Experienced Bowie DUI Defense Attorney Representing Clients at MVA Hearings
Guiding clients through the administrative process in Maryland
If you are arrested for DUI, you can face criminal penalties and administrative penalties. A Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) hearing is where the administrative portion of your penalties will be handed down. Carey Law Office will represent you in these hearings and fight to have all other traffic charges dropped or reduced. Contact us in Bowie or Crofton to learn more.
Administrative penalties for DUI
During your DUI arrest, the law enforcement officer probably confiscated your license and gave you a temporary paper driving permit that expires 45 days after he or she stopped you. You have 10 days from the date of your traffic stop to request an MVA hearing and pay the $150 fee to avoid having your license suspended before the hearing. If you miss the 10-day deadline, you still have 30 days to request a hearing, but your license will likely be suspended during that time. Once you have missed the 30-day deadline, you have lost your chance to request a hearing; however, you should contact an attorney immediately, because you may still be able to negotiate a restricted license and the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID), rather than losing your license. You will not receive “credit” for the time that your license was already suspended, but most administrative law judges (ALJs) will allow you to negotiate for the restricted license and IID moving forward.
MVA hearing process after a DUI
Once you request an MVA hearing, it may be scheduled three months after you request it. You will receive a letter in the mail extending your driving privileges until the date of the hearing.
The MVA has authority over your driving privileges. This is an entirely different government agency with an entirely different set of rules and regulations than the criminal court system. Just like the MVA cannot determine whether you will go to jail, a criminal court judge cannot determine whether you will keep your license. This is why if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test and have your charges dropped, the MVA can still suspend your license for a set amount of time anyway.
If you are charged with drunk driving, regardless of whether or not you are convicted, the MVA can still suspend or revoke your driving privileges. If you want to protest the license suspension because you need to drive for school, work, or to handle family responsibilities, or if you feel it is important to present your side of the story, you can request an MVA hearing. It is very important that you seek the services of a skilled Bowie DUI defense attorney to represent you at your hearing; an experienced DUI lawyer will advise you as to whether you even qualify for a hearing before you spend the money to request one.
An MVA hearing is not like a court case, and it is completely separate from a criminal court hearing. An ALJ from the Office of Hearings and Appeals will hear your case and decide if you are guilty of driving under the influence. The suspension period will be set based on your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. If this is your first DUI offense and your BAC was between a .08 and a .14, you could receive a 180-day suspension.
If your BAC level is between .08 and .14, you may be able to request a restricted license. If you are requesting special permission to drive to work or school, you will need a letter from your employer or from your school. If your BAC was .15 or above, or if this is a repeat offense, you will not be eligible for a restricted license.
You can expect your MVA hearing to take up to an hour or more, depending on the circumstances.
Points on your driving record
Another penalty for a DUI/DWI charge is points on your driving record. These points will remain on the driver’s record for two years.
- For a DUI conviction, the driver will receive 12 points, which can lead to a license revocation.
- For a DWI conviction, the driver will receive 8 points, which can lead to a license suspension.
What is an ignition interlock device?
An IID is a breath analyzer connected to the driver’s ignition. In order to start the car, the driver must blow into the breath analyzer. So, if the driver fails the breath test (.07 BAC or higher), the car will not start. The data for every test is stored in the device; each month, the IID management service provider downloads this data and reports it to the MVA. Each time the driver fails an IID test, more time is added to the period he or she is required to use the device. If a driver fails four ignition interlock breath tests in a single 12-month period, he or she will be suspended from the ignition interlock program, and required to serve the entire license suspension period.
How can a Bowie DUI defense attorney help me through the MVA process?
You have state and Constitutional rights. Your choice of DUI defense attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your MVA hearing. At Carey Law Office, we have defended clients charged with DUI for almost four decades. We are highly experienced in handling both the criminal and administrative sides of DUI cases. We know how to challenge the State’s case against you, as well as field sobriety test results and blood/breath test results. We will fight for the most favorable outcome given the facts of your case.
When you choose to work with Carey Law Office, we fully prepare you for your MVA hearing by discussing your options when it comes to your driving privileges. Every case is different and, in most cases, higher BAC test results mean fewer options when it comes to preserving your freedom to drive. We can help find the best option for you.
Schedule a consultation with a skilled Bowie and Crofton DUI defense attorney
Facing an MVA hearing to fight for your driving privileges can be overwhelming, especially if you are navigating a criminal case at the same time. Do not try to face an MVA hearing on your own. At Carey Law Office, we are here to be your advocates. Please call 301-464-2500 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation at our Crofton or Bowie office right away to discuss your options.