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What to Expect Following a Maryland DUI Arrest
In October 2016, Maryland enacted Noah’s Law strengthening the penalties associated DUI arrest cases and the sanctions the Motor Vehicle Administration can impose.
The law increases the length of suspension from 45 days to six months for cases where the alcohol concentration was between 0.08 and 0.15. It increased the period of suspension of a 0.15 or above and the refusal by several months as well.
With the increased penalties, it is more important to request the assistance of a skilled Maryland DUI attorney to navigate those penalties and make sure the exposure the individual has is the least significant for their case.
Immediate Steps to Take
In Maryland, the most important thing someone can do during the 10 days following a DUI arrest is to reach out to an attorney. That attorney can give the person a guideline of what needs to be done based on the facts and circumstances of the case. That includes requesting appropriate hearings and making sure the person does not pay citations that might be an admission of guilt and bar them from certain defenses. They can enroll in a treatment program after the DUI arrest as damage control. That might persuade the court to view them more favorably when the matter goes through the court system.
Usually, the person arrested is entitled to drive their vehicle for a 45-day period without any restriction after they received their DUI. Most of the time, officers give individuals a copy of a temporary driving privilege that affords them the opportunity to continue driving while the details of the maintenance of their driving privileges are sorted out.
Consequences of a DUI
If the individual decides not to challenge the suspension of their license after their arrest, it is suspended for the requisite time depending on the offense and the alcohol level. Once the temporary driving privilege expires, they simply have to wait.
Another option in many Maryland cases is to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program. The program can keep the person from being suspended or allow them to drive while the interlock device is on the car.
This program can be confusing and is detail-oriented so it is important to speak with an attorney who understands the ins and outs of the Ignition Interlock Program before committing oneself to a lengthy program with unclear instructions.
The DUI hearing takes place at the Motor Vehicle Administration in a county near the person’s residence or the attorney’s office. A proceeding takes place to determine whether the license should be lawfully suspended.
Challenging the Suspension
Someone being charged with a Maryland DUI can challenge the suspension of their license by requesting a hearing with the Motor Vehicle Administration. That information is usually located on the back of a document the person receives authorizing a temporary privilege to drive in Maryland.
Sometimes, the document is confusing to fill out and people do not understand the importance of the time constraints associated with requesting the hearing. That is why it is important to speak with a DUI attorney who has experience in Maryland and understands these types of offenses.
Restricted Maryland License’s
Restricted Maryland licenses are available to some individuals depending on the type of case. Usually, a restricted license is available to someone who wishes to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program. Without the interlock, a hearing must be requested with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration when somebody wants a restricted license for work, school, medical appointments, and things of that nature.
An attorney can help someone understand whether they are eligible for that kind of hearing, whether it makes sense to go through those proceedings, and what the likelihood is of receiving those kinds of restrictions.
They can go to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and request an ID card in the same way they would request a driver’s license. Their photograph is taken for the ID card that looks no different than a driver’s license.
DUI Mug Shots
Mug shots are not taken in every DUI arrest case so they are not always available to members of the public. A person can access a mug shot from the police for any criminal case if they put in a request. Their DUI arrest record remains public unless they take the appropriate steps to have the DUI arrest expunged. An expungement should remove the arrest record completely.
Generally, expungement removes the record from the system. A sealed record effectively is the same. People do not have access do it. A sealed record is easier to apply to re-open than an expunged record.
Record Sealing and Expungement
For expunging a DUI arrest record, the records can be removed from the system after certain resolutions in a DUI arrest case take place. There are different ways that can happen, so it is important to talk to an attorney who understands which circumstances make an individual eligible for those kinds of applications.
The easiest way is when the DUI arrest charge is dismissed but there are other resolutions that afford an opportunity for an arrest record to be removed. An attorney can help someone through that process.