Maryland MVA Penalties
Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration penalties, like those of other states, are put in place to penalize and rehabilitate drivers convicted of a variety of offenses, from repeat speeding violations to drunk driving. As one would imagine, every state’s motor vehicle laws and regulations tend to be fairly complex, and Maryland is no exception. Given that MVA penalties are determined in hearings, obtaining the services of a Maryland DUI defense attorney who is experienced in handling MVA cases is imperative. This will serve you in two main ways; understanding all of the applicable legal codes and providing the best chance of a favorable outcome in your case.
Maryland MVA Background
It is important to note that Maryland divides most traffic violations into two categories: moving and non-moving. Moving violations include things like failure to obey a flashing traffic signal, speeding, and making an illegal turn. Non-moving violations include offenses such as illegal parking and having expired tags. Violations of either class — particularly recurring ones — can result in suspension of your driver’s license, though typically such penalties are reserved for moving violations.
The state of Maryland is generally acknowledged as having strict driving laws, particularly when it comes to impaired driving. Even a first-time conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI: blood alcohol content [BAC] of 0.04 percent) or driving under the influence (DUI: BAC of 0.08 percent) can result in a six-month license suspension and up to one year in jail. Repeat violations will obviously result in stiffer penalties.
Specifics of Maryland MVA Laws and Penalties
One correctional tool often employed by the MVA the states Drinking Driver Monitor Program (DDMP). Managed by the Division of Parole and Probation, this program provides assistance and monitoring for convicted drunk drivers, making sure they abide by their MVA sentences as well as ensure their attendance at treatment program meetings. Monitors even work with repeat offenders to avoid relapses. As far as legal responsibilities, the monitor reports back to the court system, providing information to aid a judge when making decisions about MVA sentencing terms. In addition, the state of Maryland utilizes an Ignition Interlock Program, which requires those convicted of multiple drunk driving offenses and/or those who have measured extremely high BAC levels to install a device in their vehicle to test their blood alcohol content before starting the engine. The car will not start if their BAC is over the legal limit. Whether one, or more, of these restrictions is applied is determined by the court, which will consider an offender’s history (previous convictions, etc.), as well as the unique circumstances of each case.
Maryland has also created a special program for new drivers, called the Rookie Driver Program, which establishes its own set of correctional standards. If a new driver is convicted of any moving violation while under a provisional license, they will be required to participate in a driver improvement program and/or have their license revoked. The guaranteed repercussions for first, second, and third convictions are the improvement program (for a first violation); a minimum 30-day suspension (second violation); and a minimum 180-day suspension (third violation). Again, several of the above scenarios (both DDMP and Rookie Driver Program) are examples of potential penalties; a judge may, at his or her discretion, waive or increase certain penalties depending on the specifics of any given case.
What are the Benefits of Hiring an MVA Lawyer?
Obviously, if you are facing any type of MVA hearing in Maryland, you will want and require sound legal counsel. While many of the regulations and standards relating to MVA penalties are established by law, a significant portion of those terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, as explained above. For instance, under the Rookie Driver Program, a first moving violation automatically requires that the offender complete the driver improvement program, but harsher penalties could be ordered at the court’s discretion.
While it is impossible to guarantee a favorable outcome for any legal matter, finding a reliable lawyer who is well versed in Maryland MVA penalties and who has extensive experience in MVA proceedings could make a significant difference in your case. Kush Arora is a criminal defense attorney who has handled numerous MVA probationary hearings and who will work aggressively to try to obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Call his Maryland law office today for a free, initial consultation.