What Can You Do if You Lose Your License to a DWI?
You may rely on your driver’s license to do many things. It might be what gets you to work, how you buy groceries, or even how you help family members with rides around town. If you lose your license to a DWI, it can be hard to know what to do. Fortunately, you have options. A DWI lawyer can help you fight the loss and reduce the consequences of losing your license to a DWI.
Help After Losing Your License to a DWI
How you respond to losing your license to a DWI depends on the state that you are in. DWI laws are similar throughout the United States. However, they are slightly different in each state. What you need to do depends on the exact laws in your jurisdiction. A DWI lawyer in your area can help you understand your rights and options as you work to reinstate your license. Here are some of the options that may apply to you and your case:
Fighting the Chemical Test Refusal
The first step for what you can do if you lose your license to a DWI is to fight the chemical test refusal. Most states have laws that suspend your license for refusing the breath test or blood test during a DWI investigation. Typically, your license is suspended for 90 days, six months, or even a year whether or not you are ultimately convicted of the DWI charge.
Fortunately, you can fight back. You can challenge the chemical test refusal. It’s important to work very quickly in order to assert your right to a hearing because your time to assert your rights is limited. There may be valid grounds to challenge the refusal because police officers must take specific steps when they inform you of your chemical test rights. If they make mistakes during the investigation process, the state may invalidate your loss of license.
Fighting the DWI Charges
Another way to respond if you face a DWI suspension is to challenge the DWI charges. In many states, you don’t lose your license if you’re convicted of a drunk driving charge. If the state made constitutional errors, investigation errors, or scientific errors in chemical testing, the charges against you may be dismissed. Your attorney can help you investigate and determine how best to challenge your DWI charges.
Pleading to a Reduced Charge
Sometimes, the best way to respond if you lose your license to a DWI is to work to reduce the charges against you. In some states, the period of license suspension depends on the severity of the DWI charge. You might lose your license for a longer period of time if your bodily alcohol content is particularly high or if you’re a repeat offender. However, you may be able to challenge these and settle on a plea agreement that reduces the license reduction. Your DWI lawyer can help you understand the options and whether it’s in your best interests to accept any plea bargain.
Asking for a Hardship License or Restricted License
It may be possible to receive a hardship license or a restricted license. A hardship license is a determination by a judge or magistrate that it is too much of a hardship for you to live without a license. You typically have to prove that public transportation is not readily available in your area and that others depend on you. A restricted license may help you drive to work or school, court-ordered counseling, and the grocery store. You may evaluate the specific terms and ask the court or the state magistrate for restrictions that may be in your favor considering your work schedule or other personal obligations.
Help if You Lose Your License to a DWI
If you lose your license to a DWI, you have options to fight back. You can fight the charges against you, work on a reduced charge as part of a plea bargain, or petition for a hardship license or restricted license. The right course of action depends on the state that hears your case, the nature of the loss of license, and your personal situation. Your DWI lawyer can help you determine your rights and options.