SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGES (Prior Law Was Termed – Hardship License) and HABITUAL TRAFFIC VIOLATOR SUSPENSIONS

     HAS THE INDIANA BUREAU OF MOTOR VEHICLES SUSPENDED YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE ?

ARE YOU SUSPENDED AS A 5 YEAR OR 10 YEAR –  HABITUAL TRAFFICE OFFENDER ?

ARE YOU UNDER A LIFETIME SUSPENSION OF YOUR DRIVING PRIVILEGES ?        

OR SIMPLY SUSPENDED FOR REPEAT INSURANCE VIOLATIONS OR POINTS ?

THERE ARE SUBSTANTIAL CHANGES TO INDIANA LAW INVOLVING ALL SUSPENSIONS OF DRIVING PRIVILEGES  

BEGINNING WITH CASES FILED ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2015.     

             THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGES HAVE COME IN THE FORM OF PUBLIC LAW HEA  1279:

      ‘SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGES’ LAW    (SDP)

        THE NEW  SDP LAW HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MOST HELPFUL PIECES OF LEGISLATION INDIANA HAS PASSED IN DECADES

IT IS ALLOWING PEOPLE WITH 5 AND 10 YEAR – AND EVEN LIFETIME – SUSPENSIONS TO GET TO AND FROM WORK

LET US HELP YOU BE ONE OF THOSE FOLKS ABLE TO DRIVE AGAIN (Legally)

 

 

FIRST, WE  EXPLAIN BRIEFLY SECTIONS OF THE LAW Prior to January 1, 2015.

FOR CASE PENDING BEFORE JANUARY 1, 2015,  the below provisions were the controlling law applicable to the Defendant’s ability, or suspension of that ability, to continue driving on the roads of Indiana.    A major change in the law as of January 2015 was to repeal the Hardship and Probationary Law provisions.   We deal with that further below.

      HARDSHIP LICENSE / PROBATIONARY LICENSE  –  HAS BEEN REPEALED                  

      (A)  HABITUAL TRAFFIC VIOLATOR – Still intact 

      (B)  HABITUAL SUBSTANCE OFFENDER  – Still intact, with modifications

        HARDSHIP LICENSE:  I.C.  9-24-15-1, et. seq.    Is NO LONGER controlling law.

      SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGES HAS  superceded any Hardship provisions.    

 

(A)  HABITUAL TRAFFIC VIOLATOR –  I. C. 9-30-10-1 thru 18:     STILL CURRENT LAW 

  1.  10 Year License Suspension – If 2 Major/Injury Violations
  2.  10 Year Suspension if  3 violations within a 10 year period for OWI/ DWS/ Reckless Driving etc.,
  • {There is prior provision under the Probationery License statute that permitted after the first 5 year suspension, that this person may obtain a probationary license for the second 5 year period of that 10 year suspension.   That provision no longer exists. }

3.   5  year suspension if one OWI/Reckless etc. with an accumulation of ten traffic moving violations

  • {These folks who never even thought they could be found to be a Habitual Traffic Offender are those with the 5 year suspension status.   They who have mostly accumulated a lot of speeding tickets and moving violations.   The good news on these suspensions though is that the person facing the 5 year suspension may be able to obtain a Hardship License very quickly even after they are determined by the BMV to be Habitual.}

(B)  HABITUAL SUBSTANCE OFFENDER :  This is considered an ‘enhancement statute’ whereby you can receive an additional sentence on top of whatever sentence you receive on your underlying or predicate offense.   (SEE OUR PREVIOUS SECTION ON HSO BEING ELIMINATED IN FAVOR OF HVSO as of January 1, 2015.    Now requires the prior conviction to be ‘vehicular’ related.)  

Essentially, based on your prior criminal history, you can be determined to be what Indiana titles an Habitual Substance Offender if you have accumulated two prior ‘substance abuse related’ convictions prior to the case you are currently facing.    Most often the prior convictions are for OWI / DUIW/ DWI type offenses and possession of marijuana or other controlled substances.

This HSO as well as HVSO statute is being used more and more throughout central Indiana Prosecutors Offices as bargaining leverage to obtain an overall plea agreement.  It can be an effective tool for the prosecution because it is only your ‘status’ with prior convictions that needs to be proven to get the additional time in jail or prison.

