Things You Need to Know about Your Maryland MVA Hearing

Determining the Impact on Your Driving Privileges after a DUI/DWI

Things You Need to Know about Your Maryland MVA HearingWhen you have been arrested and charged with drinking and driving in Maryland, you’ll have go through two separate legal proceedings: the criminal prosecution to determine guilt or innocence and assess penalties; and the MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) hearing to establish the impact on your right to drive. Here are some important things to know about the DMV proceeding:

  • You can expect the hearing to take place within four to six weeks from the date you request it—you must make the request within 30 days of your detention and arrest
  • You may be able to postpone the hearing, provide you submit a written request at least five days before the scheduled date
  • If you miss the hearing, a suspension or revocation will automatically be put in place
  • You can appeal the decision of the administrative law judge at the hearing, but must do so within 30 days of the hearing
  • After the administrative law judge makes his or her ruling, the MVA will be notified of the decision. If you have not already surrendered your drivers’ license and are ordered to do so, you must immediately bring it to an MVA branch office. Your suspension will not start until you turn in your license.

Experienced Maryland Drunk Driving Defense Attorney

For more than 30 years, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the constitutional rights of criminal defendants across Baltimore and through out the state of Maryland, including people charged with drinking and driving. Super Lawyers has named him among the top 100 lawyers in Maryland and The American Lawyer Magazine has also listed him as a Top-Rated Lawyer.

Jonathan has maintained an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System for more than 34 years. He has also received Martindale-Hubbell’s coveted Client Distinction Award, an honor earned by less than 4% of all attorneys in Maryland .He enjoys a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a trial lawyer from AVVO and has also earned AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

A highly respected trial lawyer, Jonathan has a thorough understanding of Maryland criminal law and procedure, and has considerable experience successfully handling a wide range of criminal cases .He knows how to effectively gather and preserve evidence and will take all necessary measures to ensure that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Proven Baltimore County DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we fight for the rights of criminal defendants throughout Baltimore County and the surrounding communities. Contact us online or call 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. We handle cases throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Authorities Target DUI Drivers on Holidays

Maryland has targeted Thanksgiving with mobile and stationary patrols. Additionally, the Maryland State Police’s operation “Centerpoint Strikeforce” regularly sets up checkpoints throughout the state.

The Centerpoint Strikeforce operation recently checked 130 cars near the Md. 85 and Executive Way in just a four-hour weekend-period, but no one was arrested on drunk driving charges. This particular Maryland location was chosen because of the area’s relative frequency of DUI arrests and crashes involving alcohol.

Interestingly, the American Beverage Institute notes a University of Maryland study (2009) that indicates sobriety checkpoints do not in fact affect drivers’ actions. Rather, research seems to indicate that roving police cars tend to make more DUI arrests.

Throughout the United States authorities have been cracking down on DUI drivers just before and during holidays. For those interested, it is possible to find the location of these DUI police checkpoints online, through websites devoted specifically to tracking DUI checkpoints. Also, police departments often announce their plans to conduct sobriety checkpoints (but not the locations).

Holidays such as Labor Day typically have more drunk-driving related crashes. For instance, during Labor Day weekend in 2010, 147 people died as a result of car crashes that involved a drunk driver.

Accused of DUI or DWI in MD? Contact an Experience Criminal Defense Attorney

To schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at the Smith Criminal Defense Firm in Columbia, Maryland, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to fight for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Howard County Police to Conduct DUI Checkpoint

Sobriety Checkpoint Scheduled by Howard County Police

The Howard County Police Department announced that it will conduct a DUI checkpoint this coming weekend. The department conducts several dui checkpoints each year. The checkpoint will be clearly marked with signs, lights and uniformed officers. Officers will utilize both marked and unmarked vehicles, and will be checking for violations including driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired, and other DUI/DWI violations.

Howard County DUI/DWI’s

In 2011, Howard County Police arrested 1,391 individuals for driving under the influence. In 2011, 25 percent of Howard County’s fatal collisions were alcohol related. Drinking and driving carries harsh penalties.

DUI Checkpoints and Constitutional Protections

A DUI checkpoint allows police officers to observe drivers and their cars for evidence of drunk driving. Under the law, police cannot stop a vehicle unless there is a “reasonable and articulable suspicion” that the driver or the vehicle is violating the law. Sobriety checkpoints involve the stopping of vehicles without this showing.

Many states outlaw the sobriety checkpoints. DUI checkpoints may violate an innocent driver’s constitutional rights.

