Friday, March 4, 2011
The Most Important Thing to Do After You Have Been Arrested for Drunk Driving
So it is the next day. You may need to get your car out of impound and you have a legal mess facing you. Of course, the very first thing you should do is contact an attorney and begin the process of dealing with the charges you face.
You can contact me at anytime by calling 410-541-6DUI (384) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
In Maryland, drunk driving charges have two separate tracks, a criminal track, where you can face jail time or probation, and an administrative track, where your privilege to drive is at risk.
If you are a Maryland driver you should receive, as part of the many documents given to you by law enforcement, a temporary license and a request for hearing form. It is critical that you complete this request form and return it to the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings along with a check for $125 made payable to the "Maryland State Treasurer".
Under Maryland law, your privilege to drive will be automatically suspended on the 46th day after your arrest unless you request a hearing within 10 days of your arrest. So completing this request is the most important thing you need to do after being arrested on drunk driving charges. With a timely request, you can continue to drive normally until the date of your hearing.
You may request a hearing up to 30 days after your arrest. However, if your request is made more than 10 days after your arrest your license will still be automatically suspended on the 46th day after your arrest.
You do want to have a hearing. At a hearing, you can challenge the evidence against you and possibly convince the hearing judge to take "no action" against your license. Even if you fail to do this, you can have the suspension modified in order to allow you to drive, under certain conditions. More on that in another post. If you do nothing, your license will be suspended automatically.
Another point on the request. Send your request, with your check in some form that can be tracked and that you confirm it has been received (such as certified mail, FedEx, UPS). While your request may be sent by regular mail if it is not received the Office of Administrative Hearings will take the position that you never sent it (I have had clients where this has happened and you do not want to have it happen to you.)
So, the first thing you do after getting arrest and contacting an attorney is to properly request a hearing.