Challenging a DUI License Suspension in Salisbury
Beyond fines and potential jail time, DUI charges in Maryland often also carry a license suspension that can make commuting a nuisance. With that said, however, if you license is suspended you have the right to challenge your suspension if you do so within a certain time frame. Below, a Salisbury DUI lawyer discusses what you should know about challenging a license suspension. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.
Requesting a Hearing
An individual can challenge the suspension to their driving privileges by first requesting a hearing within the very specific timeframe that is required. After taking the breath test, depending on the result, the police will actually take away the plastic license of the defendant and will give the defendant a temporary license, a piece of paper that the driver will have to make sure they keep with them anytime they attempt to operate a car. That temporary license will allow the driver to continue to drive for a period of 45 days.
On the 46th day, the privilege to drive suspension will begin and it will continue on depending on what the breath test result was whether it’s a 45-day suspension, a 90-day suspension or a 270 days, etc.
When the driver is issued the temporary paper license, they are also given paperwork which explains their right to request a hearing at the MVA. Everything that the driver needs to know is on that piece of paper. So, it’s very important for the driver to refer to all of the paperwork that they are given by the police officer.
Using the paperwork that the driver is issued, they can request a hearing at the MVA and challenge the suspension of their privilege to drive. However, that hearing must be requested within 10 days of receiving the temporary license and the order of suspension. So, that 10-day timeframe is incredibly important because if the defendant does not submit the paperwork for their hearing and have it postmarked within 10 days, then the MVA has the ability to still suspend the license on the 46th day.
So, that 10-day window is incredibly important to get the request for hearing in within that 10-day timeframe. If it’s sent in after 10 days, the MVA can extend the temporary license. They do not have to but typically, the MVA will extend the privilege to drive if they request for the hearing that’s made within 30 days.
If the request for the hearing is received after 30 days, then the MVA is not going to honor that request and the suspension will just automatically occur on the 46th day. So, it’s incredibly important for the driver to pay attention to those time limits and to communicate with an attorney before that 10-day time frame runs out.
How Can A Lawyer Help You Challenge a DUI License Suspension?
The advice of an attorney can be extremely important during that 10-day timeframe because an attorney can sit down with the defendant and talk about whether or not to even request a hearing and what the benefits of the hearing could be.
The attorney and the driver can review all of the facts and the attorney can advise the driver whether or not to request the hearing.
After all of that analysis, the lawyer might recommend that the defendant not request a hearing, and instead go straight in to the ignition interlock system. This is because requesting a hearing costs money. The driver is going to have to pay in order to have the hearing. And it would be a waste of his money to request a hearing where the outcome is not going to be beneficial and he could have saved his money and gone straight in to the ignition interlock program.
An attorney also can help the defendant figure out if the officer actually had reasonable grounds to ask the driver to take the test. The attorney can also listen to the driver and figure out if there was any sort of error or mistake made by the officer that might be a great defense at the hearing and allow the driver to avoid a suspension altogether.
So, these are all the different conversations that a driver needs to have with the attorney. Those conversations really need to happen in the 10 days before the hearing has to be requested.