George F. Hildebrandt
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Limited Driving Privileges After Driver's License Suspension

Losing your license as a result of a conviction for driving drunk is a common consequence throughout the country, including in New York State. Additionally, a driver's license may be revoked for refusing to submit to testing that would allow police officers to measure the driver's blood alcohol content.  Once a person's license is suspended or revoked for a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) conviction or chemical efusal, the person will have a problem getting to work or school, and meeting other responsibilities that require them to drive. Driving while on a suspended or revoked license only leads to further legal trouble, so it is best to pursue other legal options if available.

There are certain types of driver's licenses or driving privileges that can be issued to a driver whose license has been suspended to allow him or her to continue operating a vehicle. These licenses are usually restricted in that they only permit the driver to drive under certain conditions or for a limited purpose. A person's license can be suspended pending trial or conviction of a DWI charge, and so a driver can ask for consideration before or after conviction.

One way a driver can retain the ability to drive despite a DWI charge is if he or she has a suspended license based on certain DWI charges and the suspension presents an extreme hardship. An extreme hardship can include the necessity to get to work where no other means of transportation are available, the need to transport another person for medical care, or even the need to go to school in order to complete a degree or certificate. The judge could grant a hardship exception to the suspension pending trial, and the permission to drive would be limited to the reason for the exception.

A driver may also petition for a conditional license. A driver whose license is suspended can generally request a conditional license 30 days after the suspension. A conditional license similarly restricts the places or times a driver can drive. If the driver does not abide by the conditions, the license may be suspended again. A driver can receive a conditional license before or after conviction, although to get a conditional license before conviction, the driver has to be eligible for a post-conviction conditional license. In addition, to receive a conditional license after conviction, the person must participate in an impaired driver program. Participation and successful completion of the program has other benefits, chiefly the potential to end the driver's suspension or revocation early. Drivers holding commercial driving licenses and those whose licenses are suspended for refusal to test for BAC are not eligible for conditional licenses directly, although they may be entitled to a conditional license under other circumstances.

Contact a DWI Attorney


There are many exceptions to eligibility for these licenses, and a driver's history can affect his or her ability to receive a conditional or restricted license. If you are facing drunk driving charges in New York State and have had your license suspended, you need an experienced DWI defense attorney who can assess your situation and help you determine if you are eligible for a conditional or restricted license. Issuance of conditional driving privileges is not a given, and an experienced and devoted DWI attorney can put you in the best position to retain some driving privileges, and to do so without interruption of your ability to get to work or school. The right lawyer can help you stay out of jail and keep your license so you can keep your job. Contact experienced Syracuse criminal defense attorney George F. Hildebrandt for a consultation today.

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