Catonsville DUI Lawyer
Catonsville drivers facing DUI or DWI charges may know how serious the charge could be. Not only does a DUI conviction result in loss of driving privileges, but it could also subject a driver to criminal penalties including heavy fines and the potential for incarceration. Aggravating factors may increase the likelihood of serious criminal penalties.
If you were charged with driving under the influence or driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs, it may be wise to consult a Catonsville DUI lawyer to learn your options for protecting your driving privileges and fighting the charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney could not only provide advice but also advocate on your behalf at all stages of the proceedings to work toward the best possible outcome.
How DUI and DWI Are Defined in the Statutes
Section 21-902 of the Maryland Transportation code prohibits driving or attempting to drive while “under the influence of alcohol.” Law enforcement officials may determine that a driver is under the influence of alcohol either through a chemical test showing a certain blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or by the results of a field sobriety test.
If a driver has a BAC of .08 percent, that driver is considered DUI per se regardless of whether the driver shows any signs of impairment. For commercial drivers, the limit is .04 percent, and for drivers under the legal drinking age of 21, a BAC of .02 percent is sufficient to constitute a violation.
The lesser offense of driving while impaired (DWI) could be charged if a driver’s BAC is .07 and there is other evidence of impairment. This statute also prohibits driving while impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. Field sobriety tests may not always be accurate. A DUI lawyer in Catonsville could check the validity of any test a person was given to see if it was conducted properly.
Consequences of Refusing to Take a Chemical Test
Drivers on the road in Catonsville are considered to have given their implied consent to take a chemical test if they are suspected of driving under the influence or while impaired by alcohol or drugs. If they are stopped for a potential DUI or DWI and refuse to take a test, they could be subject to certain penalties.
For a first offense, the penalty often includes suspension of a driver’s license for six months. This may increase to one year if a driver refuses to take a chemical test on a subsequent stop.
Factors That May Increase Penalties
Certain factors could increase the penalties that may be assessed for DUI and DWI offenses. As with most crimes and civil infractions, subsequent offenses could subject the individual charged to higher potential penalties.
If a driver is convicted of a DUI or DWI offense while a minor is a passenger in the vehicle, penalties could also increase. The offense may also be penalized more severely if a driver operating under the influence is involved in an accident resulting in serious injuries.
A Catonsville DUI lawyer may be able to help a defendant fight any DUI or DWI penalties they may be facing in.
Penalties a Marylander May Face
For a first time DUI offender, Section 21-902 of the Transportation Code states the criminal penalties may include up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. The maximum penalties could double for a second offense and triple for a third or subsequent offense. To determine whether a driver has a prior offense, the lookback period is five years.
For those convicted of driving while impaired, the maximum penalties for a first-time offense may include up to two months of imprisonment and a fine as high as $500. Those convicted of DUI or DWI offense may likely have their licenses suspended or revoked. A seasoned attorney could help a person avoid such harsh penalties.
Getting Help From a Catonsville DUI Attorney
There are defense strategies that may be successfully employed to reduce the severity of charges or even bring about a dismissal of charges, depending on the circumstances of your case. It could be important to avoid taking actions that may compromise your situation or compound the potential penalties.
An experienced Catonsville DUI lawyer may know how difficult it could to lose your license and may be able to work with you to reach the best outcome. Call now for a free consultation to learn what may be possible in your case.