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Maryland First Time DUI Charges

If you or a loved one have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the process of fighting the accusation in court, preserving your clean driving record, and avoiding potential license suspension, fines and jail time can be daunting, especially for those who have never dealt with a DUI charge before. Your Maryland first DUI lawyer can help put your mind at ease by guiding you through the complicated legal process and fighting the charges against you.

While a person facing a DUI charge for the first time does not have to worry about the enhanced penalties that accompany a subsequent DUI or DWI offense, a first DUI needs to be taken just as seriously. Without an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer by your side, fighting an unfair DUI charge – even when you have a clean driving record and no prior arrests – can be an uphill battle.

First DUI Charges in Maryland

Under Maryland Code 21-902, a driver will automatically face a DUI charge if his or her blood alcohol content registers at 0.08 or above, though a BAC as low as 0.05 could warrant a Driving While Impaired (DWI) charge at the discretion of the arresting officer.  Just because your alleged BAC level landed you with a DUI charge, however, does not mean you will automatically be convicted of a DUI. Our Maryland first DUI lawyers have extensive experience fighting on behalf of drivers facing first-time DUIs and can work to clear your name and keep your clean record intact.

First DUI Penalties in Maryland

A first-time DUI in Maryland carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and $1000 in fines. If a minor was in the vehicle at the time, a first-time DUI could result in a doubled penalty of two years in jail and $2000 in fines. In addition, a driver convicted of a first-time DUI faces losing his or her driving privileges for 180 to 270 days, per the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration rules.

Because the penalties for even a first DUI are serious, it is important to work with a Maryland first DUI attorney can put forth a strong defense, negotiate with prosecutors, and pursue reduced or dismissed charges. Your Maryland first DUI lawyer can also examine the evidence against you and the circumstances surrounding your arrest in order to determine whether police followed proper procedures and conducted field sobriety and BAC testing correctly.

Avoiding Mistakes

Talking too much, saying anything, taking a field sobriety test, and even taking a breath test. The less evidence a person gives an officer, the better. People get chatty after they have had a drink and officers know that. That is why they talk to the person. That is why they give the person the field-testing.  That is why they ask the person some questions. People will be honest when they are pulled over by an officer because they are nervous. Certainly, there is a lot of fear that can work into that and that is certainly something that a person will want to be careful with. Talking too much just leads to bad things. A person should say little if anything at all besides, “Here is my license. Here is my registration, a copy of my insurance,” but a person should say nothing else and do nothing else.

Build a Defence

By addressing everything the same way that an officer is trained. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has a book and it teaches every way of what a DUI should and should not include: reasons to stop vehicles. For years, everyone wanted to stop people from speeding and relate it to a DUI. That actually did not make their book until 2015 but prior to that, speed was not there. Going under the speed limit was but not over. They did not feel that it was a necessary sign.

Now, an overwhelming number of DUIs start that way but it is an important thing to know what is in that manual. All the officers are trained the same way. It is the national standard. That is what all the states have adopted and it is not a secret. An attorney that does DUI work should be well versed in the booklet, well versed in the training, well versed in field sobriety. Every bit and piece are going to be systematic and you need to know, as an attorney, exactly what you can pull off and show to be something that is questionable or inconsistent.

Work with a Maryland First DUI Attorney

First DUIs can carry harsh penalties and create a criminal record, which can negatively impact a person’s career and educational opportunities, financial aid, security clearances or military standing. With Maryland’s proximity to our nation’s capital, defense contract employers and numerous military facilities, many drivers facing first-time DUIs are particularly concerned about how such a charge might impact their professional standing.

If you have been wrongly accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, our firm’s experienced Maryland first DUI lawyers understand how important it is for you to clear your name.