A Hardship Appeal is a way to keep driving after losing your license to an implied consent suspension.
Chemical Tests in DWI Cases
When arrested for driving while intoxicated, a police officer will ask you to take a chemical test, either a blood or breath test. This is not the preliminary breath test (PBT) at the side of the road. Refusal of the PBT is a civil infraction.
The penalty for refusal of the chemical test is a one-year license suspension. Most people find this penalty to be more severe than the penalty from a standard DWI conviction. For your garden variety DWI conviction, post people are looking at probation with testing, perhaps a short license suspension, and no jail. However a one-year driver’s license suspension would make life pretty difficult.
What Is An Implied Consent Suspension?
The law says drivers give implied consent to give a blood or breath sample when arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. When you refuse this test the police officer will probably obtain a search warrant for your blood, and you will end up providing a sample anyways.
You have 14 days from the date of the chemical test refusal to request an implied consent hearing. The purpose of the hearing is to contest whether the all the legal elements are present for a license suspension. Read more about Implied Consent Hearings for a detailed overview of that process.
The Secretary of State will move to assess the one-year suspension in the event that no implied consent hearing is requested or you do not win at the hearing. When this happens, there is still a possibility that you can stay on the road in the form of a Hardship Appeal.
When arrested, the police officer hands you a piece of paper you can fill out and mail to the Secretary of State to request a hearing. You should fill out that request and mail it to the Secretary of State immediately (An attorney will do this if you hire one. But if you’re not ready to hire an attorney you should still send it in). There may be grounds to challenge the license suspension, and the hearing will buy you time to file the Hardship Appeal.
What Is A Hardship Appeal?
A Hardship Appeal is procedure where we can request that the Court order the Secretary of State to issue a restricted license during the time of the suspension.
The law requires we prove to the judge that you will suffer undue hardship with no driver’s license and there is no available public transportation.
A restricted licence means you can get back on the road and drive for employment, school, and other important reasons.
Sam Bernstein is a DWI Attorney in Ann Arbor.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.
ArborYpsi represents clients in driving while intoxicated cases and all driver’s license issues, including implied consent hearings, hardship appeals, and driver’s license restoration cases. Read about How To Get Your License Back and SOS License Restoration.