Hamilton County Specialized Driving Privileges

Driver’s license suspensions can have serious effects on your employment and create unneeded stress for your family. In 2015, Hamilton County specialized driving privileges law changed and, in some ways, expanded to allow individuals who have had a suspension of driving privileges (suspended license) the possibility of getting permission to drive under certain circumstances by filing a petition in a circuit or superior court in the driver’s county of residence for Indiana residents or the county of the conviction for non-residents.

Filing for Hamilton County Specialized Driving Privileges

Indiana Code § 9-30-16-1 et seq. sets forth the requirements for filing a petition to retain or regain driving privileges in Indiana. These requirements—and the conditions the court may attached to special driving privileges—vary based on the underlying cause of your driver’s license suspension. An experienced Indiana defense attorney can determine which privileges you are eligible to have restored and assist you in the process of preparing and filing a petition with the appropriate court.

Are Indiana Specialized Driving Privileges the Same as an Indiana Hardship License?

The 2015 law provides some of the same types of relief you may have heard about in prior years, like permission granted by an Indiana hardship license or a probationary license. However, the more recent law is substantively different, and some individuals who were not previously eligible for a probationary or hardship license may now be eligible for these privileges.

The Process and Potential Restrictions on Indiana Driving Privileges

An individual seeking specialized driving privileges must file a petition in the court that issued the suspension order. If the individual has more than one court-ordered license suspension, then he or she must file a petition in each case. For BMV administrative suspensions, the individual needs to file the petition in his or her county of residence.

If the court grants the petition, it may still place various conditions on the driving privileges, which may include the following:

  • Requiring complete compliance with all traffic laws and prohibit you from committing any crime;
  • Requiring the use of an ignition interlock device;
  • Restricting a driver to being allowed to operate a motor vehicle only during certain hours of the day; or
  • Restricting a driver to being allowed to operate a motor vehicle only between specific locations and the person’s residence.

The right Indiana defense attorney can help you petition the court and effectively convey the need for maximum privileges under the law.

Who Is Not Eligible to Apply for Driving Privileges under Indiana Code § 9-30-16-1 et seq.?

Unfortunately, Indiana law does place some limitations on who can apply for these driving privileges. The following individuals are among those still ineligible by statute to receive specialized privileges for operating a motor vehicle:

  • A person who has never held a valid Indiana driver’s license;
  • A person who holds a commercial driver’s license;
  • A person whose sentence resulted from an offense involving the operation of a motor vehicle that caused a death;
  • A person who has previously been granted but knowingly violated the conditions of driving privileges granted under Indiana Code § 9-30-6-1 et seq.; or
  • A person who has refused a chemical test offered under Indiana’s implied consent law (likely as a result of an OWI/DUI stop).

An Indiana Defense Attorney Can Help You Retain Your Driving Privileges

The court has discretion in whether to grant Hamilton County specialized driving privileges, but this relief may be possible for you or someone you know. To protect your privileges as a driver, contact the Noblesville attorneys at Dollard Whalin LLP by calling (317) 854-5877 or completing the firm’s online contact form.

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