Written by attorney Jonathan Scott Smith

MVA Hearings in Maryland DUI/DWI Cases

If you have been arrested on a Maryland DUI/DWI you must act quickly to avoid losing your license. An experienced criminal law attorney can help you challenge an automatic license suspension through a Motor Vehicle Administration hearing.

The MVA Process

If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI, you have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request an MVA hearing to retain your driving privileges until the hearing date. If you fail to request an MVA hearing within that 10-day period, your driver’s license is automatically suspended. Although you may represent yourself at the MVA hearing, having an attorney knowledgeable in the license suspension process improves your chances of maintaining some or all of your driving privileges.

An administrative law judge (ALJ) conducts the hearing and reviews all the evidence against you from the arresting officer and hears testimony regarding your arrest. You are also allowed to present evidence and give testimony on your behalf. You may also present witnesses, who are subpoenaed to testify on your behalf.

After reviewing all the presented evidence, the ALJ makes a final decision on the following issues:

· Was the driver driving a motor vehicle on a highway or private property used by the public in general?

· Were there reasonable grounds to believe that the driver was driving under the influence of, or impaired by, alcohol, drugs, or a combination?

· Was the driver fully advised of the administrative sanctions that could be imposed if the test was refused, or the result was in excess of 0.08?

· Was proper procedure followed by the arresting officer?

· Did the defendant refuse a chemical test, or submit to a test with the result of 0.08 or more?

If the ALJ decides the evidence warrants your license suspension, then the license suspension is upheld. In the case of a suspension, you may be eligible for a restricted permit. If the ALJ decides in your favor, your license is reinstated.

If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI, you should retain an experienced attorney who understands the Maryland administrative hearing process.

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