Hardship Hearing

Prevent License Suspension With Our DWI Attorney in Westchester, NY

Being charged with DWI puts you at risk of a suspended license. Your license will be suspended if a chemical test (blood, breath, urine or saliva) shows a blood alcohol content of .08 or more. If that happens, a judge can suspend your license while your case is pending, according to the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) Section 1193(2)(e)(7). An experienced DWI attorney can evaluate your case to determine if you are able to keep your drivers license while your case is pending.

The team at the Law Office of Michael D. Litman can argue that your license should not be suspended if the results of the chemical test are not yet available, as is often the case in cases where the driver is being accused of drugged driving. If the results of the chemical test are available to the court, our attorneys can also argue for hardship privilege. The Vehicle and Traffic Law defines a hardship as: “the inability to obtain alternative means of travel to or from the licensee’s employment, or to or from necessary medical treatment for the licensee or a member of the licensee's household, or if the licensee is a matriculating student enrolled in an accredited school, college or university travel to or from such licensee's school, college or university if such travel is necessary for the completion of the educational degree or certificate.” We can present evidence that there will be a hardship as a result of a suspended license. 
DWI Attorney Westchester, NY

Our DWI Attorneys Regularly Conduct Hardship Hearings

In a Hardship Hearing, our DWI attorneys will present the following evidence: 
  • Testimony of a witness that can confirm the extreme hardship, which can include your spouse, family member, co-worker or friend; 
  • Testimony that there is no one else that can drive you to your destination; 
  • Proof of the location of the place you need to go (work, school, medical facility, etc.); 
  • Proof of your schedule (hours at work, class times, etc.); 
  • Information regarding the cost of taxi service from home to your destination; 
  • Proof of your income to show that taxi service is unaffordable; 
  • Information regarding access to public transportation between home and your destination, as well as the amount of time the trip would take; and 
  • Proof of any medical condition that would make it hard to take public transportation.
It will be in the judge’s discretion about the manner in which to hold the hearing, and if the proof is sufficient to grant the hardship privilege. Depending on the jurisdiction, some judges will ask for an offer of proof without a formal hearing, other judges will want a full hearing. Either way, you will need your witness and proof in order for the hardship privilege to be considered by the court.

If a hardship privilege is given by the court, you will only be permitted to drive to and from your destination, and only as specific times. If the court does not grant the hardship privilege, your license will remain suspended during the pendency of the case, unless you apply for a conditional license 30 days after arraignment.

If you think that you would qualify for a hardship privilege, it is important to discuss the matter with a DWI attorney in order to request the hearing, and have sufficient proof to conduct the hardship hearing at the time of arraignment. If you do not request the hearing at the time of the arraignment, you may forfeit your right to have the hardship hearing. To protect your rights and ensure you can continue to enjoy the privilege of having a license, contact the Law Office of Michael D. Litman to schedule a consultation. 
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