Your Legal Rights During a DUI Stop in Baltimore

If stopped and suspected of being under the influence in Baltimore, it is important that you understand your legal rights including whether you need to consent to a search. The following is information on what rights you possess and how they can impact your case. To learn more about DUI stops in Baltimore, call and schedule a consultation with a Baltimore DUI lawyer today.

Vehicle Searches At a DUI Stop

Some officers will search the vehicle, but some will not. If there is a question of your sobriety due to drugs or if they smell drugs, a lot of officers will search the vehicle. Oftentimes an officer will shine their flashlight into the vehicle and if they see anything that makes them suspicious they may try to search your vehicle.

With this in mind, you do not have to consent and the officers may search your vehicle, even when you say they may not. The Fourth Amendment doesn’t carry enough weight for a general traffic stop. Therefore, if the stop itself turns in to what an attorney would call a holding, meaning that you are detained and you would reasonably believe that you aren’t free to leave, then perhaps, there officer would have needed a warrant.

Miranda Rights

You are not required to be read your Miranda rights at a DUI stop. The United States Supreme Court has relaxed the need and use of Miranda rights over the last several years. You’re not going to be read your Miranda rights, when you’re stopped for DUI.

Speaking To An Attorney At a DUI Stop

You can ask to speak to a lawyer but considering a lot of these DUIs happen in the middle of the night, most lawyers are not available that late in the evening. DUI stops are time-sensitive. Therefore, you do not have an immediate right to a lawyer.

Other Rights During a DUI Stop

You may outright refuse the standard field sobriety tests and the breath test. You can’t be forced to do them. You can face additional and enhanced administrate penalties if you refuse because when you signed to get your license, you consented to these penalties. The back of your Maryland license has a printed advisory that a refusal can result in administrative penalties and longer suspensions of your license.

Even if you refuse the tests, you do not have to make a statement. You do not have to talk to the officer at all. You can have your hand out the window with your license and registration. When you’re asked the question, you can shake your head. You don’t have to say anything, you can remain silent. That’s inherent in any situation where you’re accused of a crime.

Rights Immediately Following An Arrest

Immediately after the formal DUI arrest, most officers will transport you back to the station or barracks and ask you to submit to a breath test.

The breath test is done through the Intoximeter, and depending on what your result is, you will be charged accordingly. Assuming it was a standard DUI stop, and there were no major accidents or injuries, most officers for a first or even second or third time offense, depending on the gap and time, would simply issue you citations and let you go. You can be brought in front of a commissioner and advised of your rights by a commissioner and possibly even bonded out, depending on the conditions, or you could be simply advised of your rights to get an attorney. Of course, the number one thing to do as soon as you are available and away from the police is to call a lawyer.