Can I Get a Hardship License in San Diego?

For most people, the ability to operate a motor vehicle is a necessity. While most of the larger cities in California have relatively good public transportation systems the same cannot be said for smaller cities and towns. Therefore, if you live in the suburbs, a small town, or in the country you likely depend on your vehicle to get you to and from work, school, and to necessary appointments such as a doctor or dentist visit. Because we depend heavily on motor vehicles in the United States it can be much more than simply a minor inconvenience for someone to lose their driving privileges. Often, a suspended or revoked driver’s license can result in financial hardship, if not complete ruin, for a family. If your San Diego driver’s license has been suspended you may be able to qualify for a hardship license in San Diego.

While your driver’s license can be suspended for other reasons the most common reason is a conviction for driving under the influence or refusing to take the breathalyzer during an arrest for driving under the influence. The rules pertaining to eligibility for a hardship license in San Diego are complex. If you think you may be eligible for a hardship license it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced DUI lawyer to find out if you qualify. There are some general guidelines, however, that may helpful to understand.

A hardship license is a license that allows you to drive to and from work, to and from school, to and from doctor appointments, court appearances, and anywhere else that is approved. For a motorist who holds a commercial drivers license as well as the rules for someone under the age of 21 are typically different with respect to qualifications for a hardship license than are the rules for other drivers. While the judge in your DUI case may indicate his or her consent to your receipt of a hardship license the decision to grant a hardship license is ultimately up to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

An individual whose license has been suspended for DUI may be able to get a hardship license after a mandatory 30 day suspension if the individual was over the age of 21 at the time of the arrests, has not been arrested for DUI since that arrest, was not convicted of DUI prior to this arrest, provides proof of financial responsibility, and can show proof of enrollment in a DUI treatment program. If you are under 21 at the time of the arrest you may still be eligible for what is known as a “Junior” hardship license. If you are still in high school you will need your school principal to certify that adequate public transportation is not available to get you to and from school and school related activities.

For an individual with a history of DUI convictions, whose license has been revoked, or who holds a commercial driver’s license the path to a hardship license is much more complicated-but not necessarily impossible. Consult with an experienced San Diego DUI lawyer to determine what your legal options are.


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