Challenging License Suspensions in Montgomery County DUI Cases

The following is taken from an interview with a Montgomery County DUI lawyer as they discuss DUI cases and how to challenge license suspensions. To learn more call and schedule a consultation with an attorney today.

Can You Challenge A License Suspension After a DUI Case?

You can challenge the suspension and it is going to be done on a case by case basis. There are good reasons to challenge administrative suspensions and when you meet with your lawyer that’s one of the first things that they should go over with you.

In order to request a hearing to challenge a suspension, you do need to file that hearing request in a timely manner. You have 30 days from the date of the incident to file the hearing request. However, you should file the hearing request within 10 days of the date of the incident so the MVA extends your temporary drivers license until the date of the hearing. If you don’t request the hearing within 10 days, the MVA does not have to extend your temporary license until the day of the hearing meaning that your license would go under suspension while you wait for the hearing to happen.

How Can A DUI Lawyer Help With All of This

Well a DUI lawyer can be invaluable in this. There are a lot of technical defenses to license suspension hearings that a layperson just isn’t going to be aware of. There are things, for example, that I learned practicing in the administrative context in doing this kind of work daily that there’s no way that somebody could learn without having had that experience. So a lawyer will be helpful in spotting potential defenses. They’ll be extremely helpful in presenting those defenses to the administrative law judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings and they can also be helpful in guiding you through the process and telling you which kind of modification that you’re eligible for. This kind of case by case analysis is something that is very important for your DUI lawyer to handle for you when you first meet with them.

DUI License Suspension Hearings

You do have to go to a hearing. If you do not request a hearing or do not attend the hearing, then the suspension is entered automatically.

The hearing is a lot less formal than a court appearance. At the hearing, it’s a small hearing office with you, your attorney, and the administrative law judge. There is no State’s Attorney present at these hearings. There’s no police officer present in more than 90% of these hearings. It’s just you, your lawyer and the judge. The judge will then show you and your attorney all the documents that they received from the officer in the case. You and your lawyer should have already had an opportunity to go over those documents because they’re going to be copies of documents that the officer gave you. The administrative judge will then read over those documents and say that’s the MVA’s case and at that point, you have the opportunity to present your defense or to ask for a restricted license.

In order for you to have a defense, you need to present witnesses; that can be your own testimony or it can be somebody else who was present for the events in question. That can also include any kind of documentation or it can include attacking the MVA’s documentation saying the documents that the officer submitted are inadequate to prove the case. At that point, the judge will make a decision and if you’re going to request any kind of modification of the suspension, they’ll hear arguments for that at that point.

Can You Get a Restricted License?

That’s going to depend on what you blew at the police station. Only blows below 0.15 are eligible for a modified or a work restricted license. in any kind of high blow or refusal, the only kind of modified license that they’re eligible for is the ignition interlock license.