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Germantown MVA Hearing Lawyer

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Agency (MVA) is an independent state agency that monitors and rules on matters involving driver’s licenses. It scrutinizes each driver’s moving violations, applies demerit points to those convictions [Maryland Annotated Code Section 16-402], and can suspend or revoke a license under the following conditions:

  • Conviction for driving offenses involving alcohol and/or drugs
  • Convictions for other serious moving violations (such as driving without a license)
  • Instances where drivers incur enough points for suspension/revocation of their license

A Germantown MVA hearing lawyer can be a significant help to drivers who must appear at an administrative hearing to keep their license, or successfully request a restricted license. MVA sanctions can cripple your right to drive and require a seasoned traffic or DUI attorney in Montgomery County to guide you through what is often an intricate process.

DUI (Alcohol and Drug-Related) MVA Hearings

When a suspect is charged with DUI (or DWI, under the influence of drugs) they have 10 days from the date of their arrest to request an MVA hearing if they want to continue to drive. When they are charged, they are given a DR-15A, which is a temporary “waiver” that allows them to drive for 45 days.

But if they want to be able to drive until the date of that hearing, they must request an MVA administrative hearing no later than 10 days after they are charged with DUI/DWI. Failure to make this request means the license is suspended at the end of the 45-day period. If the driver requests their MVA hearing between day 10 and day 30 after being charged, their license is usually suspended until the MVA hearing.

The MVA imposes demerit points against your driving record for all substance-related driving convictions that can range from eight to 12 points, depending on the offense.

BAC and MVA Penalties

There are two different penalties in Maryland associated with taking a blood alcohol or chemical blood test in order to determine a suspect’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or the level of controlled substances in the suspect’s system. By law, the accused can refuse the test, but there is an immediate (and mandatory) MVA penalty of a 270-day driver’s license suspension.

Those who do submit to a BAC test that produces a reading of between 0.08 and 0.15 have their license suspended for 45 days for a first offense and 90 days for any subsequent offense. Persons who fall into this category are allowed to request a restricted driver’s license.

But if the suspect’s BAC is 0.15 or more, their license is suspended for 90 days if it’s their first offense and 180 days for a second and all subsequent violations. These people are not eligible to request a restricted driver’s license, unless they participate in the Ignition Interlock Program.

The suspension can often be waived if the driver chooses to allow  an Ignition Interlock device (IID) to be placed on their vehicle. This is more common with drivers who have a 0.15 BAC or greater, and it depends on the facts of the case, the contrition of the driver at the hearing, and sometimes, whether a seasoned lawyer is representing the driver before the MVA.

MVA Hearings for Driving Without a License and/or Without Insurance

Though your driver’s license might not be directly lost to the MVA for either of these offenses, five points are added to your driving record. If you are convicted of either of these offenses, a large fine and possibly some jail time are potential penalties after your trial. But the MVA can add sanctions for being convicted of either offense.

For no insurance, those additional penalties can include:

  • Inability to register your vehicle (which remains until you show the MVA proof of insurance)
  • Surrender of your license plates
  • An additional fee of $25 to restore your vehicle registration

Other Offenses That Can Initiate a License-Suspension

  • You do not appear in court for any minor traffic offense (this happens to those who are not aware of the new law that requires all violators to request a trial if they wish to contest the ticket—a court date is no longer automatically set)
  • You fail to pay a Maryland traffic ticket
  • You fail to pay an out-of-state traffic ticket
  • You have too many points against your driver’s license (which can range from eight to 12 points over a two-year period)
  • You do not pay your child support
  • You did not pay the civil judgment if you caused an auto accident and were ordered to pay damages

Hiring a Germantown MVA Hearing Lawyer

Though you are not required to have a Germantown MVA hearing lawyer when you appear at an administrative hearing, having one to represent you is valuable due to their understanding of the MVA regulations and administrative judges. They are also quite valuable if you wish to appeal a ruling, which is your right.