 

         AS INDICATED ABOVE, MANDATORY DRIVING SUSPENSION LAWS IN EFFECT   PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 2015….HAVE BEEN SUBSTANTIALLY CHANGED.

     THE NEW LAW IS ‘SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGES (I.C. 9-30-16-1, et. seq.)

1.  Repeals most mandatory License Suspensions under prior law, including Hardship License.

2. Grants Broad Discretion to the Court regarding driving privileges conditions and the duration of the suspension.  The Court can impose a variety of restrictions if granting an SDP.

3.  The minimum period of the SDP is 180 days.   The maximum can be up to  the maximum period of incarceration for the offense the Defendant is facing.   (I.C. 9-30-16-3(b).

4.  You were ineligible for SDP if you never had a valid Indiana Drivers license (though that provision has recently been eliminated – now you must be an Indiana resident); ineligible if  you hold a CDL license and want an SDP for that CDL purposes; if your suspension is for an offense that includes the element of causing death;  and if you violate the conditions of your Court imposed SDP.

While this statute is obviously in it’s early stages of life, it is a fundamental change to some of the mandatory suspensions that have plagued people for years in Indiana.    It is also discretionary with the Judge whose Court is handling your case.    And with that discretion the Judge is allowed to deny these SDP requests if he or she so chooses.     If granted, that Judge can and will impose conditions, like what hours a person is allowed to drive, what routes they take to and from work, and whether of not Ignition Interlock should be placed on the person’s vehicle.

THIS LAW IS VERY NEW….AND IN ITS CURRENT FORMAT IS RATHER BROAD. LOTS OF JUDGES THROUGHOUT NUMEROUS COUNTIES IN INDIANA  ARE STRUGGLING TO INTERPRET AND ADHERE TO THE EVOLVING SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGES LAW.

                WHILE NOT SO COMPLICATED ON IT’S FACE, THE INTERPRETATION AND  LIMITS OF ITS REACH ARE BEING HOTLY DEBATED IN MOST OF INDIANA’S 92 COUNTIES CIRCUIT AND SUPERIOR COURTS .  

SOME OF THOSE QUESTIONS ARE:

  1.  WHETHER HABITUAL TRAFFIC VIOLATOR SUSPENSIONS CAN OR SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO SDP’s ? THE MOST RECENT CHANGE IN THIS STATUTE IS THAT YES INDEED, HTV SUSPENSIONS ARE NOW SUBJECT TO SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGES IF A JUDGE WANTS TO GRANT IT.    EQUALLY IMPORTANT, LIFETIME SUSPENSIONS CAN NOW OBTAIN SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGES.

2.  WHAT IF YOUR CASE PREDATES JAN. 1, 2015 ?

 3.   WHAT IF YOU HAD A PRIOR PLEA AGREEMENT (BEFORE January 1, 2015)  THAT CALLS FOR A SPECIFIC SUSPENSION?  CAN YOU NOW ASK FOR SDP?

4.  MAYBE THE MOST COMMON QUESTION FOR THE MOMENT…. WHAT IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE SUSPENSION OUT OF MORE THAN ONE COUNTY ?     WHICH COURT WILL BE THE CONTROLLING DECISION ?    CAN YOU ASK FOR AN SDP OUT OF MORE THAN ONE COUNTY, AND IF DENIED IN ONE  MUST THE OTHER COURT ABIDE BY THE SDP?

 

IT IS PROVING TO BE ONE OF THE BEST LAWS WE’VE PASSED IN YEARS.

 

BUT IT IS INDEED GOING TO BE COMPLICATED AS IT IS IMPLEMENTED.

WE WILL BE HAPPY TO SHEPERD YOU THROUGH THIS DEVELOPING MAZE.

CALL US IF YOU THINK YOU WANT TO PURSUE

A ‘SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGE’ 

 

SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE IN INDIANA HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR YEARS TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO DRIVE AGAIN.   SOME, THEIR ONLY CRIME HAS BEEN DRIVING AFTER A SUSPENSION THEY ACQUIRED IN THEIR YOUTH.

  WE HAVE ALREADY HELPED MANY CLIENTS IN THE INDIANAPOLIS AND SURROUNDING AREA OBTAIN THE SPECIALIZED DRIVING PRIVILEGES SINCE THIS LAW WENT INTO EFFECT.  

WE WILL BE HONORED TO SEE IF WE CAN DO THE SAME FOR YOU.

CALL US TO FIND OUT :    317-722-0073