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Maryland MVA Attorney
Being charged with DUI or DWI charges in the state of Maryland typically involves serious consequences from the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI) both carry severe punishments. Being arrested and convicted can lead to a criminal record and also impact your employment opportunities and personal life. Due to the severe nature of a DUI or DWI conviction, you would be well-served to contact an experienced Maryland MVA lawyer with a proven track record for criminal defense cases and familiarity with the Maryland court system.
Maryland DUI Offenses
In Maryland people can either be charged with DUI or DWI if they are suspected of drunk driving. If the police pull a driver over and suspect them of being intoxicated, they will typically have the driver perform various tests to confirm their state. They may have the driver perform a field sobriety test or take a breathalyzer test. Driving under the influence means an individual’s BAC is 0.08% or higher. Driving while impaired means the driver’s BAC is at least 0.06%. Authorities are able to take other factors into account as well when determining if drivers are intoxicated. They may take into account poor driving, the smell of alcohol, or other circumstantial evidence when trying to determine liability.
DUI Penalties in Maryland
A driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will determine if they are charged with DUI or DWI. If convicted for DUI, administrative penalties can include a monetary fine of up to $1,000 for a first offense, 12 points on a person’s driving record, and the revocation of their driver’s license. A DWI offense can lead to eight points on a license and a $500 fine. After a DUI, an individual’s license is confiscated and they will be given a temporary license that is valid for 45 days. The arresting officer is required to give the driver this documentation and they must carry it with them as if it is their actual license. If the driver’s tested BAC was 0.08% or above, their license will be suspended on the 46th day if they do not follow up properly.
An administrative judge is more likely to suspend driving privileges if an individual caused an accident which resulted in property damage, personal injury, or death, or if the driver had a minor in their vehicle or a BAC of 0.15% or higher. If a person is pulled over and they refuse to take the breathalyzer test, their license may still be suspended, even if they are later found not guilty. Authorities are typically very harsh on people who have committed DUI or DWI offenses, which is why it is important to contact a knowledgeable MVA attorney to protect oneself if charged with a drunken driving-related crime.
MVA Hearings to Challenge Suspended Licenses
People can challenge the automatic license suspension by requesting an administrative hearing at the OAH with the MVA. Within 30 days of being arrested, individuals must send a postmarked request along with a $125 check. A Maryland DUI lawyer will be able to make the administrative hearing request, as well as request a stay of the client’s license suspension until a hearing can be held.
Ir order to challenge the suspension, individuals must attend a hearing at the OAH. All hearings a scheduled approximately four to six weeks from the requested date, and challengers will be notified by mail of the hearing location, date, and time. At the hearing, the MVA would have already submitted documentation in electronic form to the OAH. Individuals will have the opportunity to address the evidence provided and argue that the administrative law judge should take no action on their license.
Some defenses include:
- The officer lacked jurisdiction
- The officer fails to appear after a subpoena has been issued
- The officer failed to advise the driver of their rights on the temporary license form
- The breath test operator failed to follow regulations
- The breath test result was within a margin of error
Additionally, people should be prepared to provide the administrative law judge with proof of their enrollment in an alcohol education program and participation in AA meetings. Once the hearing is complete, the OAH will notify the MVA of the results in order to update the driver’s record. If someone’s license is suspended, and the person did not give it to the administrative law judge, they must return their last issued license to the nearest MVA branch. Once the MVA is in possession of the license, the suspension period will begin.
Drivers may request a restricted license after they have been charged with a DUI if they submitted to a chemical test and their tested BAC was between 0.08% and 0.15%. People should provide letters from their employer or school if they are requesting the ability to drive to and from work or school. Additionally, individuals should provide proof of their enrollment in any alcohol education programs so that they be permitted to drive to their classes as well. If someone refused a chemical test or their BAC was above the limit, they may still be able to restore their driving privileges by participating in the Ignition Interlock Program. Drivers may request the ability to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles, and as such, will be issued a restricted driver’s license to drive to and from work, school, or DUI recovery programs.
Hiring a Maryland MVA Attorney
If you hire a Maryland MVA attorney to defend you in court following a DUI or DWI charge, you will have someone on your side who will explore every angle possible while building your defense. A well-qualified lawyer will have previous experience working with the prosecutors and judges in the Maryland court system.
Call Us Today
Kush Arora is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Maryland and he will work to build the strongest defense possible. As a skilled MVA attorney, Mr. Arora has extensive experience working with prosecutors, judges, and other authorities in the Maryland legal system. If you have been charged with DUI or DWI, contact Mr. Arora’s Maryland law office today at (301) 761-4842 to schedule a free consultation.