The Seldom Occurring Issue – Driving Safely and Legally
Let’s start here by pointing out who can skip this section if they want and go directly to the next section. If you did not have a Drunk Driving case that involved an accident causing death or serious injury to another person, or you have not gotten ticketed or arrested for Driving on a Suspended/Revoked License in the last two years, and you have less that five Drunk-Driving cases in total, and did not go to prison (as opposed to jail) for a Drunk Driving conviction, then you probably do not have to read this, although you can if you want to. I will try to keep this short, but as you have probably already figured, I have a passion for this stuff.
A fair number of the calls I get are what I call “twofers.” A person has just gotten charged with Driving While License Suspended/Revoked, and when they call me about that case, they mention that they really want to get their license back. Often they have been eligible to apply for a while, and now they really feel the pressure to get it done.
How do I say “no” to a deal like that? Two cases in one call! The truth is, they have just set themselves back from being able to apply and get a license. It means I can take the Suspended License case, but have to be honest and tell them nothing doing on the license, at least for a while.
One of the requirements to get your license back is proving that you are “motivated to drive safely, and within the law.” In cases where someone has recently gotten a Suspended License charge, it’s that “within the law” stuff that comes into play.
From a Hearing Officer’s point of view, a person who drives even though they have no license is doing quite the opposite from proving that they are motivated to stay “within the law.” From their perspective, if the Secretary of State says you cannot drive at all, and you do anyway, what’s to say that you will have any motivation or intention to follow the restrictions they are likely to place on your driving if they give you any privileges back? To them, it makes you look like a poor risk right off the bat.
In these cases, or where there has been an accident involving a serious injury or death, more than five Drunk Driving convictions, or the person has served time in the state prison system (not the county jail) for Drunk Driving, then this issue needs to be addressed. In practical terms, of the relatively few cases where this issue comes up at all, it almost always involves someone with a few too many or recent Suspended/Revoked License conviction(s).
My take on these situations, which is made on a case-by-case basis, involves far more experience than legal analysis. I know that a Hearing Officer, depending on the circumstances, will want at least a certain minimum period of of “no trouble,” which means no more tickets for anything, before they will grant a license. As I said, it involves a determination made on a case-by-case basis, and the only way to find out about your case is to ask.
Remember, I’m in business to make money, not send it out the door, but as an honest Attorney who wants to win cases and not build a reputation as someone who takes anything willing to pay, you can count on me for a sincere and truthful analysis of your situation.