With the promulgation of new legal statutes disseminated within each respective legislative session, it is not at all uncommon for legal pundits to analyze both civil and criminal updated rules alterations and surmise the “winners” and “losers” of each debated provision.
Within the realm of owi defense, it was initially anticipated that legal statutes targeting the application of license suspensions would broaden the ability of individuals to selectively utilize new license reinstatement provisions to allow for greater workplace efficiency. In theory, many legislators had intended with the passage of new legal outlets by which to reinstate driving privileges in one form or another, the Indiana economy could be more productively furthered.
As with all best laid plans, political considerations, personal biases and selective enforcement of new laws focused on dui cases often gets in the way of promoting needed uniformity in how new statutes are most fairly applied. For example, while initially interpreted as a victory for those individuals with a demonstrated need to drive a motor vehicle either during or following a criminal conviction, the allowance for judicial orders that actually have granted the ability to effectively utilize liberalized driving legislation has too often been thwarted at the judicial level.
While individual legislators may have drafted and passed legislation to allow for less restrictive driving suspensions in limited circumstances, in the final analysis it has been up to individual county judges to decide whether to actually allow for citizens coming before a respective court to benefit from such newly tailored legislation. In fact, depending upon the county, citizens have often seen little change in the ability to acquire limited driving abilities or have encountered a varied court procedure as to how to seek such judicial relief. In this regard not only has new legislation proven to be quite a challenge as to how to forecast an individual jurist’s policy stance on this issue, but the procedural means by which to seek such relief has confounded even attorneys seeking to expedite the re acquisition of driving privileges on behalf of a client in as expedited a manner as possible.
Procedurally, the method by which limited driving abilities may be sought varies greatly and significantly depending upon Indiana county. In some counties, such a request to acquire limited driving abilities will need to be sought through a civil case filing. This is so irrespective of whether a pending criminal case within the same county has initiated the individual’s license restrictions. As such, undue delay is often necessitated by mandated time frames for allowed responses between the parties as required under civil procedural rules. As these civil rules are being complied with, further delay continues to mount merely for the opportunity to be heard before a judge on the limited issue of whether the granting of a limited license allowance is legally warranted.
Other counties have mandated that such a license reacquisition request initiated in conjunction with a pending criminal case be furthered through the criminal case proceedings without need for the filing of separate civil case proceeding. In such jurisdictions an obvious benefit exists as to a more streamlined and expedited approach toward allowing an individual the means by which to get back behind the wheel of a motor vehicle as soon as legally possible.
As real world applications of license reinstatement procedure has had more time to be examined since the turn of the year, I can claim from personal experience that individuals appearing before jurists within counties such as Hendricks have often been the recipient of legal interpretations as to license restrictions more in line with what the Indiana legislature has intended.
Unlike other counties whereby either local judge(s) and/or prosecutors have scuttled the more liberalized policy stances of license reacquisition enunciated through most recent legislation, dui attorneys practicing in Danville, such as myself, have been able to more effectively utilize these new legislative provisions to the significant benefit of clients in far greater application than in other county jurisdictions in Indiana.
As a practicing DUI attorney in Hendricks County, Brownsburg, Avon, Plainfield & Danville, the strategy for legal action geared toward reinstatement of one’s license in a limited form has become secondary to my ability to secure the full reinstatement of a license altogether within first offense cases. In counties such as Hendricks priority can now be focused not upon specialized licenses but more efficient acquisition of full license reinstatements now available prior to the ninety day minimum term of suspension required by decades of prior Indiana legal precedent.
Due to the pre eminent focus and attention that has been cast toward a discussion of a new specialized restricted licensing scheme that has eliminated former hardship/probationary license terminology, I believe that not enough discussion has focused upon a secondary statutory alteration in Indiana within the context of owi suspensions to motor vehicle licenses.
Where former Indiana statutes mandated that a minimum complete (no driving whatsoever) drivers suspension to a license of ninety days as the the starting point for license suspensions following an owi conviction, the new legislative code has dispensed with such a requirement. To be sure, this change has not provided much realized benefit within the vast majority of criminal counties who still presumptively adapt the prior ninety day suspension as a matter of course following an owi conviction.
My personal belief is that despite more flexibility granted to respective prosecutors and judges within Indiana to order license suspensions less than ninety days, those responsible for the imposition of licensing restrictions are so accustomed to the ninety day minimums in effect for decades that they are reluctant to deviate from the former practices they have grown accustomed to. As new prosecutors and judges begin to emerge who are not as married to years of former adherence to old legal requirements, I believe these policy stances will begin to be altered.
Certain counties, albeit in the minority, are beginning to break free from former conventional thinking as to embracing new allowances granted by recent legislation. A knowledgeable dui lawyer in Hendricks County if savvy enough can now seek an expedited case conclusion where warranted that would dispense with the need to seek limited license relief altogether. This is so, because based upon my own case results, Hendricks County OWI defense lawyers in Danville and elsewhere may now be able to secure reinstatement of license suspensions for first time dui offenders far sooner than the ninety days still mandated within the majority of Indiana counties.
This means that it is incumbent upon a dui attorney in Danville, Lebanon, New Castle or other communities now adapting new changes to rapidly move toward the completion of a case investigation as soon as possible. Unlike the “window” of opportunity of ninety days (the least amount of straight license suspension considered) to resolve such a first offense case in most other jurisdictions, in multiple dui cases in Hendricks County courtrooms I have been able to secure full license reinstatements for my clients up to two months earlier than the ninety day period commonly adapted elsewhere.
As a result, it may be far more advantageous for an owi attorney in Hendricks County to seek full reinstatement of a license in as little as 30 days as opposed to commiting a client to a six month specialized license that may prove to be so restrictive as to be counter to the individual’s best interests.
Other counties are refreshingly beginning to follow Hendricks County’s lead in limited circumstances in regard to granting full reinstatements for dui convictions far earlier than ninety days. For example, recent experiences in my capacity as a practicing dui attorney in Boone and Henry County Indiana has allowed me to persuade prosecutors within those jurisdictions to exercise newfound discretion on duration of license suspensions in light of new legislation in Indiana.
It is my hope than in due time the enlightened policies of these Indiana counties as to empowering individuals to gain full license reinstatements within justified circumstances will begin to take hold throughout the state. In so doing, those individuals with first time dui offenses will best be able to provide for needed dependents and fulfill necessary workplace obligations far earlier than the former complete three month minimum license restriction formerly mandated by legislative statute in Indiana.