Indianapolis Lifetime License Suspension Lawyer
Sometimes situations arise where a person with a suspended license must drive to maintain employment, help a sick or elderly family member, or perform another admirable act. Unfortunately, that driver may then be caught driving on a suspended license which can result in additional charges that further complicate the possibility of reinstating driving privileges. These people are known as Habitual Traffic Violators (HTVs), and, with multiple traffic citations, a court can assess more severe penalties including felony charges or the loss of your license for life. That’s when you need an Indianapolis lifetime license suspension lawyer.
Some of the most common ways you can lose your driving privileges include getting convicted of drunk driving, accumulating too many traffic tickets, being a habitual offender, and driving on a previously suspended driver’s license. If you have suffered a lifetime suspension—whatever the underlying reasons—you need an experienced lifetime license suspension lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP to help reinstate a suspended license in Indiana as efficiently as possible.
An Indianapolis Lifetime License Suspension Lawyer Can Explain the Law
In Indiana, there are many laws and regulations that govern the procedure for removing an Indiana lifetime license suspension. An experienced Indianapolis lifetime license suspension lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer can help ensure you follow the steps required for removing your Indiana lifetime license suspension. For example, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) explains the serious penalties for habitual traffic offenders, drivers who commit multiple violations over a ten-year period. Indiana Code § 9-30-10-4 sets forth three categories for these habitual traffic violators (HTVs) and the suspensions they may face.
HTV Category A: Drivers who receive two judgments based upon serious offenses that resulted in injury or death during a ten-year timeframe fall into this category. Some of the violations that qualify as serious offenses include:
- An accident that causes injury or death where the driver did not stop at the scene and provide assistance
- Reckless homicide resulting from driving a vehicle
- Manslaughter, either voluntary or involuntary, resulting from driving a vehicle
- Intoxicated driving that leads to someone’s death
- Driving with a blood-alcohol content greater than .08 and causing an accident that leads to death
Drivers who accumulate two serious judgments in a ten-year span lose their driving privileges for ten years. However, if a driver is guilty of two incidents involving alcohol that led to someone’s death, the suspension is for life.
HTV Category B: A driver who receives three major offense judgments in a ten-year period also receives HTV status. The offenses that qualify under this category include:
- Reckless driving including criminal recklessness that leads to a felony
- Driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or more or driving while intoxicated
- Resisting a police officer pursuant to Indiana Code § 35-44.1-3-1
- Drag racing or speed contests
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Driving a motorcycle in violation of Indiana Code § 9-24-1-1(b)
- Any felony charge where driving a vehicle is part of the offense
- All offenses listed in HTV Category A
Drivers who receive three violations from this category within a ten-year period lose their driving privileges for ten years.
HTV Category C: A driver who receives ten or more traffic judgments in a ten-year period, including one major offense as defined in Categories A or B above, is considered a Category C HTV. For this classification, two other offenses are also considered major offenses, namely:
- Driving on a license that has been suspended or revoked
- Driving without ever having a driver’s license
A Category C driver with one judgment of driving under the influence who also receives nine minor traffic tickets will lose their driving privileges for five years.
If you have been adjudicated an HTV and you are convicted of driving while your license is suspended, your driving privileges can be suspended for an additional period of time as determined by the court. A qualified Indianapolis lifetime license suspension lawyer can explain the possible sentencing you may face.
Specific Laws that Control License Suspensions in Indiana
Prior to 2014, Indiana law stated that a driver convicted of the Class D felony of driving as an HTV could lose the right to drive for a lifetime. As the result of an amendment to the law 2014, now a court can only suspend a driver’s privileges up to the maximum length of the sentence imposed—not for life. However, many people who were suspended for life before 2014 are still suspended under the prior law because their suspensions were not automatically corrected.
