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Hardship License

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Definition - What does Hardship License mean?

Drivers arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs may face severe DUI penalties including a suspension of their driving privileges. First time offenders may find their license suspended for a specified period of time lasting from 90 to 180 days. Repeat or habitual offenders can have their driver's license suspended for multiple years. Reestablishing full driving privileges is generally not allowed, but many states may allow drivers to apply for a hardship license which allows the driver's license to be reissued or reinstated under very specific conditions.

A hardship license is granted according to each state's laws and may be issued at the discretion of the presiding judge. Hiring a DUI defense attorney who is familiar with the laws of your state is the best option to determine if you may be eligible to receive a hardship license. DUI attorneys can outline the specific processes or forms which must be completed to start the hardship application process.

Generally, to request a hardship license a formal petition must be filed with the appropriate court. This petition must outline the reasons the hardship license should be awarded given the terms of the DUI conviction. The convicted driver may also have to present their case before a panel. Not all drivers are awarded a hardship license. Common reasons the court may grant a hardship license can include:

  • To continue employment
  • To attend school or other educational courses
  • To continue medical treatment
  • To continue to attend a drug or alcohol treatment program
  • To care for dependents
  • To attend religious functions

Operating a vehicle with a hardship license for any other activities, other than those outlined by the state, has severe penalties. Obtaining a hardship license can be complicated and should be done with the assistance of a DUI lawyer. Other terms for a hardship license can include: Cinderella license, day license, limited license, and work license.

Related Links

  • DUI Defense Attorney -- If you have been convicted of a crime it is important to seek an experienced, competent criminal defense lawyer. The criminal process can be complicated and finding legal representation may be difficult, but finding the best criminal defense attorney is crucial to ensuring your constitutional rights are protected.

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