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New York DWI & DUI Hardship Hearings

If your license to drive in New York is suspended due to an arrest for any one of numerous VTL 1192 drunk driving charges or DWI offenses, your DUI attorney may be able to successfully lobby the court for a Hardship Hearing and ultimately secure you a Hardship License. One of the many reasons why it is critical to retain experienced counsel in the early stages of a driving while intoxicated arrest is that these proceedings are requested and granted at your arraignment and must be conducted within a short period of time thereafter. While a judge will require that you surrender or turn over your NYS drivers license and suspend your privileges to operate a motor vehicle at your arraignment irrespective of whether you are accused of VTL 1192.2, VTL 1192.3, or other similar offense, if you can establish that your complete suspension will result in an extreme hardship, the court can restore a temporary and limited “right” to drive. At bottom, even if exoneration or a lesser non-criminal disposition may be possible as your case winds through the New York criminal justice system, do not forgo this opportunity or fail to request the chance to return some stability to your life and to maintain your academic, healthcare or childcare responsibilities.


Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1193(2)(e)(7)(e) mandates that even though a court must suspend your license, it may grant you a hardship privilege upon the finding of “extreme hardship.” This latter term is defined as an inability to find transportation, other than with your “regular” driving privileges, to or from an accredited school, work, or necessary medical treatment for either you or a member of your home. You cannot be granted limited driving privileges through this hearing if you had a DWI conviction in the past five years and your arrest cannot have stemmed from a refusal to "blow" in a Breathalyzer or Intoxilyzer. In this latter circumstance your license is automatically revoked due to your refusal to submit to a chemical test and a separate DMV or DWI Refusal Hearing will be conducted with a judicial hearing officer.

Legal Requirement and Standard

At a hearing, conducted no more than three workdays from a scheduled arraignment, your lawyer can present different types of evidence such as testimony from other members of your household, documents reflecting schedules and proximity of public transportation, and other relevant materials. Obviously, you will want to also provide corroboration of your place of employment, medical treatment or schooling. Ultimately, it is your burden to establish the extreme hardship. Mere inconvenience is not enough, nor can your testimony alone satisfy your burden of proof.

Parameters and Scope

If granted such a limited license, your ability to drive is not fully returned. Instead, you can only use your vehicle in a manner consistent with medical treatment, employment and schooling as referenced above. It is important to recognize that if you have a CDL, this privilege will not allow you to operate a commercial vehicle whether a dump truck, moving van, or taxicab.

Your Case, Your Defense, Your Future

Although the above description and information merely scratches the surface of the Hardship License and Hardship Hearing process, education and preparedness are keys to successfully defending yourself during any phase of a DUI prosecution. Not only have the two founding criminal lawyers at Saland Law served as prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office's DWI Unit, but the law firm has successfully represented clients in intoxicated, drunk and impaired driving charges by obtaining dismissals, acquittals at trial and non-criminal dispositions. Similarly, we have restored clients’ driving privileges after successfully conducting Hardship Hearings and Refusal Hearings when these respective proceedings are necessary.

Call the New York Hardship Hearing lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at 212.312.7129 or contact us online today.

Client Reviews
... I was facing a class B felony and potentially tens of thousands in fines and some legit jail time and after hiring Jeremy Saland he obviously struck enough fear into the prosecutors with his sheer litigation might that it was knocked down to a petty misdemeanor and after a few sheckles and a handful of counseling sessions, I will no longer have a criminal record. The offices of Saland Law are the Shaq and Kobe of criminal defense in New York City and to even consider another firm is outright blasphemy. I stand by this statement 100% Evan
Let me start by saying how amazing Liz Crotty is! I am a resident of California, who needed representation for my son who received a desk citation while he was visiting NYC. Liz jumped on the case right away; she was very thorough in explaining things to me. She is strictly business too! She went to court on my son's behalf and had his case dismissed. I am forever grateful to her. Seana G.
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