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Mark I. Cohen, ESQ. NYC Criminal Attorney

Getting A Hardship License In New York


In most DUI cases, a defendant’s license is suspended at arraignment. If a defendant’s license is suspended at arraignment, they will have no driving privileges until their case is concluded unless they get a hardship license, also known as a conditional license. A hardship license can allow you to drive legally under restrictions placed on the license. If your license has recently been suspended for a DUI in New York and you are wondering if you are eligible for a hardship license and how you can get this license, contact an experienced DUI attorney. But even before you speak to an attorney, read on for some helpful information.

What Is a Hardship License?

A hardship license is a license that those who have had their licenses suspended because of a DUI can apply for. A hardship license allows a person to drive under restrictions placed on the license by the court. In New York, a hardship license is also called a conditional license. A hardship license allows you to drive for specific purposes, such as attending court-ordered classes or community service, commuting to and from work, or commuting to and from a health facility.

However, not everyone whose license is suspended due to an alcohol or drug-related violation qualifies for a hardship license. Several conditions must be met for a person to qualify for a New York hardship license.

Eligibility Requirements for a Hardship License in New York

To get a hardship license in New York after your driver’s license has been suspended because of an alcohol or drug-related violation, you must show that losing your driving privileges will result in extreme hardship. The following must also be true if you are to get a hardship license in New York;

  • You did not refuse to take a chemical test when you were pulled over
  • You cannot access public transportation easily
  • You are the only licensed driver in your household
  • You do not have anyone to help you with transportation
  • You cannot afford any other forms of transportation
  • You don’t have any previous DUI convictions in the past five years

How Do You Get a Hardship License in New York?

To get a hardship license in New York, you must attend a “hardship hearing,” which is usually conducted within three days of arraignment, and testify. After you testify, a family member, friend, or co-worker must corroborate your story of extreme hardship. At the hearing, you also need to prove that you cannot access public transportation and/or afford any other forms of transportation, such as taxis.

Before attending the hardship hearing, you need to gather enough evidence to prove your case. For example, collect documentation that shows how much you earn, such as pay stubs. Fortunately, if you don’t know the kind of evidence you need for your case, an attorney can help. After your request is approved, you will need to attend a DMV-sponsored Impaired Driver Program before you can get your hardship license. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may also need to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

Contact an NYC DUI/DWUI/DWAI Attorney

If you need help requesting a hardship license or fighting your DUI charges, contact our skilled and dedicated NYC DUI/DWUI/DWAI attorney, Mark I. Cohen.


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