Driver’s License Suspension
If you have been arrested or charged with DUI, DWI or OUI, you face not only a criminal proceeding but an administrative hearing on the possible suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Based on the circumstances of your case at the time of arrest, your rights and responsibilities can vary significantly. You want an attorney with a comprehensive understanding of the laws and regulations governing driver’s license suspension after a drunk driving arrest, one who will know your options and help you protect your privilege to drive.
If you take a breathalyzer test and fail, your license is automatically suspended for 30 days. In some cases, if you are arrested and you refuse to take a blood alcohol test at the police station, your license can be suspended for a period ranging from 6 months to life, depending on prior offenses. If your license is suspended for refusal, you generally have 15 days to request a hearing to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license. You can challenge that suspension for three reasons – defenses (1) the police officer did not have reasonable grounds to arrest the driver for operating under the influence, (2) the driver was not arrested for OUI; or (3) the driver did not refuse to take the breath or blood test.
At the Law Office of Criminal Attorney Bonavita, she defends people throughout Essex, Suffolk, and Middlesex Counties who have been charged with DUI or drunk driving, handling all matters related to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. She knows, from experience, license considerations are sometimes the most crucial consideration for a client and takes every step to minimize any potential loss.
Massachusetts Hardship License
Hardship licenses are obtained from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and are provided for by statute. The Registry can be a very rigid place and they expect you to follow their rules and requirements. There is no guarantee that you will obtain a hardship license and the Registry requires proof of need. Fortunately, the RMV website sets forth the requirements for a hardship license. If you follow them, you should have no problems.
The Impact of Melanie’s Law on Hardship Licenses
Melanie’s Law significantly changed the rules on the ability to get a hardship license following an OUI arrest or conviction. There is no hardship license during the period of suspension for refusing to take a breathalyzer test or, for the most part, blood test and chemical test refusal s. This means that you may have to wait the full period of the chemical test refusal suspension before being eligible for a hardship license as set forth below. However, you do have an opportunity, in limited circumstances, to challenge the request for breath test and thus the corresponding suspension.
Eligible for a 12-hour work/education hardship license within three business days of disposition if (a) enrolled in an alcohol education course, even information classes have not yet commenced and (b) demonstrates to the Registry of Motor Vehicle that not having one presents a hardship. Once the disposition is made, this hardship license is also good for use during the loss of license period imposed by a first offender’s breath test refusal.
Eligible for 12-hour work/education hardship license after one year with ignition interlock device. General hardship license may be requested after 18 months with ignition interlock device. In the case of a second offender who received a sentence under 24D, an ignition interlock device is still mandated during the pendency of the hardship license.
Eligible for work/education hardship license after two years with ignition interlock device. General hardship license may be requested after four years with ignition interlock device.
Eligible for work/education hardship license after five years with ignition interlock device. General hardship may be requested after eight years with ignition interlock device.
Lifetime loss of license. No hardship license available.
If you are facing charges for a DUI or OUI in Newburyport, Salem, Boston, Amesbury, Salisbury, Lawrence, Ipswich, or any town in the Essex, Suffolk, or Middlesex counties in Massachusetts, call Criminal Attorney Bonavita immediately at 978-376-6746 or email her with your case information!