I posted to the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney’s List serve the new Employer’s Vehicle Exception Form. Years ago I had posted the form letter for an employer to write so that the client did not have to ask for a Hearing. I have been surprised to learn how many lawyers did not know that you did not have to have an Administrative Hearing to get this exception and charged clients to attend the Hearing and ask for the Exception. They were completely unaware that the statute provided for the client to just have the employer write a letter to the MVA. You did not and do not need a Hearing! You merely had to have the employer write a letter that is specifically set out in the statute and take it to the MVA along with the paper work showing the interlock was installed. You did not need to pay a lawyer- you did not need someone to drive you to and from the Hearing- you did not need someone to drive your car to the interlock installer- you did not need someone to then drive you to the MVA to turn in the paperwork to get the interlock restricted license- and you did not need someone to drive you back to your car. You could have then and now driven yourself to the interlock installer and then drive yourself to the MVA to get the license. The wasted attorney’s fees as well as the time and inconvenience to the client and the someone who had to do the driving in unfortunate and wrong.
Under the new law if you blow .08-.14 you can have a Hearing to ask for a 6 month restricted license or you can take the interlock for 6 months and drive where ever and when ever you want. The cost of the interlock (clients get the installation and the 1st month free) is less expensive than the legal fee. So why pay me to go to a Hearing???? Well not everyone thinks or acts like I do. The new law will have an impact on how much a lawyer makes, but we represent the client’s best interest first. I saw a new client this week who was told by another lawyer to request the Hearing on a Refusal. The lawyer told him it could be argued that he was not advised- the form was read to him and he signed it. I was curious how he would win the Hearing based on those facts and he said the lawyer told him they would go to the Hearing- and he would pay for it. I informed him I would not take his money for a Hearing and gave him the card for the free installation and the 1st month free. I gave him the new Employer’s Vehicle Exception Form and the savings from not paying me a fee covers 6 months of the interlock. It will be interesting to hear from new clients who have spoken to other lawyers how many of these clients have been told to request the Hearing just because they can have one.