BloomLegalTV: License Suspension

Posted on Jan 7, 2014 in Bloom Legal TV

Hi, this is Seth Bloom, and thanks for joining me again with another edition of Bloom Legal’s video blogs talking about the law.

I get this call all the time, so I thought this would be a really important video to make, and that is license suspension, especially license suspension dealing with DWI’s. The law changed in August of 2012 making it more restricted and making it more difficult to preserve or prevent you from getting your license suspended.

I want to really address that today, because when we’re defending DWI cases we’re finding that we’re having a lot more success these days defending them in the criminal court versus defending them as far as their drivers license suspension. Let me back up a little bit. DWI’s in the state of Louisiana are divided into two parts. One part is your criminal part. That means you are charged.

For instance, in Orleans parish if you’re arrested for DWI the jurisdiction will be Orleans parish traffic court. That’s where you’ll have an arraignment and you’ll plead guilty or not guilty. That’s where you’ll have a trial in front of a judge. That’s where all that happens. It’s pretty straightforward. It’s pretty set Louisiana criminal procedure.

Where it gets a little more convoluted is talking about will my license be suspended. Your license can be suspended from that criminal court. It can also be suspended from the DMV.

Today I want to talk a little about what the DMV’s doing. Like I said, in August of 2012 they made the law a little bit more difficult. When you first get arrested for DWI you have 15 days from the date of the arrest to file for an implied consent hearing.

Implied consent hearing basically means there’s implied consent that when you get a drivers license if you are pulled over you are allowing them to take blood, you are allowing them to take urine or give a breath sample. That’s part of what you do. Because driving has been seen as not a right but in fact a privilege, so that’s why there is this implied consent law.

From the date of your arrest you have 15 days to file for administrative hearing. If you lose that hearing then your license is going to be suspended. The duration of your suspension changes dependent on what happened in your particular case. Basically, that means did you refuse to take a breath test, do they have chemical evidence on you, what was your actual BAC. For example, if you blew over a .15 your suspension can be longer than if you only blew a .08.

Having said this, they’ve made it very difficult to win these administrative hearings, and therefore many more people are getting their license suspended. So, what to do? It’s hard. If your license is suspended for 90 days you may just want to try to ride a bike and get some public transportation.

However, if you refuse to take the breathalyzer they can suspend your drivers license on a first time up to a year, and on a second time up to two years. Because of that, people are often forced to get what I call a hardship license. With hardship licenses they’re kind of a hardship, and there are various requirements to get them.

The first thing you need to do is you need to get SR22 insurance put on your car. That means you have to have proof to bring to the DMV that you have a special kind of insurance for people that are what are considered high risk drivers.

Second, you need an interlock device put on your car. So, you’ll actually have a breath interlock device that you’ll have to blow into every time you turn on your car. Proof of having that installed on your car in addition to SR22 insurance is brought to the DMV, and you’re given what’s called the hardship license.

Once you have that hardship license you can drive to work, church, or school. Basically, you’re allowed to drive for any of those purposes, but there can be no pleasure driving. You can’t be really driving in the middle of the night unless you can prove that your job is you’re supposed to drive in the middle of the night. If your license is from out of state the duration of your suspension may be a bit more convoluted. That’s something we can help look at and help explain.

Give us a call today at 504-599-9997 at Bloom Legal. We’d be glad to discuss hardship licenses, because we really realize that having your life interrupted and not being able to drive, especially in a city like New Orleans with not great transportation, can be difficult. So, give us a call (504) 599-9997. Let us talk to you today and see how we can help your drivers’ license suspension issue.

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