So you’ve been charged with DUI or a DWI. If you are a Maryland driver, this means that the police officer who pulled you over also took your driver’s license. In its place, they filled out and gave you two forms called a temporary license. On the back of one, a header reads “Election to Participate in Ignition Interlock System.” The other has the words “Hearing Request” printed at the top, and allows you to attend DUI hearings in Maryland. Read on to learn about how to decide which of these options is wisest for you.
Should I Request An MVA Hearing?
If you do not want to automatically opt into the Ignition Interlock program, and want to avoid a suspension on your driver's license after DUI in Maryland, then you will need to request an MVA hearing. It is important to go into these proceedings with a clear, informed head.
An MVA hearing is not a full trial of your entire case. These DUI hearings in Maryland are simply opportunities for an administrative judge to review whether the police officer who pulled you over had something called “Reasonable Grounds” to suspect that you were drinking and driving. Without these “Reasonable Grounds,” an officer should not ask you to complete a breath or blood test.
After being pulled over for DUI in Maryland, you might feel that you are able to argue convincingly that you were not drinking and driving. But however persuasive that argument may be, you may not be able to use it at your MVA hearing. Remember that these hearings are centered around one specific, limited issue.
If you feel like you need some legal help, contact our DUI Law attorney to schedule a free case evaluation today.
What Are DUI Hearings In Maryland About?
As mentioned above, it’s important to remember that an administrative judge is only thinking about a few things during DUI hearings in Maryland. They are:
- Whether the police officer who stopped or detained you had reasonable grounds to suspect that you were driving—or attempting to drive—while under the influence (of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs), while impaired by alcohol or drugs to a degree that you could not drive safely, while impaired by a controlled dangerous subject, or in violation of an alcohol restriction on your license
- Whether there was evidence that you used alcohol, any drug, any combination of drugs, a combination of drugs and alcohol, or a controlled dangerous substance
- Whether the police officer requested a test after advising you of the consequences that you might receive
- Whether you refused to take the test to determine whether you were within blood alcohol content legal limits
- Whether you drove or attempted to drive a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more when you received a blood alcohol test
- Whether you drove or attempted to drive a motor vehicle while having an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more when you received a blood alcohol test
- Whether the person was involved in an accident that resulted in the death of another person
Additionally, if the hearing involves disqualification of a commercial instructional permit or a commercial driver's license, the judge will also be interested in whether you were operating a commercial motor vehicle or held one of these commercial instructional permits or commercial driver's licenses.
Before requesting one of these DUI hearings in Maryland, it is best to sit down with a knowledgeable DUI and DWI attorney who can discuss your options and your chances of success. The attorneys at Zirkin and Schmerling Law have years of experience litigating in these kinds of time-sensitive situations. Call 410-753-4611 to learn more and to schedule your free initial consultation.