Charles County DUI Lawyer

A DUI conviction could cause more problems for you than many other criminal convictions. Not only do you face potential imprisonment and heavy fines, but also the loss of driving privileges and a big increase in insurance rates. If aggravating factors are present, the penalties may be even more serious.

It is wise to take proactive measures if you are facing DUI charges. A Charles County DUI lawyer could help protect your rights and your driving privileges if you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An experienced criminal defense lawyer may be able to use many different strategies to reach a positive outcome in your case, but to take advantages of all available opportunities, it is best to start as soon as possible.

Aggravating Factors in DUI Cases

Certain circumstances could lead to increased penalties for those convicted of a DUI offense. If a driver has a prior conviction for any impaired driving, even a less serious offense, within the past five years, then the penalties could double. Additional prior convictions could increase maximum penalties still further, including the loss of a commercial drivers license (CDL) and the real possibility of jail time. Thankfully, a Charles County DUI attorney could always argue for alternatives whenever possible.

Also, if there is a minor is in the vehicle at the time it is stopped for suspected DUI or DWI violations, then penalties are twice as high for a first-time offense. For a subsequent conviction of DWI or DUI with a minor in the car, the potential fines and jail time increase even more.

Finally, a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) could also increase penalties, especially with respect to license suspension. A BAC level of .15 percent or higher is considered high.

Definitions of DUI and DWI

In Charles County, drivers may be charged with different types of offenses under Md. Code, Trans. Law §21-902. These include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol per se
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol
  • Driving while impaired by medication or a combination of medication and alcohol so that the person cannot drive a vehicle safely
  • Driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance

A driver is under the influence of alcohol per se when the driver’s BAC is .08 percent or higher. Substantially lower limits apply for commercial drivers and drivers under the age of 21. A lower BAC could also lead to a conviction for the lesser offense of driving while impaired. Police may use evidence of impaired coordination to prove that someone is guilty of driving while impaired or under the influence.

A Charles County DUI attorney could fight the charges in a number of ways. For instance, it may be possible to challenge the calibration of equipment used to measure BAC or the tests used to judge impairment.

Penalties for DUI and DWI Offenses

If no minors are in the vehicle and a driver has no prior convictions, a DUI conviction may be punished by up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000. Criminal penalties for driving while impaired include up to two months of imprisonment and a fine of up to $500.

In addition, convicted drivers have 12 points assessed on their driving records for a DUI and eight points for DWI. For either offense, a license may be suspended for up to six months (or up to a year if the driver is under age 21). A DUI attorney serving Charles County could work to keep penalties to a minimum and conserve driving privileges.

Work with an Experienced Charles County DUI Attorney Today

Refusing to take a chemical sobriety test carries additional penalties, so it is wise to keep mindful of all relevant circumstances related to a case. Although it may not seem like it at times, drivers suspected of DUI offenses do have rights, but those who do not know how to enforce their rights may unintentionally forfeit them.

Assistance from a Charles County DUI lawyer could protect your rights and your driving record. When you work with an experienced defense attorney, you gain a legal advocate who could speak on your behalf and fight to protect your interests at every stage. For a private consultation, call now.