In today’s society, people are more reliant than ever on automobiles to get to-and-from the places they need to be. Your driver’s license can be suspended for a number of reasons, but there is good news. Indiana has a statutory remedy called Specialized Driving Privileges, and most types of license suspensions are eligible. If you would like to learn more, click here to request the Marc Lopez Law Firm’s free report on Specialized Driving Privileges.
Specialized Driving Privileges: The Basics
Anyone seeking Specialized Driving Privileges must present proof of future financial responsibility (also known as an SR-22 filing) to the court for approval. You must also be prepared to carry the signed order with you in your vehicle whenever you’re exercising your Specialized Driving Privileges. The law also insists that the terms of the Specialized Driving Privileges “be determined by a court.” With Specialized Driving Privileges, you can also expect to be required to increase your auto insurance coverage. You are considered a greater risk than others since you are someone who’s been charged with a DUI / OVWI.
In the past, the results of a chemical test would be sent to the BMV and a 180 day suspension would be recommended regardless if you were seeking Specialized Driving Privileges. A new law has done a great deal to ease the transition from having a valid driver’s license to a conditional license and now the defendant has the option of filing a notice of intent to petition the court for Specialized Driving Privileges. The probable cause affidavit is not sent to the BMV, immediate suspension is not recommended, and a hearing is set within 30 days on Specialized Driving Privileges.
Of course, almost all Indiana judges require the installation of an ignition interlock device as a condition of Specialized Driving Privileges. An interlock device can be beneficial to those with a DUI / OVWI charge because if you are convicted and your license gets suspended, as long as you’re driving with an interlock device, your time on Specialized Driving Privileges counts toward that license suspension.
When the law was first introduced, Specialized Driving Privileges had to last for at least 180 days, and they could continue indefinitely, subject to the court’s judgment. The short end has always been rigid. In 2017, however, the General Assembly also decreased flexibility on the back end, capping these orders at two-and-a-half years. This means a person suspended for five years would have to reapply if they wanted to keep driving throughout their suspension.
The big change in 2018 was that the 180-day minimum no longer applies if your DUI / OVWI case resolves in an acquittal or a dismissal. Prior to this, if you were granted Specialized Driving Privileges, your privileges had to last for 180 days—even if you were found not guilty or your case was dismissed.
What Remains the Same?
One of the Marc Lopez Law Firm’s most frequently asked questions is: If I get Specialized Driving Privileges, what happens if I’m sentenced to a license suspension of less than 180 days? In this type of scenario, there is no way to reduce the duration of Specialized Driving Privileges. In certain cases, a sympathetic judge might be willing to loosen some of your driving restrictions until your order has run its course.
The insurance specifications haven’t changed, either. If you’re planning to seek Specialized Driving Privileges, you will more than likely have to increase your auto insurance coverage.
The attorneys at the Marc Lopez Law Firm understand the urgency of driving needs, and our collective knowledge base regarding motor vehicle laws is second-to-none. If you’re facing DUI / OVWI charges or any other sort of driving suspension, give us a call at 317-632-3642. We’ve made driving our business, and we know we can help.
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