The Law Office of James Novak

Hardship Licenses

DUI Defense Lawyer Representing Phoenix Drivers

DUIs are harshly penalized in Arizona. Among other things, a DUI conviction will result in a license suspension. However, many people drive to work, to school, and to medical appointments. If you need a license to take care of essential activities in Arizona, you may be able to obtain a hardship license. The criteria for a hardship license are strict. It is crucial to retain a knowledgeable Phoenix DUI lawyer to advocate for a hardship license.

How Do You Get a Hardship License?

Information about getting a hardship license is mailed to people who are eligible. Generally, people who are convicted of a first-time DUI offense or who have an implied consent suspension are eligible and will get this information in the mail. However, getting the hardship license is not automatic, so it is wise to consult a skillful criminal defense attorney.

Hardship Licenses

In Arizona, there are specific criteria that you must meet in order to qualify for a hardship license. Even if you do qualify, granting a hardship license is not automatic. The court has discretion over whether to grant a hardship license. In order to qualify, you must be able to show that you did not injure anybody in the course of the events that happened that led to the DUI, you have no prior DUIs in the past five years, and not having a driver’s license will present a hardship, such that you need the license to support your family, which should include minors.

If you meet these criteria, you can apply for a restricted license. The restricted license, when granted, is usually useable for 60 days, and it permits you to drive to and from school, work, or the doctor’s office. You will need to complete an alcohol screening. The screening does not involve testing; it requires you to answer a series of questions over the phone. Usually, once a screening is done, you can be eligible for a restricted license after 30 days without driving.

Generally, people do lose their license for at least 30 days, even when an attorney is able to secure the restricted license. And even if you get a restricted license, it is likely that you will need to install an ignition interlock device on your car. This is a device that requires you to pass a breath test in order to start your car. You may need to install it for up to a year.

Prior Offenses

If you only have one DUI within the last seven years, you should be able to get a restricted license after 30 days if you meet the eligibility requirements. However, if you have a prior administrative per se suspension or a prior DUI conviction within the last seven years, you will not be able to get a restricted license. Instead, you will have 90 days within which you cannot drive. You would still need to do the screening to get the license reinstated, but the license would not be restricted.

If your license is suspended based on the implied consent law because you failed to take a breath or chemical test, you are only eligible for a restricted license after you have not driven for 90 days. The suspension will last for a year. You will need to do a screening and perform 90 days of no driving in order to get the restricted license. You will also need to install an ignition interlock device for the remaining months of the suspension and post an SR 22 certificate of insurance. As with other restricted licenses, you will be limited in where you can go and for which purposes on the restricted license.

You will not be eligible for a restricted license if you received a prior implied consent suspension in the last seven years and get a second implied consent suspension.

Hire a Phoenix Attorney to Fight a Drunk Driving Charge

If you are hoping to get a hardship license in Arizona, you should call experienced criminal defense lawyer James E. Novak. Mr. Novak represents people charged with crimes throughout the Phoenix area, including in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, Scottsdale, and elsewhere in Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or submit our online form.

Client Reviews
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I was facing criminal charges with three priors in my history. Mr Novak was very helpful and got me a lighter sentence than I probably deserved. He is a great attorney and I would highly recommend him. A. T.
★★★★★
James worked tirelessly behind the scenes with the prosecution, to decrease my son’s charges to a more reasonable penalty. I could not have asked for a better, more professional attorney. He treated my son with the utmost respect and walked him through every step of a very difficult situation. S. G.
★★★★★
Attorney Novak did an outstanding job defending my son. Due to his extensive professional background within the court system, he was successfully able to defend my son during a very difficult time for my family. I highly recommend Attorney James Novak for your legal needs. T. G.