Columbia License Suspension Lawyer
The suspension of an individual’s license can be both bothersome and inconvenient. It can occur because of a variety of reasons but can be challenged and defended accurately with the assistance of the right defense attorney. Contacting a knowledgeable Columbia license suspension lawyer can help to ensure that any and all penalties associated with your suspension are either reduced or challenged.
Common Causes of License Suspension
One of the most common causes of license suspension in Columbia is a driver failing to appear at a scheduled court date. Maryland law states that when an individual misses a court date, the MVA is notified and an individual’s license must be suspended. Additionally, if the driver fails to pay court-ordered fines, or if he or she ignores a court order to pay a ticket fine, the MVA will be notified. The license will then be suspended until the fine is paid in full. A proper Columbia license suspension lawyer can assist in determining the exact cause.
If an individual falls behind on his or her child support obligations, it can potentially cause an individual’s license to be suspended. In this instance, the Child Support Enforcement Administration will have the ability to determine whether or not they want to suspend that individual’s license. The administration can instruct the MVA to suspend the individual’s license after he or she falls behind on payments for a minimum of 60 days.
Additionally, an accumulation of too many points on an individual’s driving record can cause a license suspension. This entails that an individual is either found liable for several small traffic violations or is found liable for one serious offense.
Further offenses that may result in a license suspension are being medically unfit as determined by the medical advisory board, violating a driver’s license restriction, refusing to take an alcohol breath test, or a DUI conviction.
Challenging the Suspension
If an individual is looking to challenge the suspension of their license, the individual or their license suspension attorney in Columbia can request a hearing at the office of administrative hearings. There is a $150 filing fee when requesting an administrative hearing. All hearings are usually scheduled for six weeks after their requested date. Once the hearing is requested, an individual will receive a notice in the mail of the hearing location, date, and time. Once the hearing is complete, the OAH will notify the MVA of the result.
Once an individual has received a driver’s license suspension notice from the MVA, they can choose to surrender their license and mail it in, or take it to the nearest MVA. An individual must surrender their license by the suspension date listed on the notice. However, an individual may also choose to challenge your license suspension. To do this, an individual must request an administrative hearing at the office of administrative hearing.
- For a driving record point suspension, a person must request the hearing within 15 days.
- For a restriction violation suspension, a person must request a hearing any time before the suspension date.
- For alcohol-related suspension or refusing a blood alcohol test, a person must request the hearing within 30 days of receiving the suspension notice.
If an individual’s license is suspended and not surrendered to the administrative law judge, then they must return their driver’s license to an MVA office. If an individual is not satisfied with the administrative law judge’s decision, they may file an appeal within 30 days of their hearing date. A Columbia license suspension lawyer can best help an individual proceed with an appeal. Columbia residents must file such an appeal in the Howard County Circuit Court. An individual will be directed to file such an appeal at a selected Office of Administrative Hearings location.
Retrieving the License
An individual must be found not guilty of driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol before they are able to get their license back. If the MVA is not able to show reasonable grounds that an individual is guilty, the administrative law judge will take no action against their driving privileges. An individual’s license will be given back to them pending the results of their DUI case in the Howard County District Court.
If an individual was found driving under the influence of alcohol, their license will be taken away from them upon their arrest. That individual will most likely be issued a temporary driver’s license, which allows them to continue driving for 45 days. Upon receiving the temporary driver’s license, an individual can request an administrative hearing. In this instance, the MVA sends the person a notice extending the temporary license until their hearing date. An individual will also have the option to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program for one year.
Individuals in this program are required to have an alcohol breath analyzer ignition interlock unit installed in their vehicle. Upon entering the vehicle, the individual must blow into the unit, and if his or her breath alcohol level exceeds the accepted limit, the vehicle will not turn on.
Participants who elect to join this program are responsible for paying the fees associated with the installation of the device, as well as the monthly maintenance. If an individual does not request an administrative hearing or participate in the ignition interlock program by the day of their suspension, their driver’s license will be suspended.A Columbia license suspension attorney can help determine which path is best based on the particular elements of an individual’s case.
Role of an Attorney
Once a request for an administrative hearing has been received, the Office of Administrative Hearings will notify the individual’s attorney of the location, date, and time of the administrative hearing. The Columbia license suspension attorney will appear with the individual at their hearing, and provide the administrative judge with arguments on the individual’s behalf against the MVA suspending their license. The attorney may also request that the administrative judge modify an individual’s suspension, and give them approval to obtain a restricted license.