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Special Hardship Order

Have you been convicted of a DUI-related offence in Queensland? It can be an overwhelming and frightening experience. But there may be a silver lining, such as the opportunity to apply for a Special Hardship Order (SHO). This kind of order gives you the chance to get your licence back if certain criteria are met. In this post, we will discuss what an SHO is, how to apply for one, and why it could help your situation. Let's dive deeper into this complicated yet potentially beneficial topic now!


What Is A Special Hardship Order?

A special hardship order is a court-issued permit that allows a driver who has been convicted of a drink driving offence to continue driving for certain purposes even after the mandatory licence suspension period has been imposed. This order is granted on a case-by-case basis, and the driver must provide solid reasons as to why they require their licence to remain active, such as maintaining employment or providing medical care for a family member. The process of obtaining a special hardship order is highly regulated and requires applicants to present evidence that they will incur exceptional hardship if their licence is revoked. Allowing an offender to drive legally, even with a special hardship order, is not a free pass. Any breach of the strict conditions could result in the immediate cancellation of the order or an extension of the license disqualification time. The primary aim of this program is to minimise the impact of a conviction on the offender’s life and career while acknowledging the need to keep dangerous drivers off Queensland’s roads.

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How To Apply Special Hardship Order

If you’ve been convicted of a traffic offence in Queensland and have received a licence disqualification, you may be eligible to apply for a special hardship order (SHO). It’s important to note that qualifying for an SHO isn’t an automatic right and you’ll need to prove that not being able to drive would cause significant hardship to you or your family. To apply, you’ll need to complete an application form and provide supporting documentation, including evidence of your income, your daily activities, and any medical circumstances that might make driving essential. You’ll also need to attend a hearing where a magistrate will evaluate your case and determine whether or not you qualify for an SHO. It’s crucial to seek legal advice in this process to ensure you’re fully prepared and increase your chances of qualifying for an SHO.

Special Hardship Eligibility Criteria

Special Hardship Eligibility Criteria for DUI in Queensland:

  • A special Hardship Licence (SHL) can be granted to a driver who has lost their licence due to a DUI conviction.
  • The driver must have no prior criminal record and must not have committed an offence that resulted in the loss of their licence within the previous five years.
  • The driver must prove that the loss of their licence will cause significant hardship to themselves or their family, such as loss of employment or inability to attend medical appointments.
  • The driver must complete a Special Hardship Order (SHO) application, which includes a detailed explanation of their circumstances and how the loss of their license will impact them.
  • The application must be supported by evidence, such as letters from employers, medical professionals, or family members.
  • The application must be submitted to the Magistrates Court where the driver was convicted of DUI.
  • The driver must attend a court hearing to present their case and be cross-examined by the prosecutor.
  • The Magistrate will then determine if the driver meets the eligibility criteria and if an SHO should be granted.
  • If approved, the SHO will have strict conditions, such as only being able to drive for certain purposes, such as work or medical appointments, and being subject to alcohol and drug testing.
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Why A Special Hardship Order May Be Beneficial

A special hardship order in Queensland can be highly beneficial for drivers who are facing a disqualification of their driver’s licence due to excessive speeding, DUI, or other serious traffic offences. This order enables a person to continue driving for certain purposes, such as employment or medical reasons, during their licence disqualification period. In addition to benefiting the driver, a special hardship order can also prevent the disruption of employment, family and community activities. It can also enable people to comply with court orders, attend rehabilitation programs, and fulfil other important commitments. The eligibility criteria for a special hardship order may vary according to individual circumstances but generally require evidence of the hardship that will be caused by the loss of driving privileges. So, this order can be an effective means to ensure that drivers who have made a mistake can continue to lead productive lives and make amends for their actions.

Speak To A Experienced Traffic Lawyer About A Special Hardship Order

If you are facing a licence suspension as a result of a DUI charge in Queensland, you must speak with an experienced traffic lawyer about obtaining a Special Hardship Order, which may allow you to continue driving for certain essential purposes such as work or school. A skilled lawyer can help guide you through the application process and increase your chances of successfully obtaining a Special Hardship Order.

It is important to remember, however, that although special hardship orders can be incredibly beneficial in certain situations, they should not be pursued too frequently. In Queensland, this type of order is granted at the discretion of a magistrate and is only available in very specific circumstances. Everyone’s situation differs, so it is a good idea to speak with a lawyer before seeking out a special hardship order for DUI cases. Furthermore, following the order strictly is mandatory for its success; any violation of the terms will lead to immediate cancellation and potentially more serious consequences. Ultimately, when facing serious DUI charges in Queensland, a person may want to consider if seeking out a special hardship order could be their best option. To learn more about special hardship orders, contact the skilled team at Drink Driver Lawyer!

Your Team - The Best in the Business

It’s important that you understand that Drink and Drug driving offences are considered serious!

There are also serious consequences if you don’t have your matter dealt with appropriately. 

How much do you depend on the ability to drive? How is your life going to be affected if you can’t drive in order to meet your daily life and professional commitments? 

At Drink Driver Lawyer, we spend each day in court dealing with exactly what you are currently facing.

It’s equally important that you understand, that with Drink Driver Lawyer, you aren’t just another number. Our team take personal interest in each person, their individual circumstances and their case. Understanding your situation and individual needs, assists our team to achieve the best result for you.

We are locals, we are trusted, and we are on your side during what can be a stressful time.

Give yourself the best chance of staying on the road, contact your Drink Driver Lawyer team today – call 07 3999 8661. My team and I are committed to getting the best result for you.

Shannon McLaughlin

Expert Traffic Lawyer and Queensland Law Society member


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