to Expect at a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) Hearing
driver’s license is a critical tool for daily survival. Most of us need our license to get to work,
to the grocery store, to pick up our kids and pretty much everything else that
we do. When the state threatens to
suspend or revoke your driver’s license, it is understandable that your level
of stress may increase considerably. The
attorneys at Baldwin & Briscoe have years of experience successfully
representing clients in MVA hearings.
article deals with non-alcohol related MVA hearings. For help pertaining to MVA hearings following
a DUI or other alcohol related offense, click here: http://www.baldwinbriscoe.com/sd/pgs/DUI-DWI-Will-I-Lose-My-Drivers-License.aspx
information concerning a charge of Driving on a Suspended License, click here:
on which the MVA May Suspend Your Driver’s License
MVA has the right to suspend your driver’s license if you are a Maryland
resident. If you are a resident of
another state, Maryland cannot suspend your license, but may suspend your
privilege to drive in Maryland. If you
are a non-Maryland resident, your home state may take reciprocal action
following the suspension of your driving privilege in Maryland. You should contact an attorney in your
home-state to see how Maryland MVA’s action will affect your out-of-state
Suspension based on Points. The Maryland MVA assess points against your
driver’s license anytime you are convicted of a moving violation. If you are charged with a moving violation
and pay the fine or are convicted by the court, points will be assessed against
your driver’s license. No points are
assessed if your case is nolle-processed, placed on the stet-docket, you are
found not-guilty, or if you receive a probation-before-judgment. Moving violations carry various numbers of
points depending on the severity of the offense. The more severe the violation, the greater
the number of points it carries. Here is
a list of some of the most common violations and how many points they carry:
10+ mph over the speed limit 2
to stop for a school bus flashing red 3
to stop for a red light 2 points
violation contributing to an accident 3
30+ mph over the speed limit 5
while not licensed 5 points
to report an accident 5 points
in excess of posted limit of 65 mph 5
20 mph or more
driving 5 points
driving 6 points
while impaired 8
to stop after an accident with damage 8
to stop after accident resulting in injury 12
under the influence 12 points
felony involving use of a vehicle 12
many circumstances, a driver may be charged with multiple offenses that carry
points. When this happens, the
individual is only charged with the points associated with the charge that has
the highest point assessment and is not assessed points on the remainder of the
against a Maryland license stay in effect for two years from the date of the
violation. If an individual acquires
five (5) or more points, the MVA will send a warning letter. If an individual acquires 8 or more points,
the MVA will suspend the individual’s driver’s license. If the individual acquires 12 or more points,
the MVA will revoke the license.
the suspension or revocation would adversely affect the employment or
opportunity for employment of a licensee, a hearing officer, after a hearing,
may decline to order the suspension or revocation, or may modify the suspension
Suspension based on Intentional Disregard of
Traffic Laws. The MVA may suspend,
revoke or refuse your driver’s license if you have been convicted of moving
violations so often as to indicate an intent to disregard the traffic laws and
the safety of other persons on the highways.
Suspension based on Physical or Mental
Condition. The MVA can suspend,
revoke or refuse an individual’s driver’s license or privilege if that person
is unable to drive safely because of his physical or mental condition. The license may be suspended, refused, or
revoked if it finds the individual is an unfit, unsafe, or habitually reckless
or negligent driver of a motor vehicle.
Suspension based on Fraudulent Use of
License. Your Maryland driver’s
license may be suspended if you have permitted an unlawful or fraudulent use of
a license, identification card, or a facsimile of a license or identification
card. It may be suspended if you use the
license, identification card or facsimile thereof in an unlawful or fraudulent
Suspension based on Failure to Pay Required
Security. Maryland law requires that
a motor vehicle owner keep the vehicle insured so long as it is
registered. If the insurance lapses, the
MVA will automatically suspend the vehicle’s registration no later than 60 days
after the receive notice of the lapse.
Your insurance company has a legal duty to notify the MVA when the
insurance lapses or is otherwise terminated.
When the MVA is notified of the lapse, they will contact the owner. The owner must, within 48 hours surrender the
vehicle’s registration to the MVA. If
the owner fails to do so, the MVA may suspend the owner’s driver’s license
until such time as the registration is surrendered to the MVA.
Suspension based on
Failure to Appear at a Hearing. If
a party fails to appear at the hearing, their license will be suspended. If the hearing is mandatory, the party will
be subjected to whatever sanction is contained in the hearing notice. If the hearing is discretionary, the party’s
license will be suspended until they appear for a hearing, and any additional
sanctions that are contained in the notice may be applied.
Suspension based on
Failure to Obey a Citation. Your Maryland
driver’s license can be suspended for failure to either pay a traffic ticket or
contest it in court. If you don’t pay
your ticket, the court will notify the MVA and they may suspend your license
after 10-days notice.
Suspension based on
Failure to Pay Child Support. An
individual who is 60 or more days behind on court-ordered child support will
have their license suspended by the MVA once the court notifies the MVA of the
arrearage. The MVA may issue a
work-restricted privilege to drive.
Before the MVA may suspend the license, the MVA is required to send a
written notice to the licensee and advice the licensee of their right to
contest the accuracy of the information.
Any contest is limited to whether the MVA has mistaken the identity of
the obligor or the individual whose license or privilege to drive has been
suspended. The MVA is required to
reinstate the obligor’s license to drive if the court orders it to do so, if
the child support arrearage has been paid in full, or if the individual has
demonstrated good faith by making the court ordered payments for at least six
Suspension for Out
of State Violations. The MVA may suspend your license if you
commit an offense in another state that, under the other state’s laws would be
grounds for suspension or revocation of your driver’s license.
