Challenging a DUI License Suspension in Baltimore

An individual should request an administrative hearing within ten days of the initial incident in order to guarantee that the temporary license will be valid until the day of the hearing. The driver will be able to continue to drive on a temporary license until the MVA case is heard at the Office of Administrative Hearings. An individual has an absolute time limit of 30 days to request an administrative hearing on a driver’s license. If you or your Baltimore DUI lawyer doesn’t request a hearing on your license within 30 days, then the suspension will go into effect after 45 days.

Requesting a Hearing

In order to challenge the suspension of your license you must request a hearing. If you don’t request a hearing, then you are admitting that the MVA has grounds to suspend your license. The hearing itself is conducted at the Office of Administrative Hearings or occasionally in a separate hearing office within the MVA. The hearing will be in front of an administrative law judge who is employed by the Office of Administrative Hearings. Their job is to give an unbiased, fair hearing on driver’s license suspensions or any of the other cases heard by state agencies.

At that hearing, it will usually be just you, your attorney, and the administrative judge in the room. There will not be police officers or any witnesses subpoenaed by the MVA and there’s no prosecuting attorney in that case. The judge is going to look at the evidence submitted by the MVA, listen to any arguments and evidence that you submit, and then make a decision.

Getting a Restricted License

An individual can get a restricted license in most cases in Maryland with participation in the ignition interlock program. It’s only in cases of a low blow, a blow below 0.15, when an individual is eligible to get a restricted license that does not require participation in the ignition interlock program.

In high blow and refusal cases, the MVA can modify the suspension, but only if the individual participates in the ignition interlock program. In both of those cases, it’s going to require participation in ignition interlock for a period of one year. That is one year when an individual cannot operate a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device.

In addition, individuals have to pay for the installation of the device, pay a monthly rental fee to the company that leases the device, and then have to pay to have the device removed as well. That can create an issue for people who rent cars as part of their job. If somebody has to travel with cars, that will be difficult, if not impossible to do with an interlock restricted driver’s license. In cases of low blows, those won’t require interlock participation. Those can be modified just for driving to and from work in individual’s ordinary vehicle without installation of the ignition interlock device.

Benefit of a DUI Lawyer

A lawyer can explain what the standards are at the MVA and what the possible issues of your case are.  A lawyer can also help to decide whether it makes sense for you to request an MVA hearing. Sometimes you may only ask for the MVA to modify the suspension or to give you a work permit and a lawyer can help with that process as well. Other times you may be challenging the underlying facts of the case in which case a lawyer is going to be extremely helpful in convincing the administrative law judge that the MVA has not met their burden and can’t prove the case.