What to Expect From Montgomery County DUI MVA Hearings
Below, a Montgomery County DUI lawyer discusses MVA hearings in Maryland including where they are heard and what you can expect from a hearing. For legal representation call today and set up a free consultation with an attorney.
Where Are Driver’s License Proceedings Heard in Montgomery County?
Occasionally a driver’s license case will be heard at the Motor Vehicle Administration in Gaithersburg in Montgomery County. But, frequently the driver’s license suspension hearings will be heard at the main Office of Administrative Hearings in Hunt Valley, Maryland. Driver’s license penalties are done through the Office of Administrative Hearings which is a state-wide agency, so they’ll hear cases from all counties in the state. Typically, those cases are heard at the main office in Hunt Valley which is in Baltimore County. Occasionally, if an officer or an individual specifically requested to have the case heard at the Gaithersburg MVA, the Office of Administrative Hearings will accommodate. There’s a small room in the back of the MVA where one of the Administrative Law Judges from the Office of Administrative Hearings will conduct hearings.
What Should I Expect From the DUI Administrative Hearing Process?
You should expect that the hearing will be extremely simple compared to the court case. In court, the state has to use the rules of evidence to admit absence. In the administrative context, the office of administrative hearings in the MVA would use something called the Administrative Procedures Act which is a lot less restrictive than the rules of evidence. Basically, it says if evidence is relevant and probative it can be admitted and then the judge could assign weight to it. What that means, practically speaking, is that the Office of Administrative Hearings can consider evidence that would otherwise be excluded from the court case.
Police reports can be admitted without the presence of the officer and usually the officer isn’t present at administrative hearings. You’ll appear at the hearing and it will be just your attorney and the administrative law judge. The MVA will submit a packet of paperwork generated by the officer and that will be the state’s case against an individual’s driver’s license. If through testimony or through legal challenge, there is some additional evidence that the MVA might need to put on, the administrative law judge will frequently reschedule the hearing in order to summons the officer. And those rescheduled hearings are then heard in Gaithersburg in Montgomery County.
Does Montgomery County Have Any Special Laws Proceeding to Restricted Driving Privileges?
No, the driver’s license penalties in Maryland are state-based so there’s no county specific driver’s license penalties. So, an individual charged with a driver’s license suspended for a DUI in Montgomery faces exactly the same consequence as that individual would face in Howard, Baltimore, or Prince George’s County.