Challenging a License Suspension After a Montgomery County DUI
The following is taken from an interview with a Montgomery County DUI lawyer as they discuss how to challenge a license suspension after a DUI. To learn more about your suspension or for legal help challenging, call and schedule a consultation today.
How Soon Can You Challenge a License Suspension?
You have to request a hearing on the suspension within 30 days of the date of the incident. If you don’t request the hearing within ten days of the incident however, the MVA doesn’t have to continue your temporary driving privilege after 45 days. So it’s usually in people’s best interest to request the hearing, if they’re going to, within ten days of the date of the incident.
If you don’t request a hearing within 30 days and still wish to challenge the driver’s license suspension, you need to show good cause as to why you didn’t request the hearing in a timely manner and that’s very difficult to demonstrate in most cases.
How Can a DUI Lawyer Help With Challenging a License Suspension?
A DUI lawyer can be extremely helpful in this process. They can take a look at the facts of your case and take a look at all of your paperwork and make a determination as to whether or not the MVA has enough there to suspend the license. They can walk you through the process itself either by requesting a hearing or participating in the ignition interlock program and they can provide you with guidance and assistance in preparation for the hearing.
Additionally, a DUI lawyer can walk you through your expected testimony, help you prepare documents to show to the judge, and really guide through the entire process. So a DUI lawyer is extremely helpful in the administrative suspension of your license.
Do You Have To Attend a Hearing To Challenge Your Suspension?
You do have to request the hearing to challenge the suspension. The hearing is generally going to be conducted in the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings, in Hunt Valley, Maryland, on Gilroy Road. The hearing is a lot less formal than the court case.
The hearing is conducted in a hearing office rather than in a court room, there is no representative from the MVA required to be present at the administrative hearing, and the police officer generally isn’t present. There’s no prosecuting attorney in these cases, and at the hearing itself the judge will admit the paperwork submitted by the officer.
So that’s going to be the form the officer gave you as your temporary license. It will be your consent to submit to the breath test or your refusal to submit to the breath test. The officer doesn’t need to be present to have these documents admitted. That paperwork is usually going to be the entirety of the MVA’s case. So the judge will look at that paperwork and say “There is the MVA’s case, now do you have any evidence to introduce?”, at which point you or any witnesses that you have will testify as to what happened, or you may introduce documentation to show that something is wrong with the MVA’s case. At that point, the judge will hear a legal argument from your attorney and make a decision.
Is a Restricted License Available?
Restricted licenses are available in different circumstances. So on a first offense low blow case, a blow between a 0.08 and 0.14, you are eligible for restricted license that will let you drive for certain purposes specifically: education, employment, alcohol treatment, medical or dental appointment for you or your family. Most judges will also include court ordered activities—probation, community service, and other similar programs.
In high blow cases and refusal cases however, the only kind of modification of the suspension that’s allowed by law is ignition interlock. Participation in the interlock program doesn’t put a restriction on when and where you can drive. It just puts a restriction on what type of vehicle you can drive. So if you are participating in the ignition interlock program, you are only allowed to drive a vehicle that has an interlock.