Garrett County DUI Attorney
Facing charges for driving under the influence (DUI) in Garrett County, MD can feel overwhelming and frightening. Maryland’s DUI consequences are tough and you may be concerned about your future and rights. The legal team with Seth Okin Attorney at Law has handled numerous DUI cases and they understand your worries. Seth Okin Attorney at Law has the experience, skill, and dedication to fight for his clients best interests. Call our offices today to schedule a free consultation with a Garrett County DUI lawyer.
Located in the Allegany Mountains, Garrett County is the most western county of Maryland, rich in farmland and outdoor recreation. To Garrett County’s north is the Mason-Dixon Line and Pennsylvania border making it part of the Pittsburgh Media Market, Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area, and close to urban life. The county government is trying to bring more business and economic growth to the area while maintaining its natural integrity and has established goals for becoming a leader in environmental and social growth and sustainability. As changes to Garrett County take place, the number of visitors may increase and residents’ opportunities may become more varied. The combination of such conditions can, unfortunately, result in Driving Under the Influence charges. If you find yourself facing such offenses, Seth Okin Attorney at Law can assist you.
DUI and DWI charges in Maryland
Maryland’s DUI laws are complicated and require counsel that can interpret them. In Maryland, DUI and driving while impaired (DWI) charges are both misdemeanors, with the DUI charge being the more serious of the two. A DUI offense indicates the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest was 0.08 percent or higher. A slightly lesser charge is DWI, which indicates a driver’s BAC was below 0.08 percent but the driver was still impaired.
A driver’s BAC is not the only factor in determining whether the driver is arrested, charged with, or convicted of a DUI/DWI. Police officers also use field sobriety tests, commonly by administering a battery of three standardized field sobriety tests. The tests are designed to reveal indicators of impairment, which the officers will observe and note. Although the tests can be accurate, they are also difficult for even sober drivers at times. Additionally, mistakes in how the officer administers the test or evaluates a person’s performance can have huge effects on the results and even render the results inadmissible (or unpersuasive).
Seth Okin and his office have experience evaluating the strength of evidence against clients, and carefully examine the details of the charge to determine if a DUI charge is truly accurate. A first time DUI offense may result in up to a one-year driver’s license suspension, up to one year in jail, and up to a $1,000 fine. If minors are in the vehicle or if you have had previous DUI/DWI charges, the severity of the penalties increases.
Loss of Driving Privileges
Provided you have a valid Maryland driver’s license, failure of a sobriety test or refusal to submit to BAC testing under Maryland’s Implied Consent Laws will result in your license suspension for 45 days to one year, depending on the circumstances.
At the time of arrest, or at the station, the police will take your driver’s license and give you a temporary paper license and other information. In Maryland, after an arrest for a DUI there are two separate legal processes: criminal and administrative. The administrative process, handled by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and overseen by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), automatically begins the moment you are charged. If a driver does nothing, his or her driving privileges will be subject to the MVA’s administrative penalties by default. These penalties include a suspension or revocation of driving privileges.
If a driver does not want to lose any driving privileges, the driver must request an MVA hearing within 10 days of being charged for the DUI. The driver has 30 days in total to request an MVA hearing, but after the first 10 days the driver’s privileges are subject to lapse until the hearing is concluded. Seth Okin and the Garrett County DUI lawyers in his office act quickly on behalf of their clients, requesting an MVA hearing and handling both the criminal and the administrative aspects of the case.
Plea bargain and probation before judgment (PBJ)
Plea Bargains and Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) are other options with which one of our attorneys can confidently assist you. This option requires that judges and prosecutors agree the client is a suitable candidate for probation without a hearing, and provided there are no probation violations during its course, the DUI offense will not appear on the client’s driving record. However, if the driver faces such charges again, prosecutors and judges will have access to the defendant’s driving history in its entirety, and all charges can be used against the driver. Speak to a Garrett County DUI attorney to obtain specific and nuanced information of plea bargains, probation before judgment, and how it may apply to your case. In cases such as plea bargains and PBJs, our attorneys’ knowledge of Garrett County court officials can greatly benefit clients who seek our legal counsel.
For additional information on PBJ, or what’s often called “deferred adjudication” outside of Maryland, read this Wikipedia entry.
For a free consultation, call Seth Okin today
We understand you have responsibilities, families, jobs, and goals. We will fight for your rights and walk you through the legal complexities surrounding Driving Under the Influence charges. You have options, and Seth Okin Attorney at Law is very knowledgeable of the alternate routes each client can seek in their particular case. Call today for a free consultation.