Update 7-12-17: Since May of 2015, we have successfully obtained ignition interlock privileges on 126 fifteen-year license revocation cases. Helping these clients get back their ability to drive has been some of the most rewarding work we have done during 18 years of practice. If you were revoked for 15-years due to a drunk driving – DUI or driving under suspension – DUS, call now to see if you are eligible.
Case Result: April 15, 2017 – Client had previously contacted us about getting an interlock permit but chose to not go forward. He now calls with a felony driving under suspension case. We were able to get his interlock authorized and then handle the felony with a $1,000 fine and no further loss of license. Instead of looking at prison and another 15 year revocation, he now has a valid license!
Case Result: May 7th, 2015 – Client was revoked for 15 years on November 20, 2006. Lawyer after lawyer told him that only a pardon was available. We successfully obtained authorization for driving privileges on the ignition interlock 10 days after being retained. He is now on his way to get his license issued.
In the State of Nebraska, a second or subsequent conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) can lead to a 15 year license revocation. In Omaha, 15 years is a very long time to be without the legal ability to drive a vehicle, and if you get caught driving one illegally, you face a felony conviction, jail time, and yet another lengthy license revocation. The good news is that help may be available.
Not all that long ago, lawmakers began to realize that a 15 year revocation leads to additional crime, denial of employment, failure to support children, and general poverty to those on whom the penalty is imposed. Recognizing these unintended negative side effects, all DUI revocations since 2001 have been eligible for driving on an ignition interlock device; however, many lawyers, and even courts, were unaware of the changes to the law. If you were sentenced to a 15 year revocation, it may be possible to obtain permission for you to drive legally once again before the 15 year revocation period expires.
When Is a 15 Year License Revocation Ordered?
The penalties in the State of Nebraska for conviction of a DUI are harsh, particularly if you have a previous conviction for the same, or a similar, offense. A 15 year license revocation, for example, is possible upon a second DUI conviction if the defendant had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent or higher at the time of the arrest, known as an “aggravated” DUI. For most third, and subsequent, DUI convictions a 15 year license revocation is mandatory.
Driving While License Revoked
While it may be true that the license revocation penalties are harsh for a DUI conviction in Nebraska, the penalties for violating a license revocation order are even more severe. Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6,197.06 – “Operating motor vehicle during revocation period,” sets forth the penalties for driving after a court has revoked your license pursuant to various convictions, including driving under the influence. Charged as a Class IV felony, a defendant faces an additional 15 year license revocation as well as up to five years in prison if convicted of operating a vehicle during a revocation period. Clearly, ignoring a court ordered revocation is not the answer.
What Is the Answer? Can You Help?
If your driving privileges have been revoked for 15 years because of a DUI conviction we may be able to help. There are little-known legal options that may be available in your situation, including:
- Revisit the Sentencing Court
At sentencing, Nebraska courts are required to enter an order that either immobilizes a defendant’s vehicle or orders the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) after a one year waiting period. Frequently, however, courts fail to enter the required order at the time of sentencing, presenting the grounds needed for a rehearing. At the rehearing, it may be possible to obtain an order for an IID, allowing you to legally operate a vehicle long before the 15 year revocation period terminates.
Not every case will be eligible; however, if there is a defect in the sentencing in your case, we will find it and request a rehearing. If we are able to get the door open, we may be able to get you back behind the wheel with an IID immediately. If your situation qualifies, the entire process usually takes less than one month.
- Pardons Board
For those individuals whose cases are not eligible for the rehearing route, another option is to apply to the Nebraska Board of Pardons. Nebraska Revised Statute 650-6, 209 offers the possibility of a reprieve from a 15 year revocation if certain conditions are met. The application process is a two part process that begins with an application to the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV will review the application and then forward it on to the Board of Pardons for consideration. At a subsequent hearing, you must convince the Board that you are no longer a danger to society and that the alcohol problem and the factors that led to the revocation have been successfully addressed. The entire process typically takes 12 to 18 months. If the application is granted, you will able to legally drive once again with an IID installed in your vehicle.
If a DUI conviction resulted in a 15 year revocation of your license, contact Petersen Law Office at 402-513-2180 now for a no-obligation assessment of your driver’s license eligibility.
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