The MVA hearing is where you
keep or lose your driving privileges. If you are a Maryland resident,
your license is at stake. If you hold a license from another state,
your driving privileges in Maryland are at stake. You only get a hearing
if you request one within specific time limits. For example, if you
are arrested for a DUI and the officer gives you a notice of suspension
because you either refused a breath test or scored too high on one,
you have only 10 days to mail in your request for an MVA hearing. This
is explained in detail on my
MVA 10 Day Rule web page. If you fail
to request the hearing within ten days your suspension will automatically
start 46 days after your arrest.
Not all suspensions are created
equal. There are different lengths of suspensions depending on, for
example, whether the officer claims your test score was too high, you
refused a test, you violated an alcohol restriction, you have been convicted
of a drinking driving offense in court (even if you were convicted outside
Maryland while driving on a Maryland license), you have an earlier drinking
driving conviction, you license or privilege to drive has been suspended
or revoked before, or you are a professional driver.
In some situations, you may be
eligible for limited driving privileges instead of an absolute suspension.
For example, you may be eligible for a modified suspension that would
let you drive in order to commute to work, drive as part of your job
duties, drive to participate in alcohol treatment or counseling sessions,
or commute to school. In other situations, you may be eligible to drive
only if the Administrative Law Judge who conducts your hearing determines
that you are an appropriate candidate for the Ignition Interlock Program.
You may have a defense to the
charge you face at the MVA hearing. The officer may not have followed
the correct procedures in advising you what your rights were concerning
the breath test, he may have disregarded your request to speak to an
attorney before deciding whether to take the test, he may have coerced
you into either taking the test or refusing to take it, he may have
overstepped his authority and given you legal advice, or he may have
misinterpreted to you the official documents you are entitled to receive
concerning your rights. These are but a few of the errors that may result
in dismissal of the MVA charges.
As you can see, the MVA hearing
involves complex and technical issues. When I represent you on your
case, we will consider every available defense in order to protect your
This information begins to make
you a true and equal partner in your defense. Now,
let's get to work.