Anne Arundel DUI Attorney
In Anne Arundel County, like all of Maryland, DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Impaired) are serious charges that can entail long-term consequences, including civil, administrative, and criminal penalties. However, being charged and being convicted of these offenses are two different things; especially if you quickly retain an Anne Arundel criminal defense lawyer that is experienced and trial-tested in defending clients accused of these crimes. If resolved successfully, your job, reputation and financial wellbeing can be protected.
Anne Arundel DUI Lawyers Handle These Cases
In Maryland, the legal limit for an adult’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood; and for a driver under 21, the legal limit is 0.02 g/ml. In Anne Arundel, a person can be charged with the following three offenses for driving while drunk or under the influence: DUI, DWI, and DUI Per Se.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
To be charged with DUI in Anne Arundel, the state must demonstrate that you were both subjectively drunk and in actual physical control of the vehicle (or that the vehicle was in motion). When an officer has reasonable articulable suspicion that you have been drinking and driving, the officer will pull you over and, depending upon the circumstances, attempt to establish probable cause in order to make an arrest. An officer will look for slurred speech, odor of alcohol, bloodshot or watery eyes, or some other indicator of impairment. If an officer determines one of those indicators is present, the officer will prompt you to exit the vehicle, and then attempt to establish probable cause to make an arrest. One of the common ways that officers establish probable cause is through the use of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. These tests include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus, Walk-and-Turn, and One-Leg Stand tests. Various indicators from the administration of these tests will help an officer determine if your BAC is in fact 0.08 or above. It is claimed by the NHTSA that these tests have an accuracy of over 90 percent across the United States. However, as an Anne Arundel DUI lawyer can tell you, these tests can produce inaccurate results, particularly when administered improperly by officers.
Driving While Impaired (DWI)
With respect to DWI in Anne Arundel, the state must demonstrate that you were impaired and in physical control of the vehicle (or that the vehicle was in motion). DWI is a lesser offense than DUI, and applies when your BAC is between 0.06 g/mL 0.07 g/ml.
In DUI per se, the state must demonstrate that you were in physical control of the vehicle (or that the vehicle was in motion) with a 0.08 BAC or higher. “Per se” is a legal term that, literally translated, means “in itself.” In the context of DUI, the per se means that even if you were not subjectively drunk, you can still be charged with a DUI if your BAC was at or above 0.08. As such, the penalties for DUI and DUI Per Se are one in the same. Additionally, it is also possible to be arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs, or a DUID. Make sure to seek out an attorney to learn more about the difference between a drug-related DUI and an alcohol-related DUI.
Your BAC must be objectively determined in order to be charged with DUI Per Se. An objective determination of your BAC can be achieved through the administration of a valid chemical test of your breath. It is important to understand that in Anne Arundel, and Maryland at large, there are no criminal penalties for failing to submit to chemical testing. Nonetheless, there are certain administrative penalties that can ensue, such as a 120 day license suspension for a first offense, a one year license suspension for a second offense or potentially more for a third offense. Talk to a lawyer to discuss how a second DUI might affect your driver’s license. Importantly, a skilled Anne Arundel DUI lawyer will be able to help you retain your driving privileges by representing you before a MVA hearing. Information regarding the administrative and criminal penalties can be found below.
Anne Arundel DUI and DWI Penalties
The criminal penalties for a DUI, DWI, or DUI Per Se are substantial, and as such it is in your best interest to retain a skilled an Anne Arundel DUI lawyer who has an intimidate understanding of how the State’s Attorney’s Office prosecutes such offenses. The maximum penalties for a first offense DUI in Anne Arundel include 12 months imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. As previously mentioned, the penalties for DUI Per Se are the same. Additionally, you can be subject to administrative penalties regarding your license. If you submit to a breath test and fail, or refuse to submit to a breath test, you will be facing a 180 day license suspension, respectively. Moreover, you will accrue a maximum of 12 points against your license. In both the criminal and administrative proceedings it is invaluable to have experienced legal representation protecting your rights, innocence, and future well-being.
The maximum penalties for a DWI include 60 days imprisonment, a fine of up to $500, and 8 points assessed against your license. While less serious, the criminal and administrative penalties can have serious implications. Thus, if you are facing charges in Anne Arundel, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled Anne Arundel DUI attorney.
An Aggressive Anne Arundel DUI Lawyer Can Help
It is essential that you speak to a capable defense lawyer about your DUI or DWI case as soon as possible. Even though you have up to 30 days to request a MVA hearing, it should be done within 10 days after you are charged. This is recommended because the MVA may suspend your license while you await your hearing. Attorney Seth Okin has a wealth of experience defending clients facing criminal charges, and has an in-depth understanding of how DUI and DWI are handled in the state of Maryland. Mr. Okin can help to mitigate the effects of the penalties associated with DUI and DWI, and will keep you well-informed throughout the entirety of the criminal and administrative proceedings.