Question: Can you explain the MVA hearing in Maryland?
Answer: The MVA hearing in a DUI stop is very important because it impacts your ability to drive your car following a stop and arrest for a DUI. Now, in Maryland, when you’re arrested and given a charge of DUI or DWI and you have either blown in the machine a 0.08% or higher, or if you refuse to blow, then the MVA—which is completely different than the criminal court—but the MVA is going to take certain consequences or actions against your drivers license. And, if you desire to fight those consequences or to get them modified in any way, then you must request and MVA hearing. They will not set a hearing in for you unless you do that. Now, in Maryland that needs to be done within 10 days of your stop and arrest, which does not give you a lot of time.
Therefore, if driving is an important part of your life—if your employment requires it or if you need to drive to get to work or if you have a family, responsibilities and you need to drive—then it’s incumbent upon you and very important that you seek out competent DUI counsel very quickly to analyze your case and see if an MVA hearing would benefit you. If it is properly filed quickly, within 10 days, and you pay the $150 charge that the MVA requests in order to set the hearing in, then you will properly protect your driving privilege in Maryland until your hearing. The MVA hearings take about three months to get, and you can drive up until your hearing, even though the piece of paper they gave you that day, the day of your arrest, indicates that it expires in 45 days.
When you timely request a hearing, you will get an extension letter in the mail. Of course, my office will help you with all of that. We will actually help you with the filing of the document, making sure that it gets there on time, and the scheduling of the hearing. And then we take you to the hearing and the purpose of the hearing, of course, is to see if there will be any suspension whatsoever based on the facts, and to get you any proper modifications that may be available to you.