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Your Driver's License

Suspension Pending Prosecution

At your arraignment for DWI, the Court will suspend your license or privilege to drive in New York State pending prosecution for the charges, if there is evidence you were driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. You are eligible to apply for a Conditional License after 30 days of Suspension Pending Prosecution.

Under certain circumstances the Judge may suspend your license or driving privileges as a matter of discretion pursuant to New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 510.3. In this case, you are not eligible for a conditional license.

Hardship License

Where a driver’s BAC is .08% or greater, the arraigning court may grant a hardship hearing based upon the application of the defendant if the suspension would result in “extreme hardship” to the individual. The statute, VTL 1193, states that “extreme hardship” is the inability to obtain alternate means of travel to or from the licensee’s employment, or to or from necessary medical treatment for the licensee or 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.

The burden of proving extreme hardship falls upon the licensee and may not be based on the testimony of the licensee alone. As a result, you must bring in some other type of evidence. Generally this evidence can be a bus schedule, train schedule, fares from a local taxi company, letter from an employer, work schedule, testimony of a friend, co-worker or relative.

If the Judge grants a hardship license, the motorist will only be permitted to operate a motor vehicle for travel to or from employment, necessary doctor’s appointments or school. The locations and addresses of permitted driving will be specifically listed on the hardship license. However, you may not operate a motor vehicle during work, only to and from the job site.

Conditional License

The DMV can issue a conditional license to a driver who qualifies and who has a NYS license that is suspended or revoked because of an alcohol or drug-related violation. The driver must attend a Drinking Driver Program (DDP) approved by the DMV. If you qualify, the DMV sends instructions about how to enroll in the DDP with your suspension or revocation notice. The DMV decides if you qualify under the law and notifies you. You cannot qualify for a conditional license if:

  • the judge who convicted you does not allow you to attend a DDP or receive a conditional license, or
  • you do not have a valid NYS license or a NYS license that can be renewed, or
  • you attended a Drinking Driver Program during the last five years, or
  • you had another alcohol or drug-related violation during the last five years.

If you have a driver license issued in another state, and you meet the other requirements, you can receive a conditional driving privilege or a restricted driving privilege to drive in NYS. The conditions or the restrictions are the same as the conditions or restrictions for a driver with a NYS driver license.

If you receive a conditional license, it is valid to drive only:

  • to and from work, and during work if driving is part of your job.
  • to and from a class at an accredited school or college.
  • to transport your child to and from a child care facility or school when necessary to maintain your employment.
  • to and from DDP classes and any required evaluation or treatment.
  • to and from a state or county motor vehicle office for business related to your conditional license
  • to and from court-ordered probation activities.
  • to and from medical examinations or treatment for you or a member of your family, as certified in writing by a physician.
  • during the three-hour weekly period listed on your conditional license attachment.

The cost for a conditional license is $75. If you were issued a pre-conviction conditional license, there is no additional fee.

If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call DerGarabedian, Nathan, Marino & Rodriguez at (516) 766-1619 or schedule a consultation and review. The initial consultation is free of charge.

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