Kent County MVA Hearing Lawyer
If you are cited for a serious traffic offense or accumulate too many demerit points against your driver’s license, you’ll be ordered to attend an administrative hearing (or conference, depending on the severity of your situation) before the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).
If this happens, the best possible strategy to continue to drive is to be represented by a Kent County MVA lawyer. At a hearing, the OAH will determine whether your driver’s license is suspended, whether the suspension can be modified to a restricted license (a work or school permit) or whether the suspension will be dismissed.
After the police cite you for a DUI or DWI, and if it carries a mandatory license suspension once you are charged, you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request an MVA hearing and pay the fee if you hope to keep your driving privileges. The same 10-day time frame applies to those who are notified that their license is due to be suspended for points. In either case, if you fail to request a hearing within that period, your driver’s license is automatically suspended. Consult with a Kent County DUI lawyer today to learn more about your case.
DUI-Related License Suspensions
The suspension for a blood alcohol content (BAC) test with a reading of between 0.08 to 0.14 is 45 days for a first offense and 90 days for any subsequent violations. Often, the driver can secure a restricted license, especially if it’s a first offense.
If the suspect’s BAC is 0.15 or higher, the license suspension is 90 days for a first offense, but 180 days for any thereafter. No restricted licenses are available to those with these excessive BAC readings, other than Ignition Interlock restricted licenses.
It is your right to refuse to submit to a BAC test. However, this can result in a license suspension of 120 days for a first offense, and a year for any subsequent violations. It is possible to receive a restricted license if the driver submits to having an ignition interlock device (IID) installed on their vehicle. They must pay for the installation themselves, as well as any maintenance fees that may be required while it is on their vehicle during the one year term.
What Happens at Your OAH Hearing?
You will not suffer any additional penalties at your hearing. The purpose of an OAH hearing is to determine whether you will be able to continue to drive, and any restrictions that may apply. It will be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge. During this hearing, if you have a lawyer, he or she will present all of your evidence and make the case for you to continue to drive with a full license, or negotiate the restrictions as favorably as possible.
After gathering all necessary evidence and testimony, the judge’s ruling will come quickly. If the evidence against you warrants a continuance of your license suspension, it will be upheld. A successful defense will find you retaining your license, or being issued a restricted license that will allow you to drive for necessities.
There are several reasons for retaining a Kent County MVA lawyer.
- The mere presence of a lawyer before the OAH administrative judge shows that you respect the process, are taking the matter seriously, and view driving as a privilege. We don’t mean to suggest that not having an attorney makes a bad impression, but having one tells the OAH that it is important to you to handle your continued ability to drive responsibly by having a professional respectfully make your case.
- MVA hearings can often be rather complicated and require a legal mind to understand the nuances of OAH procedure and the proper responses to them.