You must resist every temptation to talk to the police, prosecutor and victim. Once you have been arrested these people have taken the position that you must be prosecuted. In fact, once you have been arrested, with very few exceptions, your case cannot be dismissed unless you go to court. Further, the participants in your arrest (the police, prosecutor and victim) will use anything you say to your disadvantage. In other words, even your most conciliatory statements or offers to pay damages will be considered admissions of guilt.
When you were stopped the police may have taken your license and given you a temporary license to drive. Attached to that temporary license is a form which looks like a duplicate temporary license — but it is not. Turn the “duplicate” over and you will see that it is a form which you must complete and submit in order to request an administrative hearing. You must mail or deliver that form to the Office of Administrative Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21031-1301. You must send in the form within 10 days after your arrest or your driving privileges will be suspended without a hearing. You must also enclose a check or money order for $150.00, made out to the Maryland State Treasurer, as your filing fee. Failure to enclose the check or money order invalidates your request. Do not send cash. I suggest that you send the form and filing fee via registered or certified mail.
Contrary to what you may have heard from other sources, detention is a real possibility for juvenile offenses. The most serious mistake you can make, if you are a juvenile, is that the Court will let you off the hook just because you have had no previous problems with the law. If you are a parent, the most serious mistake you can make is that the Court will share your unshakable belief that your child just needs a scolding for his first offense. The halls of juvenile detention facilities are full of young people who have suffered for these miscalculations.
When you are stopped for drunk driving in Maryland, the officer will ask you to take a chemical test for the presence of alcohol. Your response may subject you to the 10 day rule. This rule gives you 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing. The purpose of the hearing is for you to challenge the MVA’s right to suspend you. However, the rules concerning your opportunities for driving privileges depend on multiple factors such as the type of hearing (1. Test Score .08, 2. Test Score .15, 3. Test Refusal), whether you have had previous similar MVA violations and when those prior violations occurred. You also must decide whether you want to select the Ignition Interlock Program or request the hearing. Therefore, the decision to request an MVA hearing should be made promptly and with the assistance of an experienced criminal DUI/DWI defense attorney. You should not simply mail the form in and hope for the best.
The MVA hearing is where you keep or lose your driving privileges. If you are a Maryland resident, your license is at stake. If you hold a license from another state, your driving privileges in Maryland are at stake. You only get a hearing if you request one within specific time limits. For example, if you are arrested for a DUI and the officer gives you a notice of suspension because you either refused a breath test or scored too high on one, you have only 10 days to mail in your request for an MVA hearing. This is explained in detail on my MVA 10 Day Rule web page. If you fail to request the hearing within ten days your suspension will automatically start 46 days after your arrest.