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Legal Nuggets

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By James Holder, Attorney at Law, Mar 13 2018 07:37PM

Are you driving without a license in Indiana? You probably don’t have to!


I continue to meet with people driving without a license as a result of a suspension of their driving privileges in Indiana without any knowledge they can probably obtain a license. At a minimum most people can obtain a restricted driver’s license by Petitioning the court for a Specialized Driving Privilege. The Specialized Driving Privilege can range from nearly full driving privileges to limited driving privileges, usually at least to work and back.


It is easier to discuss who cannot receive a Specialized Driving Privilege as opposed to who can. A Refusal to submit to a chemical test when suspected of driving while intoxicated, and drunk driving causing death are two of the most prominent examples of situations where a Specialized Driving Privileges cannot be obtained. Even the exception for suspension for failure to submit to the chemical test is limited to only that period of suspension (usually 1 year). Any subsequent suspensions are not excluded from the specialized driving statute.


Although there are some time constraints, generally, most people can obtain Specialized Driving Privileges immediately upon suspension.


In addition to Specialized Driving Privileges, people who are involved in an accident without insurance and thus are suspended indefinitely for failure to pay for the damages resulting from the accident, may file a Petition for Bankruptcy and have their driving privileges reinstated.


Further, people with a Life Suspension of their driving privileges, may under certain circumstances, obtain their regular driving privileges after 10 (in some instances 3) years of suspension. If they are under 3 - 10 years of their suspension, they too can petition the court for Specialized Driving Privileges.


In summary, it is safe to say that Indiana has changed its perspective on driving suspensions with a focus on getting people to work so they can be productive members of society. The Specialized Driving Privilege Statute allows the court a lot of leeway in how it may balance the protection of society with the legislative desire and intent to get people back to work and other necessary aspects of their daily lives.



By James Holder, Attorney at Law, Apr 28 2016 09:53PM

Indiana has an expungement law which allows for most arrests and criminal convictions to be expunged and sealed. Although not all records can be expunged and sealed, surprisingly most can be. In other words, those records can be removed from people’s lives giving them a 2nd chance at job opportunities and restoring other rights & privileges previously lost. Certain time limitations apply depending on the convictions.

By James Holder, Attorney at Law, Apr 26 2016 09:48PM

The answer is YES in most cases in Indiana. The "hardship license" has been eliminated with a more available and lenient specialized driving permit. Under the law in Indiana, nearly anyone with a driver's license (which is suspended) can obtain a driving permit through a court action. An exception exists for those persons under a suspension for refusal to submit to a breath test. .Although the court has nearly unlimited conditions that it can place on a specialized permit, most courts are inclined to grant privileges for the purposes of work related driving and other necessary driving.

By James Holder, Attorney at Law, Apr 26 2016 09:32PM

Yes, the law in Indiana is clear. The Indiana Supreme Court in State v. Willis tells us that in Indiana a parent has the Constitutional right to discipline their child, so long as the force the parents use is reasonable. In the Willis case, swatting with a belt was deemed to be reasonable under the circumstances of that case.

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