Everything you need to know about Maryland MVA after a DUI arrest.
The scenario goes like this: you go out for a drink after work with friends. You had a couple drinks and decided to call it a night. You drove home and the police pulled you over for failing to use turn signal, having a tail light out, following too close, speeding or whatever. Then you were asked to take a standardized field sobriety test to which you complied. The police decided to arrest you based on the results of the field test. At the station, you were asked to take a Breathalyzer and you complied. You blew a 0.10%. What happens next?
If you license is taken away after you were arrested for DUI/DWI, you are most likely issued a “Temporary Driver’s License.” This license enables you to drive for 45 days. After 45 days, your license will then be suspended unless you request an administrative hearing at the Motor Vehicle Administration in Maryland (MVA) to extend your driving privilege for school, work, medical, and/or drug/alcohol treatments. It is important to note that the clock starts ticking the moment you gave a breath test score that’s higher than 0.08%. There are some pretty severe penalties which will follow. Because these hearings are notoriously difficult to win, it is best to have an attorney when your court date arrives.
The Promise You make to the MVA when You Get Your Drivers License from Maryland MVA -The Implied Consent Law
In Maryland, when you are issued a driver’s license, you are agreeing to several conditions to keeping that driver’s license valid (and, when you drive in the State of Maryland with a valid license from another state, you are also agreeing to those conditions).
One of those conditions is that you don’t drive a car with a breath alcohol level of .08 or higher.
You also agree that if you do drive in the state with a breath alcohol level of .08 or higher or that you refuse to take a chemical test, you can be punished by Maryland MVA. You specifically agree that under these circumstances your license can be suspended for varying degrees of time.
In Maryland, the officer does not need to arrest you to request that you take a chemical test. However, if you refuse, your license will be suspended for 120 days for your first refusal. For your second and any subsequent refusal, you lose your license for one year. The officer should also tell you that if you consent to the test but fail it – your BAC is .08% or more – your license will be suspended then, too. If you decide not to take a test, the officer can’t force you to take one unless you were involved in an accident that caused serious injury or death. The officer will, however, take your license. In its place, he or she should give you a temporary license that is good for 45 days.
The License Revocation/ Suspension phase is Set In Motion the Moment Your Breath Score is Revealed.
Whatever you do, don’t do nothing or your license will be suspended. Contesting the suspension doesn’t just happen automatically, though. To fight your DUI driver’s license suspension you have to submit a form to the MVA, with some money, within 10 days of the date of your breath test.
And this 10 day rule is hard and fast. So don’t blow the deadline.
Does MVA Have Your Correct Address?
This is most commonly overlooked. If you have moved but have not updated MVA of your new address, you need to do so ASAP. MVA will be sending all the important notices to your most currently address they have on file. “I didn’t get my mail/notice” is not a defense to not showing up for an administrative hearing or blowing a deadline.
What happens at the MVA Hearing?
Once you properly request a hearing, you will receive a notice for the MVA hearing. This is an administrative hearing and it’s not done in court. The decision on whether to revoke your drivers license is made solely by the Administrative Law Judge. He / she will only care about 4 things:
- Was there probable cause to stop your vehicle?
- Was there probable cause to arrest you for driving while intoxicated?
- Did you refuse the chemical test and did you understand the implied consent warning by the police officer?
- Was the breath or chemical test administered properly and the results of such test.
This is when you should seek to have an attorney to represent you at this hearing. Though you may not be facing jail time here, your driving privilege is at stake. A good DUI attorney can poke holes in these issues and luckily, we know a lot about poking holes.
How do we handle MVA Hearing?
Although we do go over the police reports thoroughly, we also look beyond that. We dive into the officer’s training records and disciplinary history. We examine the breath test machine you used to find out if there were any possibilities of mechanical error. And, if we have to, we subpoena the maintenance record of the Breathalyzer and/or the officer to the hearing to testify under oath.
We put so much time and hard work into these hearing because we know how important it is for you to keep your driver’s license. We also just like to win these hearings. And when we win you win.
Arrested for DUI/DWI? Call Us Today. 202-455-5610
If you want our help, just call 202-455-5610 and we’ll set up a time for you to come in and talk to us about your case. The consultation is always free, and we’ll let you know what we think about your case and see if we’re the right criminal defense attorneys to help you out.
Rollins and Chan Law Firm
419 7th Street, NW Suite 405Washington DC, District of Columbia 20004
United States (US)