A license suspension can have a huge and devastating impact on your life. For most Americans, being unable to drive a car means that they have no means of getting to work, transporting their children, and attending medical appointments. However, there is recourse if your license was suspended, and you may be able to drive again before your suspension is set to end. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to request a hardship license from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). An experienced OUI Defense Attorney can help ease the burden of a suspended license and help you get your life back on track.
What is a Hardship License?
A hardship license, which is sometimes called a “Cinderella License”, allows someone who previously had their license suspended to drive for a set 12-hour period every day. So, if you need to be at work by 8:00 am, your hardship license will allow you to drive only between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm. To receive a hardship license, you need to show that your license suspension is creating an actual hardship in relation to important obligations such as work, school, medical needs, childcare responsibilities, and similar unavoidable obligations. The RMV will need to see proof of such a hardship and the necessity to drive in the form of a note from an employer or a school issued on official letterhead within the past 30 days. Generally speaking, the more official and detailed the documentation to support the need for a hardship license, the better. You may also need to show the RMV that public transport is not an option at your current place of work, school, and/or address. This can be shown by providing transit routes and bus maps.
The RMV will not grant hardship licenses to people they believe pose a threat to public safety. They will investigate any history of substance abuse and repeat OUI offenses, and may request a substance abuse evaluation. If you can show the RMV that you have taken significant steps toward recovery and have sought and received treatment, you will have better chances of receiving a hardship license.
Hardship License Rules in Massachusetts
Generally speaking, a person has to wait until a certain period of their suspension has elapsed before applying for a hardship license. For those who had a one-year suspension, they can apply for a work or education based hardship license after three months and a general hardship license after 6 months. For those with a two-year suspension, they can apply for a work or education based hardship license after one year and a general hardship license after 18 months. For those with an eight-year suspension, they can apply for a work or education based hardship license after two years and a general hardship license after 4 years. For those with a ten-year suspension, they can apply for a work or education based hardship license after five years and a general hardship license after eight years.
Unfortunately, under Massachusetts’ implied consent laws, people who refused a breathalyzer are not eligible for a hardship license in a second or subsequent OUI offense until the breathalyzer test refusal suspension has run. The only exception is with regards to second-offense Cahill Dispositions, which allow the second offense to be treated as a first offense. If you have received a Cahill Disposition, you will become eligible to apply for a hardship license as soon as you enroll in a Driver Alcohol Education Program. As with Cahill Dispositions, those with first offense 24D Dispositions are also eligible for a hardship license as soon as they enroll in a Driver Alcohol Education Program.
For more information on how to apply for a hardship license and request a hearing, consult Bernard OUI Defense’s guide here.
Massachusetts Hardship License Lawyer
OUI charges in Massachusetts are treated very harshly and can have serious, long-lasting penalties. However, with the help of an experienced OUI Defense Attorney, you still have options. If you or a loved one are facing an OUI charge in Massachusetts or are seeking a hardship license, contact the expert team at The Law Offices of Joseph D. Bernard P.C. so we can help you restore your license. We have dedicated an entire practice to Massachusetts OUI defense, and have over 50 years of experience fighting for the best possible outcomes in OUI cases. We will fight relentlessly to protect you, your rights, and your future. Contact us today or call us at (413)-731-9995 and let us get started fighting for you. Your first consultation is always free and confidential.