Can You Help Me Avoid a License Suspension?It’s not uncommon to make a mistake when it comes to driving. Whether that be speeding, or parking in the wrong area, or forgetting to pay a traffic ticket; there are many laws and regulations that sometimes you simply don’t know about or mindlessly break. The problem is when you break the wrong laws or make one too many mistakes, you could end up losing your license, and that can lead to some serious problems such as being unable to get to work, pick up your kids from school, or simply getting groceries.

If you decide to drive with a suspended license, you could end up owing hefty fines or even seeing jail time. It is easy for offenses to build up, or to make one serious mistake. With the help of an Annapolis lawyer, however, you may be able to avoid losing your license. That way, you can continue to live your life unhindered, and give you time to read up on the laws in your area so that you can keep your license for a long time to come.

What are the most common situations that lead to a license suspension?

Not every traffic violation leads to a license suspension. Many minor infractions simply leave you with a minor fine to pay, but there are some situations in which you may find yourself facing a license suspension. Some of these violations include:

  • Point suspension. Maryland, like most states, utilizes a driving points system. This system issues a point value for each infraction you incur, with certain offenses gaining more points than others. A few examples from MD Code §16-402 include:
    • 1 pt- Moving violations that do not contribute to an accident (or otherwise listed).
    • 2 pts- Speeding more than 10 miles over the speed limit.
    • 2 pts- Failing to stop for a school vehicle with activated alternately flashing red lights.
    • 3 pts- Any moving violation contributing to an accident.
    • 5 pts- Speeding in excess of the posted speed limit by 30 miles per hour or more.
    • 5 pts- Failure to report an accident.
    • 6 pts- Reckless driving.

If a driver earns at least 8 points on their license, they will have their license suspended. Traffic violations that immediately result in 8 points include driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs (resulting in a blood alcohol content [BAC] test result of .07), turning off the lights of a vehicle to avoid identification, and failing to stop after an accident.

  • DWI/DUI. As mentioned above, driving with a BAC level of .07 (DWI) or higher will result in having your license suspended. Driving with a BAC of .08 (DUI) or higher will add 12 points to your license, whereas a DWI will only add 8 points. As well as losing your license, you will also face fines and possible jail time.
  • Medical suspension. If you suffer from certain medical conditions such as epilepsy, narcolepsy, or an alcohol or drug addiction (to name a few), you may be referred to the Driver Wellness and Safety and/or the Medical Advisory Board. From there, they will determine whether your license should be suspended.

Challenging a suspended license in Annapolis

If you do end up having your license suspended, you can choose to challenge this action by scheduling a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) Hearing. This is a key time in which you should have a traffic violations attorney present to help you determine your best arguments for your case. Unlike a formal hearing, a MVA hearing only involves you, your attorney, and the administrative law judge.

During this hearing, you can plead your case as to why your license shouldn’t be suspended, including the situations of the violation and/or the important reasons why you cannot have your license suspended such as the need to get to work, care for your family, or other critical circumstances which require the use of your vehicle. From there, it is up to the judge whether your license should be reinstated, or you to uphold your license suspension.

How can an Annapolis traffic ticket lawyer help me avoid a license suspension?

Before your license is even suspended, there are ways in which a traffic violations attorney can fight for you so that you keep your license. An experienced attorney can help you determine whether the charges against you are even viable by:

  • Investigating whether the officer had grounds to pull you over.
  • Cross-examining the police officer to determine whether they had the facts straight, whether their testimony had errors, and whether they’re even credible at all.
  • Determining the accuracy of law enforcement tools, such as radar or other machines used to record a driver’s speed.
  • Exploring whether you had legal justification for violating the law. This can include swerving to avoid obstacles in the road, or mistakenly breaking the law due to faulty road signage.

If your license has been suspended due to a charge of DUI/DWI, there are further options your attorney can explore in order to determine whether the charge is viable. This includes:

  • Whether the officer had suspicion to pull you over or not.
  • Whether the officer administered field sobriety tests properly.
  • Whether the officer incorrectly administered a breathalyzer test properly.
  • Whether the officer had proper authority to administer a blood test.

If you are pulled over for DUI/DWI, you should know that you have the right to refuse taking any blood/breath/field sobriety tests, and you should refuse them. Once they have the results of those tests, they can be used against you to have your license suspended.

Having an Annapolis attorney on your side when you are faced with a license suspension is a good idea, and can help you avoid losing your license entirely, if not helping to have it reinstated. It is just as critical to know the laws of the road as much as it is to know your rights. Losing your driver’s license can keep you from earning an income, taking care of your family, and simply living your everyday life. I am an experienced attorney, and I successfully handle traffic cases and MVA administrative hearings, as well as fight against DUI/DWI charges. Let me fight for you. To learn more, call Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, in Annapolis or Ellicott City, or fill out this contact form to schedule an appointment.

And remember: Keep Calm, and Call Drew.