Marion County Specialized Driving Privilege Procedures
Marion County Specialized Driving Privilege – Procedures
If you are dealing with a license suspension, you may qualify for Specialized Driving Privileges. Often referred to as a hardship license, this new type of driver’s license allows a person to drive under restriction while their driver’s license is suspended. If you live in Marion County or have a criminal case in Marion County that lead to a suspension, then you will have to file the petition in Marion County. These procedures can be complicated, and this post will explain some of the court rules.
Where to File Your Petition for Specialized Driving Privileges
If you reside in Marion County and your driver’s license has been suspended by the BMV for a BMV administrative suspension, then you must file your petition in Marion County Circuit Court. A BMV administrative suspension is one that is issued directly from the BMV, and typically include suspensions for failing to file proof of insurance, excessive points, and five or ten year habitual traffic violator suspensions.
If you live in another county and have a BMV administrative suspension, then you must file in your county of residence.
If you have a pending license suspension for a court ordered suspension stemming from a criminal conviction, such as a lifetime suspension for being convicted of operating while HTV, a suspension for driving while suspended or a suspension for DUI, then you must file your petition in the court that issued the suspension. For example, if you were convicted of DUI in Marion Count Superior Court 10 and the judge suspended your license for six months, you would be required to file a petition for a Marion County specialized driving privilege order in Court 10.
However, if you have a BMV administrative suspension and a license suspension from a criminal court and you live in the county where the criminal court is located, you can file one petition in the criminal court covering all suspensions.
Alternatively, if you have a suspension from a criminal court in County A but reside in County B and also have a BMV administrative suspension, you will be required to file a petition in County A and County B.
As you can see, these filing rules can be complicated, and discussing the proper venue for your petition with a lawyer can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Marion County Specialized Driving Privilege (Hardship License) Hearings
Once the petition is filed, your case will be assigned a court date. In Marion County Circuit Court, that may be up to 90 days out, as the court can be quite busy. In other counties, that wait time may be much shorter.
In some cases, the prosecutor may be willing to agree to your petition and the parties can file what is called an Agreed Judgment, laying out the terms of the Specialized Driving Privilege restrictions and requirements. If the judge approves the agreement, the judge can sign the agreement and the order will be entered without a hearing.
If a hearing is necessary, that is when you and your attorney will present all of the evidence to the court as to why your petition for a hardship license should be granted.
For Marion County specialized driving privilege petitions, unless there is a serious reason to object, the prosecutors typically do not object to a petition at the hearing. In other counties, the prosecutor may not be as willing to agree to the terms you are requesting. It is important to be prepared to present the best case possible to persuade the judge to grant your petition, including being able to explain where you need to drive, why, and why the judge does not have to worry about you committing any new traffic violations. The judges really do not want to grant someone a hardship license only for him or her to go out and get new tickets or cause an accident.
Marion County Specialized Driving Privilege Requirements
In Marion County (and many other counties) judges decide what requirements they will include in the order when a petition is granted. The law is quite broad and the judge is able to include as little or as many restrictions as he or she determines is appropriate. A judge could grant a hardship license with zero restrictions, or the order could only allow a person to drive to and from work on certain days at certain times.
In Marion County Circuit Court, the judge often allows those who are granted Specialized Driving Privileges to drive to and from work, school, medical appointments, to care for family, daycare and school for children and treatment programs (such as AA or counseling). However, the judge in that court also requires that all petitioners carry at least $100,000/$300,000 insurance with an SR22 (which will be required by the BMV anyway). These requirements may vary from court to court, but keep in mind that the judge has very wide discretion to grant or deny these petitions, so there may be a trade off if you want to be granted a hardship license.
Other requirements that a judge can include in an order for Specialized Driving Privileges include requiring ignition interlock, making attendance at AA meetings mandatory, requiring a defensive driving class or scheduling compliance hearings in the future.
Specialized Driving Privilege – After the Hearing
After the hearing for your Marion County specialized diving privilege petition (and in other counties), if the petition is granted, you and your attorney will receive a signed copy of the order from the judge. This order is also sent to the BMV electronically from the court. Once updated with the BMV, you will be permitted to go to a BMV branch and obtain a new license.
Additionally, your driver’s license status will be changed from suspended to Valid-Conditional. You will be required to carry the court order with you in any vehicle that you operate and if you are stopped, the officer can inspect the order to make sure you are in compliance.
If you are accused of violating the terms of your Specialized Driving Privilege Order, you may be charged with a criminal misdemeanor.
Once the last suspension has expired and the hardship license is no longer necessary, you will be able to amend your driver’s license status to simply ‘Valid’.
Former Traffic Court Deputy Prosecutor On Your Side
If your driver’s license is suspended and you are interested in discussing your options for Specialized Driving Privileges or a hardship license or other remedies in order to get your license back to valid status, Chambers Law Office can help. Attorney Julie Chambers is a former Marion County Deputy Prosecutor and has experience both in criminal court and traffic court. Contact Chambers Law Office today to speak with a lawyer today.