As criminal defense lawyers, our firm meets with several potential clients each month that have been charged with driving under the influence (or DUI). Most potential clients come into the office understanding that a DUI can carry serious penalties, including jail time and temporary suspension of his/her driver’s license. However, I have encountered many people with misconceptions with regard to obtaining a restricted or hardship license in the event that the driver’s license suspension occurs.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Knoxville, Tennessee or the surrounding area (Blount, Jefferson, Loudon, Anderson Counties, etc), here’s what you should know about potentially obtaining a restricted or hardship license.
- An attorney can assist you in securing an Order from the Court allowing you to obtain a restricted driver’s license; however, all fines and court costs must be paid in full before the Court will issue this Order. We often help our clients by asking the Court for additional time prior to entering the judgment so that the client can save the necessary money to pay all court costs and fines immediately after the judgment is entered. This prevents a prolonged lapse in the ability to drive between the suspension taking effect and the client’s ability to secure the restricted license.
- After the Order granting a restricted license is signed, it must be presented to the Department of Motor Vehicles within ten days in order to be valid. In addition to presenting the Order, you must also provide proof of SR22 insurance coverage, a letter from your employer verifying employment, and proof of installation of an interlock device into your automobile.
- Not all restricted licenses require installation of an interlock device. Persons who are convicted of DUI charges that do not involve the consumption of alcohol and do not involve a motor vehicle accident may apply for a restricted license without an interlock. This particular kind of restricted license does place both geographical and time restrictions on your ability to drive. Typically, it would allow you to drive during hours that you work and in areas that your employment may require.
While it is always our goal to avoid a DUI conviction for our clients, when possible, it can be helpful to fully understand what is required to obtain a restricted or hardship license so that you can plan accordingly. If you or a family member have been charged with DUI or driving-related violation in Knoxville, Maryville, Sevierville or the surrounding East Tennessee coutines, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation with one of our attorneys. The criminal justice system can be difficult to navigate without help from a competent and compassionate attorney who is well-versed in criminal law.