In New York State, we have a "suspension (of license privilege) pending prosecution" which will usually occur at arraignment (initial appearance). Fortunately, New York does have a hardship privilege, and also offers conditional licenses for specific purposes. How those privileges are obtained, how wide or narrow they are, and how they will fit your life's transportation needs is dependent upon many factors.
If someone hires a lawyer early (way before arraignment) then the total license issues (in state, out of state, conditional, hardship) can be evaluated and prepared for.
Are you a student? If you are a college student, what state is your license from? Are you doing late night or weekend research? If you have a job, what "type" of work do you do? Are you in transition between states, jobs, or homes? Are you divorced or separated? Do you need to pick up or transport minor children? Do you have child care responsibilities? Are you self -employed? Does your job require meeting with clients? Do you live in a rural location? Are you planning on moving to another state in the near future? Do you or a family member have medical needs? Your response to every one of these questions is important. What type of proof is the judge going to require to obtain a hardship privilege?
My first goal is to keep someone employed (able to get to and from work) and functional.
My second goal is to lessen license penalties (time of full suspension or revocation).
My third goal is to prepare for potential future issues (re-location, re-licensure).
There are ways to save time and money dependent upon your unique situation.
The first change every driver must make is going from a full privilege to drive to a conditional (restricted) privilege to drive. This may be for a period of weeks to months depending upon the facts of your case. If your case can be easily resolved (negotiated) then license issues can be further minimized.
Generally, the first 30 days (after initial appearance) will be the hardest because of two things:
1. the hardship privilege is the most restrictive type of conditional license (very narrow language of "to and from" work, "to and from" school, and "to and from" medical care)
2. SPECIFIC PROOF MUST be provided to the Court (the Judge will usually only allow what can be proven to where there is "no alternative reasonable means of transportation").
The next time period (after the first 30 days of arraignment) you can go to any NYS DMV office, and apply for the Conditional License. This requires NO PROOF. You fill out the application and your work privileges go from the "to and from" to "in the Course of employment," which is a much wider license.
Of course, the absolute best thing to do is to hire a knowledgeable DWI attorney early and to discuss all the specifics of your situation. This will give you the best chance to save time, money, and aggravation.