Baltimore First Offense DUI Lawyer
If you are charged with a first offense DUI charge in Baltimore your case will be heard in the district court closest to where you were stopped by the officer. Generally speaking, prosecutors treat these cases very seriously and prosecute these cases to the fullest extent of the law. For this reason, if you are charged your case warrants attention from a Baltimore first offense DUI lawyer. A DUI lawyer in Baltimore can look at the facts and circumstances surrounding your case and assist you in building the strongest possible defense, call today to learn more.
Steps to Take Following An Arrest
When you go into court, whether it’s Catonsville, Essex or Towson, the judges will have an expectation with regards to treatment that you’ve undergone before trial, especially for first-time offenders. The expectation is that you’ll seek the appropriate treatment that corresponds with the charge itself—either the DUI or the DWI. And the expectation is that you receive treatment that makes sense for you based on whether you are a social drinker or have a more serious drinking problem. A first offense DUI attorney in Baltimore can help you find treatment that fits with your case, to show that you’re taking your charge seriously.
The maximum penalty for first-time DUI is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If it’s DWI, it’s 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
There are no diversion programs for first-time DUI offenses, but there is what’s called probation before judgment, which is a step short of a conviction. If you and your Baltimore first offense DUI lawyer are able to convince the judge that you’re worthy of probation before judgment, you’ll be put on a period of probation with several conditions that a judge will assign to you to complete during that period of probation.
How Can a Client Take Advantage of These Programs?
Everyone has the opportunity to take advantage of probation before judgment, but you have to earn it; you have to show the judge that you deserve the probationary period instead of a conviction. The most important thing to do is get into a drug treatment or alcohol treatment facility for an assessment so you can get right into the program.
Biggest Mistakes to Avoid
The biggest mistakes to avoid when facing a first-time DUI charge are not taking it seriously, not hiring a lawyer, not getting an alcohol assessment or treatment. Even if you’re going to take your case to trial, you still want to get the treatment. That way, if you’re not successful in trial, you have mitigation. All of these things are so important and so basic; if you fail do to them, you unnecessarily put yourself in harm’s way.
Defenses For First Offense Charges
In building a defense against DUI charges, you have to look at the elements of the prosecution’s case, including the evidence that will be introduced to prove that you were operating the vehicle. You want to determine what caused the officer to come into contact with you, whether there were field sobriety tests with proper instructions, as well as the results of either a breath test or a blood test and whether those results prove that you were under the influence of alcohol. You’ll also look at the evidence from the officer’s testimony, any video or audio that’s offered and the officer’s formal report.
What a first offense DUI attorney in Baltimore will be looking for is consistency in your case or inconsistency in the prosecution’s case. If there’s inconsistency, your attorney may be able to prove that you are in fact not guilty. In order to do this, the prosecutors need to provide all this documentation to your attorney.