An experienced Indianapolis lifetime license suspension lawyer can help you take the steps needed for an Indiana license reinstatement under certain circumstances. Pursuant to Indiana Code § 9-30-10-14.1(b), a driver who received a suspension for life can petition the court to rescind the lifetime suspension and reinstate driving privileges if both of the following apply:
- The lifetime suspension was entered at least ten years before the petition to rescind is filed
- The petitioner has no convictions for any of the major offenses listed in HTV Category A
A petition filed under this section of the law must be verified by the petitioner and include the following information:
- The petitioner’s personal details including age, address, and date of birth
- How the petitioner received the lifetime suspension
- A description of how the petitioner’s circumstances have substantially changed and how the petitioner would no longer be a risk to others if allowed to drive again
- A showing of how the lifetime suspension is unreasonable
- An explanation of how reinstating driving privileges would be in the best interests of society
- A statement that the required time has passed since the entry of the suspension
- An averment that the petitioner has never been convicted of any HTV Category A offenses
This petitioner must file this request in the circuit or superior court of the county where the petitioner lives or, if the petitioner doesn’t live in Indiana, in the county where the last conviction was entered. The prosecuting attorney in that county must also receive a copy of the petition.
If you received a lifetime suspension based only on a conviction for driving while license suspended as HTV, under Indiana Code § 9-30-10-14.1(f), the waiting period is only three years (instead of ten years) to file a petition to rescind the lifetime suspension and reinstate your driving privileges.
A Qualified Indianapolis Lifetime License Suspension Lawyer Will Persuasively Argue Your Petition
When a petition for rescission of a lifetime suspension of driving privileges is filed, the court will set a civil hearing date. At the hearing, the petitioner has the burden to prove several points by a preponderance of the evidence. This is the civil law burden of proof, a lower burden than the requirement to prove elements beyond a reasonable doubt in criminal proceedings.
According to Indiana Code § 9-30-10-14.2, a petitioner who wants the court to rescind a lifetime driving suspension must prove:
- The petitioner has not been convicted of any of the offenses listed in HTV Category A
- The petitioner does not present a safety risk to others if allowed to drive again
- Continuing the license suspension is unreasonable
- Reinstating driving privileges is in society’s best interest
- The correct number of years have passed since the driving privileges were suspended
If the court agrees that the petitioner has proven all of these elements, it may do one of the following:
- Rescind the suspension order and order the BMV to reinstate the petitioner’s right to drive
- Order the BMV to grant specialized driving privileges
Some of the specialized driving privilege conditions a court may require to reinstate the petitioner’s right to drive include:
- Only driving during specific time frames such as only in daylight hours
- Prohibiting driving after consuming alcohol
- Requiring electronic monitoring or an ignition interlock device to assure the petitioner has not consumed alcohol before driving
- Requiring the petitioner to submit to breath testing if stopped by a police officer
Once the court-ordered term for specialized driving privileges has passed and the petitioner has met all required conditions, driving privileges will be reinstated by the BMV.
Let An Experienced Indianapolis Lifetime License Suspension Lawyer Guide You Through the Five Steps to Reinstate Your License at the BMV
After successfully petitioning the court for the rescission of your suspension, the BMV will require you to complete five steps before your driving privileges will be reinstated. Depending on the circumstances that led to your suspension, these steps may be simple or rather complicated.
To reinstate your driving privileges with the BMV, you must:
- Review the reinstatement requirements listed on your driving record to ensure you have completed everything required of you
- Satisfy any outstanding judgments that were the basis for your suspension
- Show financial responsibility by providing proof of insurance
- Pay all reinstatement fees in full
- Check your Official Driver Record (ODR) to see when your rights have been reinstated
Do You Have More Questions About License Suspension in Indiana?
An experienced Indianapolis lifetime license suspension lawyer can help you understand the complex process and help restore your driving privileges as quickly as possible. If you are dealing with complicated license suspensions in Indiana, or you need to reinstate a suspended license in Indiana, schedule an appointment to consult with a qualified attorney today. At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, our Indianapolis lawyers understand how the BMV system works, when you should file a petition to reinstate, and how to help you protect and recover your driving privileges.
Our legal team will work with you to help you regain your driving privileges after your suspension and get you back behind the wheel legally. Contact Keffer Hirschauer LLP and let us fight for you!