Salisbury DUI License Suspension Hearings
The hearing will be held either at the MVA closest to you or the MVA closest to your Salisbury DUI lawyer. In Salisbury this means the hearing will take place at the MVA building on Tillman Road.
Generally speaking, an MVA hearing is a very unique type of hearing as it takes place in front of an administrative law judge who is an attorney that is paid by the state of Maryland to travel throughout the state and preside over all administrative hearings that take place within the jurisdiction. The hearings are held in a very small room that is not at all similar to a courtroom, where the hearing officer sits at a desk and the attorney and the driver sits in chairs across from them.
Legal Process of A Salisbury MVA Hearing
In order to challenge a license suspension there must be a hearing held, typically at a full service MVA location that is closest to the attorney’s address.
In terms of legal process, the hearing is very unusual and unlike anything that you see on television that is a representation of the court. For one, MVA hearings are handled by an administrative law judge. This judge, or ALJ, is not a judge like a circuit or district court judge but is rather an attorney that works for the state of Maryland who conducts all kinds of hearings on behalf of the state. In this particular situation, they are presiding over a hearing where the MVA and then the driver is presenting evidence.
Another thing that makes the MVA hearings different from other judicial processes is that MVA hearings typically take place in small rooms, similar to an office, where an ALJ sits behind a desk. Then the MVA will submit all of its evidence by electronic document usually using a large computer screen on the table that will show all of the relevant documents.
Most of the documents are the exact same documents that the driver received on the date of the stop. For example, the “Advice of Rights” form that was signed by the driver, the officer’s certification, and order of suspension. The driver will have a copy of those and the MVA will be displaying their copies.
Hiring An Attorney For An MVA Hearing
There is no attorney there for the MVA hearing. The entire case for the MVA is presented electronically and is just paperwork. At the close of the MVA’s case, that is when the attorney has the opportunity to argue perhaps some sort of deficiency in the MVA’s paperwork or present some other sort of defense.
This is also the part of the hearing where the attorney would ask the MVA to consider giving the defendant a restricted license if that is applicable to the defendant because the only way that a driver is going to get a restricted license is if the test result was a .08 but less than a .15.
If that’s the case, then the attorney can present to the ALJ evidence that’s relevant to the restricted license, for example, a letter from the employer indicating that the driver needs to drive for purposes of work, letters from doctors that showed that the driver needs to travel back and forth for important medical appointment.
Process of a License Suspension Hearing
A Salisbury DUI license hearing begins with the ALJ showing all of the exhibits that are being used by the MVA to support the MVA’s case. The MVA’s case is presented strictly just by paperwork. There is no person there to represent the MVA. There is a large computer monitor where the attorney and the driver are able to see the documents that the MVA is utilizing. Those documents include the driver’s driving record, the paperwork that was issued by the police officer at the time of the DUI stop and other documents.
After the MVA’s case is presented and all of those documents have been admitted it is then the driver’s opportunity to challenge anything that the driver thinks is relevant. The attorney can make those arguments as sometimes they’re based solely on the documents that were presented by MVA.
If the DUI license hearing officer in Salisbury believes that he or she needs to hear from the police officer who made the stop then they have the ability to postpone the hearing and reschedule it and issue a subpoena for the police officer to come to the next hearing date. If that isn’t necessary then the hearing officer listens to whatever arguments that the driver’s attorney would make and then makes a ruling as to whether or not the privilege to drive should be suspended.
Results of a License Suspension Hearing
At that point, the Salisbury hearing officer has a couple of different potential options. The DUI license hearing officer may find that there was some sort of defect with the MVA’s case or the Salisbury attorney made a successful challenge to the MVA’s case. If that is the situation then the hearing officer will rule in favor of the driver and the driver will be able to go back out to the MVA and get an actual plastic license.
Or the hearing officer may rule that the MVA handled everything appropriately and if that’s the case, then the DUI license hearing officer has to decide how long the suspension of the driving privilege should be. If the driver blew something less than a 0.15 then the hearing officer has the option of offering the driver a restricted license. They can modify the suspension and allow the driver to have a restricted license.