Evidence and Proof at Maryland DUI MVA Hearings
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in Maryland the following is important information that you should know regarding MVA hearings. This includes what the state needs to prove to uphold the suspension of your license and why it is important to have an attorney present at this type of hearing.
To learn more about the MVA hearing process or to seek legal representation from an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer, call today and schedule a free consultation.
Parties at the MVA Hearing
People often ask if State’s Attorneys prosecute the case against you at MVA hearings. The answer is no, there are no prosecutors at MVA hearings. It is a hearing where only the licensee, the person charged with the DUI, their attorney, and the administrative law judge are present. The police and the MVA submit paperwork which makes up the MVA’s case. If the judge thinks that there’s additional evidence required, they may choose to summon the police officer but that’s going to be on a case by case basis.
What Needs to be Proven
Well, it depends on the basis of the suspension in the first place. There are generally three types of these: low blows, high blows, and refusals.
For both low blow and the high blow cases, the state needs to prove that the officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the individual was operating a motor vehicle while they were impaired.
The state also needs to show that the individual was advised of the consequences of their driver’s license by choosing to do a test. Then, they need to show that the individual did the test and the result.
For a refusal case, the first element is exactly the same. The officer had a reason to believe that the individual was impaired. The second element is also exactly the same that the individual was advised of what happened to the license if they did the test or refused. The third element is did the individual refuse? So, in a nutshell, that’s what the MVA would have to prove to suspend a driver’s license.
Importance of An Attorney
Well, it’s extremely important because most individuals don’t know what the defenses are at MVA hearings. They don’t know what the state needs to prove or how the state needs to prove it. Also, they don’t know how to present mitigation in their case or how to present evidence that they’re not a risk to public safety, or present evidence of their driving need. An attorney can make that process go a lot more smoothly.