Suspension for False Certification of
Security. The MVA may suspend your
driver’s license if you falsely certify the required security in applying for a
certificate of title or for the registration of a motor vehicle.
Suspension for Failure to Attend Driver
Improvement. If you are required to
attend a driver improvement program by the MVA, or by a court, the MVA may
suspend your license if you rail to attend the program.
Suspension of Provisional License. A provision license may be suspended
following a second conviction or probation before judgment for any combination
of moving violations. Further violations
will lead to longer suspensions and eventual revocation.
Special Rules applying to Minors. The MVA must suspend the driver’s license of
a minor who has been convicted of a DUI or a DWI. The MVA must suspend the driver’s license of
a minor who has been found delinquent for certain offenses, including driving
an off-road vehicle on the highway, fleeing the scene of an accident and
fleeing or eluding the police. If the
minor is not licensed, the suspension will begin on the date of the
disposition, or if the child is younger than 16, on the date of the child’s 16th
Other Types of Suspensions. The MVA has the authority suspend a driver’s
license of a person who manufacturers or possesses a destructive device, who
makes a bomb threat, or who manufacturers, transports, possesses or places a
device that is designed to imitate a bomb or similar device with the intent to
terrorize, frighten or harass. The MVA
has the authority to suspend the license of a person who is convicted of a
moving violation that contributed to an accident resulting in the death of
another person. The MVA will suspend
your license if there is an outstanding warrant for your arrest.
Modification of Suspension
The MVA may modify the suspension of an
individual’s driver’s license if the suspension is based on underage
consumption of alcohol or furnishing alcohol to a minor, or driving an off-road
vehicle on the highway if the license is required for the purpose of attending
an alcohol education, prevention or treatment program or if the individual is
required to drive a motor vehicle in the course of employment. To allow for the modification, the MVA must
find that the child has no reasonable alternative means of transportation. The MVA may also modify a suspension to
prevent the adverse impact on a child’s education.
Reinstatement after Revocation
If your license has been revoked, you can may
apply to have the license reinstated.
For a first time revocation, the licensee may file an application for
reinstatement at any time after the day the revoked license has been
surrendered to, and received by, the MVA.
If you do not have a license, you can apply anytime after the effective
date of the revocation.
is a six-month waiting period after the MVA receives your application for
reinstatement before the license may be reinstated. The waiting period extends to one year
following a second revocation, eighteen months, following a third revocation,
and two years following a fourth or subsequent revocation.
law, the MVA may only reinstated a license or privilege to drive, if after an
investigation of the individual’s habits and driving ability, the MVA is
satisfied it will be safe to reinstate the license or privilege of an
individual who has been involved in any combination of three or more separate
alcohol-related or drug-related driving incidents; involved in a vehicular
accident resulting in the death of another person; or convicted of a violation
for failing to stop after a vehicular accident resulting in bodily injury or
death. An individual may be required to
submit to whatever examinations that the MVA considers appropriate as a
condition of reinstatement.
Notice and Hearing
If the MVA refuses to issue a license, or
decides to suspend or revoke your license, the MVA is required to notify you
and provide you with the opportunity for a hearing on the matter. What rights are available to you at the
hearing depend on the specific basis giving rise to the suspension.
MVA may only suspend or revoke a license prior to a haring if it determines
that there is a substantial and immediate danger and harm to the licensee or
others if the license is continued pending a hearing.
in cases arising out of a licensee’s refusal to submit to a test for chemical
intoxication (For information on these hearings, click here: http://www.baldwinbriscoe.com/sd/pgs/DUI-DWI-Will-I-Lose-My-Drivers-License.aspx)
where a licensee is facing a possible suspension or revocation, the MVA must
notify the licensee of the hearing and charges and give the licensee the
opportunity to be heard in person.
licensee may request a hearing within 15 days from the date of the notice. The hearing must be held within 30 days
following the request. The MVA must
render a decision within 30 days after the hearing.
hearing notice must state the date, time, place, and nature of the
hearing. It must give the specific legal
authority and jurisdiction of the MVA to hear the matter. It must state facts in sufficient detail to
allow the respondent to prepare his case.
It must state the nature of the proposed action that the MVA will
consider. It must notify the respondent
of their right to call witness and offer documents. It must, in some circumstances, advise the
party of the right to obtain a subpoena.
It must notify the party that the party can request a copy of the
hearing procedures, that the party has the right to be represented by an
attorney, and what action may be taken if the licensee fails to appear.
MVA hearing is different than a court proceeding. The MVA hearing is held before an
administrative law judge, usually at an MVA facility. The hearing is not bound by the formal rules
of evidence and procedure that would govern a regular court case. Generally, the State will submit its case on
paper instead of calling live witnesses to testify. Each party may call witnesses, offer
exhibits, cross-examine witnesses, present argument, including summation.
the hearing, the MVA may refuse, suspend, or revoke the license or privilege of
an application or licensee; or it may rescind, continue, or modify any prior
action; or it may take any other action which is permitted by the Maryland
the MVA rules against any party to the proceeding, it must issue a written
decision and provide a copy to the party or their attorney. A party may appeal a decision if it disagrees
with the outcome.
laws governing the suspension and revocation of your Maryland driver’s license can
be complicated to navigate if you are unfamiliar with the process. The attorneys at Baldwin & Briscoe can
guide you through the process and will represent you when you appear before the
MVA. You don’t have to worry because the
process is unfamiliar to you. Give us a
call to schedule your free consultation concerning any MVA hearing today.
information contained on this page is provided as general information and does
not constitute legal advice. The
experienced attorneys at Baldwin & Briscoe, P.C. can assist you if you are
involved in an MVA matter. We’d be happy
to sit down with you and review your situation and provide appropriate
advice. Call today for your free, no-obligation
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