of such a thing in the past.

At Semko Law Office, we understand that accidents happen, many of which often result in points accumulation and violations of traffic rules and regulations. When this happens and your license is suspended, the car still remains an important aspect of life for the family. Errands need to be run, kids need to get to school and the adults need to get to and from work to facilitate all this. On one hand, the new law provides the possibility of an easier path to driving privileges. On the other hand, this leeway requires handholding from lawyers who are experienced and knowledgeable on matters of hardship licenses and specialized driving privileges. We can help you get back out on the road – contact Semko Law Office TODAY for help!