What to Expect When You Attend an MVA Hearing?
If you’ve been charged with a DUI in the Glen Burnie or Severn areas, you can expect your driver’s license to be suspended. You can also have your license suspended if you refuse to take a chemical test. When the police officer confiscates your driver’s license, he or she will issue a temporary license known as a DR-15 form. However, the temporary license will not remain valid for long. You’ll need to contact a DUI lawyer immediately. Your DUI attorney can request a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) hearing and provide legal representation.
Requesting the Hearing
After being issued an Order of Suspension of your driver’s license, you must request an MVA hearing within 10 days or your driver’s license will be suspended. Your request for a hearing must be made in writing. Your DUI lawyer can prepare this request and file it, along with the filing fee. MVA hearings are scheduled about four to six weeks after the date of the request. You will receive a notification in the mail of your scheduled hearing. Be sure to immediately let your attorney know when you’ve received this notification.
Appearing at the Hearing
The MVA hearing is not like a typical hearing at a courtroom. It is held at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) before an administrative law judge. You, your attorney, and the judge will be present, but the MVA does not send a representative. Although these administrative hearings are far less formal than court proceedings, it’s still important to conduct yourself with respect and to dress in a professional manner. Many defendants make the mistake of approaching these hearings in a manner that is far too informal. The hearing will cover the paper documentation submitted by the MVA. Then, your attorney may contest the evidence submitted by the MVA and argue in favor of your ability to retain your driving privileges.
Receiving the Decision
You will receive a copy of the administrative law judge’s decision. If your license is suspended, you must surrender it to the judge or to an MVA branch office. You do have the option of appealing the decision if it is not in your favor.