Ellicott City, Columbia, and Howard County Drunk Driving Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith is a top rated drunk driving lawyer and former prosecutor with more than 30 years of experience in criminal law and drunk driving cases. Before going into private practice, attorney Smith worked as a Maryland prosecutor and learned how the state prepares criminal matters. He has handled 1,000’s of drunk driving cases.

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results — has earned him the recognition of his peers, with an AV® Preeminent™* Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, and a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating. These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition. Attorney Smith is considered to be one of the best criminal defense and DUI drunk driving attorneys in Columbia, Ellicott City, and Howard County.

Contact Our Office for Aggressive DUI Defense

Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to work for you.  To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.


How Can a Former Prosecuting Attorney Assist You with Your Criminal Defense?

Criminal Defense in Columbia, Ellicott City, and Howard County, MD

If you have been charged with a serious crime in Maryland, your best bet may be to retain former prosecuting attorney as your criminal defense lawyer. A former prosecuting attorney has several distinct advantages in defending you against criminal charges:

  • Advantage #1: A former Maryland prosecuting attorney has the background and experience to understand how a prosecutor will likely approach your case. As a former prosecuting attorney, your defense lawyer can look at the evidence from both points of view and see the strengths and weaknesses in your case from the prosecutor’s perspective.
  • Advantage #2: Retaining a former Maryland prosecuting attorney as your criminal defense lawyer means you will be represented by someone who not only has criminal law experience and understands criminal procedure, but likely you will be defended by someone who has earned the respect of the courts and the judges.
  • Advantage #3: By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your case from a prosecutor’s point of view, a former Maryland prosecuting attorney as your criminal defense lawyer will be in a better position to negotiate a favorable plea agreement, or render excellent advice regarding any plea offer provided by the prosecutor.
  • Advantage #4: Prosecutors understand that criminal defense lawyers who were former prosecutors will make the prosecuting attorney dot their i’s and cross their t’s. They will have to put in many extra hours, which may be difficult for overworked staff, especially with government cutbacks. This means they may be more inclined to make a deal, and you may have a greater likelihood of a more favorable plea offer.
  • Advantage #5: As a former prosecuting attorney, your criminal defense lawyer will have likely tried hundreds of cases in front of most judges in the area. This means they will have an understanding of what the judge expects and how the judge is likely to rule on the admission of certain evidence, as well as any peculiarities the judge may have regarding courtroom decorum. This may make it easier and less expensive to fashion a strong defense.

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith is a top rated former criminal prosecutor, with over 30 years of courtroom experience in numerous criminal courts throughout the Baltimore area, including Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Prince Georges (Prince George) County, Howard County and Montgomery County. He has handled thousands of criminal defense cases, and chances are excellent he has tried cases in the same courtroom, with the same judge, and knows the prosecuting attorney who will be handling your case. You can see what many satisfied clients have to say about the job he did for them. In addition, you can check the results in real cases he has handled.

Contact Our Office

To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to work for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith represents clients in criminal defense matters, DUI / DWI, MVA Hearings, traffic offenses, domestic violence and child abuse charges throughout Maryland, including the cities of Columbia, Clarksville, Sykesville, Fulton, Elkridge, Frederick, Mt. Airy, Ellicott City, Laurel, Westminster, and Baltimore. Lawyer Smith also provides experienced legal representation for clients in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Prince Georges (Prince George) County, Howard County and Montgomery County, MD.

The Importance of Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) Hearings

If you have been arrested on a Maryland DUI/DWI you must act quickly to avoid losing your license. An experienced criminal law attorney can help you challenge an automatic license suspension through a Motor Vehicle Administration hearing.

The MVA Process

If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI, you have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request an MVA hearing to retain your driving privileges until the hearing date. If you fail to request an MVA hearing within that 10-day period, your driver’s license is automatically suspended. Although you may represent yourself at the MVA hearing, having an attorney knowledgeable in the license suspension process improves your chances of maintaining some or all of your driving privileges.

An administrative law judge (ALJ) conducts the hearing and reviews all the evidence against you from the arresting officer and hears testimony regarding your arrest. You are also allowed to present evidence and give testimony on your behalf. You may also present witnesses, who are subpoenaed to testify on your behalf.

After reviewing all the presented evidence, the ALJ makes a final decision on the following issues:

  • Was probable cause established by the arresting officer?
  • Was proper procedure followed by the arresting officer?
  • Did the defendant submit to or refuse a chemical test?

If the ALJ decides the evidence warrants your license suspension, then the license suspension is upheld. In the case of a suspension, you may be eligible for a restricted permit. If the ALJ decides in your favor, your license is reinstated.

If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI, you should retain an experienced attorney who understands the Maryland administrative hearing process. Contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call us at 410-740-0101 to discuss your MVA hearing.


  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101