If you are charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will likely order that your license is suspended. Depending on whether you have had any prior DUI offenses, your suspension may last up to 18 months. Many people who are unable to drive have a difficult time getting to their jobs or to school. However, if you meet the requirements, it may be possible for you to get what is colloquially known as a hardship license in Pennsylvania. Under 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 1553, this type of license is called an occupational limited license, and it has several requirements. At DiCindio Law, we can review your situation and explain how to get a hardship license if you are eligible for one.
What is a hardship license, and what are the conditions of an occupational limited license in Pennsylvania?
In order to get an occupational limited license, you will have to be able to explain why you need to drive in order to get to treatment, work, school, or trade. You will also have to provide information about the location of your work, school, trade, or treatment provider. You will be restricted to driving only to and from those places. You may also be authorized to drive to and from your medical appointments.
Eligibility for an occupational limited license
In order to obtain an occupational limited license, you must submit a petition by certified mail that includes detailed information about why you need an occupational limited license. You will also need to submit proof of your employment, the program of study, or other allowed place. You must apply for an OLL before your period of suspension goes into effect, and you must surrender your driver’s license by mail at the time that you apply. You must also submit a $50 application fee.
Some offenses make you ineligible for an OLL. For example, you are not eligible to obtain an occupational limited license if you are suspended for the following violations:
- Racing on the highways
- Passing a school bus
- Driving under the influence
- Fleeing a police officer
- Driving without your lights on
- Homicide by vehicle or homicide by vehicle with a DUI
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Reckless driving
- Accidents causing injury or death
- Failing to respond to a traffic citation
- Refusing to submit to chemical testing
- Driving while suspended DUI related
- Are serving an ARD-ordered suspension
- Failing to maintain financial responsibility
Ignition interlock statute as another potential alternative
If you are unable to get an occupational limited license, you may be able to get a restricted license by agreeing to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle under Pa. C.S.A. § 3805. Under this law, you may be able to apply for an ignition interlock limited license if you agree to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. This is a relatively new option. It is mostly focused on DUI matters.
Get help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer at DiCindio Law
Having your driving privileges suspended can create real hardships. Without being able to drive, you may have trouble keeping your job, getting your children to school, going to your medical appointments, and completing other tasks that are necessary for your family. If your license will soon be suspended, it is possible that you might be able to apply for an occupational limited license or agree to the installation of an ignition interlock device to get a restricted license. While these types of licenses will severely restrict where and how you can drive, they can at least enable you to get to the places that are crucial for you to drive for the benefit of you and your family. To learn more about whether you might be eligible for a hardship license in Pennsylvania, call DiCindio Law to schedule a consultation.