Maryland DUI Lawyer
Being arrested for DUI in Maryland is one example of how the consequences of a simple mistake can linger for years or even haunt you for a lifetime. However, with quality defense from a highly skilled Maryland DUI lawyer, you can minimize the impact of a DUI conviction or even have the charge dismissed completely.
DUI Charges in Maryland
If you are arrested and charged with a drunk driving charge, especially if under the age of 21, the first step in building your defense should be to contact a Maryland DUI lawyer with the experience and resources to proficiently handle your case. Your lawyer will examine your case from all angles to find the best option for presenting your case in court. Whether disputing blood alcohol test analysis, challenging illegal police procedures, negotiating a reduced charge, or suggesting sentencing options such as probation and treatment, one of the attorneys with our firm will diligently represent your case to provide the best possible outcome. This is particularly important if you are facing DUI and drug charges at the same time.
DUI Tests & Penalties
Contact a Maryland DUI Lawyer
If you are arrested for DUI, it is imperative that you act quickly to protect your rights and privileges. If you refused a breathalyzer or blew above a .08, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended on the forty-sixth day after your arrest. You only have ten (10) days to request a hearing with the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to attempt to alter that suspension. Failure to request a hearing within this limited time frame may result in the loss of your driving privileges for a significant amount of time. We can assist in submitting the request to the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings and can represent you at your hearing.
Drunk driving is punished harshly by the state (including in Garrett County, Rockville, and Ellicott City), even as a first offense. A first DUI offense in Maryland can lead to:
- Up to one year in jail
- Fine of up to $1,000
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- Possible imposition of 12 points on your driving record
Your DUI defense begins with your own actions. If you are pulled over and police suspect you may have been drinking, you will likely be asked to perform field sobriety tests or complete a roadside breath test. Most people do not understand that these tests are voluntary. You do not have to submit to field sobriety testing, but your refusal to take a test will most likely result in your arrest. While this seems like a harsh option to choose, remember that the field sobriety tests are designed to give the police and the State evidence that you are in fact impaired. If you refuse to participate in the tests, you reduce the amount of evidence they have to use against you at trial.
Fortunately, a Maryland DUI lawyer may be able to get your charges dismissed, or in the alternative, negotiate Probation before Judgment (PBJ) for DWI. Probation Before Judgement strikes the finding of guilt and will prevent the points from being assessed to the defendant’s driver’s license. This will not only protect your driving privileges, but also your insurance rates.
Although disorderly conduct is not technically part of driving while impaired, it is a serious misdemeanor offense that often stems from activities involving alcohol consumption.
More information about disorderly conduct charges in Maryland.
Maryland DWI Charges
When it comes to charges of drinking and driving, most people think of DUI, or driving under the influence. In the state of Maryland, however, there are additional alcohol-related charges one may face if he or she chooses to drive after drinking. In fact, one can be charged with DWI, or driving while impaired, even if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) falls below .08, the legal limit for intoxication in drunk driving cases. Though DWI is considered a less serious offense than drunk driving, consequences are still severe. You may also face serious penalties if convicted of Boating Under the Influence (BUI) in Maryland.
Prosecutors will not take your DWI charge lightly, and neither should you. If you are arrested and suspected of driving while impaired, call a qualified DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Your Maryland DUI attorney can advise you about your rights and options and help you avoid making costly mistakes that could jeopardize your case.
Maryland DWI Penalties
DWI is punished harshly, even as a first offense. Though penalties are less severe than those associated with a DUI conviction, they nevertheless have a significant impact.
First offense DWI can result in:
- Up to 2 months in jail
- Fine of up to $500
- Suspension of your driver’s license
- Possible imposition of 8 points on your driving record
If you are transporting a minor at the time of your DWI arrest, you jail time could increase to 6 months and your fine doubled to $1000. Fortunately, a skilled Maryland DWI attorney may be able to negotiate Probation before Judgment (PBJ) for DWI. Probation Before Judgement strikes the finding of guilt and will prevent the points from being assessed to the defendant’s driver’s license. This will not only protect your driving privileges, but also your insurance rates.
DWI Defense in Maryland
After a DWI arrest, if you refused the field sobriety tests or you blew above a .08, your driving privileges will be automatically suspended on the forty-sixth day after your arrest. You have ten days to request a hearing at the MVA to attempt to have your driving privileges reinstated. For this reason, it is critical that you contact a Maryland DUI lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights, restore your privileges, and defend you against your DWI charge.
The penalties for DUI and DWI in Maryland for a first offense are serious. However, repeat offenders will be facing enhanced penalties under the law, and as such, retaining experienced legal counsel is invaluable if you are charged with either a second or third DUI or DWI. The enhanced penalties are both criminal and administrative. For a Maryland second DUI charge and third DUI charge, there are increased fines and terms of imprisonment. Furthermore, a person’s ability to drive will be significantly hindered due to either revocation or suspension of one’s license.
Ignition Interlock Devices
Ignition interlock devices function much like a breathalyzer, but are affixed to the ignition system of the driver’s vehicle. Thus, in order for a person to be able to drive with an ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle, he or she must pass a breath test. If any alcohol is detected on the breath of the person, the car will not start. Moreover, these devices also require the driver to submit to random testing, to ensure that the driver has not circumvented the prohibition against drinking and driving. More information regarding these particular systems can be found on our Ignition Interlock page.
If an individual’s blood alcohol content is 0.15 or higher and convicted as a first time offender, that person will face a 180-day license suspension without the chance of conditional driving situations, and an ignition interlock device will be installed. If a person refuses a breathalyzer test during a stop, the penalties increase automatically. Their license will be suspended for 270 days, there are no modifications, and/or you have an ignition interlock installed. Under the new law, the penalties are harsher.
DUI Security Clearance Violations
Maryland DUI charges can have a profound and lasting effect on your life. A conviction can be even worse, burdening you for years to come in both personal and professional arenas. Even though your legal issues may be resolved, when you start to look for a job, your past can make things difficult for you.
Having the past affect your present is especially true in professions that ask for security clearance. In fact, certain employers including those offering government jobs may discard you from the pool of applicants because of a charge or conviction. But retaining an experienced DUI lawyer in Maryland may help avoid this issue, and help you reach your career goals unimpeded by a blemish on your record.
You may wonder what steps you can take to prevent issues surrounding charges and security clearance. The truth is, you need to talk to a local DUI attorney about those steps. Each case is different, so you won’t know what to do until you receive legal advice. Make sure that the attorney you choose knows this area of the law well, in order to make your road to success as smooth as it can be.
Unfortunately, even with a DUI lawyer at your side, driving under the influence issues can affect more than your potential security clearance; they can mean the revocation of any current clearances that you have as well. It depends upon your employers, but it’s possible for a drunk driving charge or conviction to mean a demotion. It can even mean job loss. If you’re facing situations like these, getting someone to work with the prosecutor may spare you a conviction, and help you avoid professional consequences.
Numerous variables come into play when a drunk driving case and security clearance are involved. Often, an employer’s policies are the most telling, and such policies can vary from government agency to government agency. They can also vary from employer to employer, and even from position to position within the same department. When it comes to Maryland DUI charges, it helps to have a legal advocate to handle the case. This can help you make sense of the variables involved.
Seth Okin and his staff have handled security clearance and driving under the influence cases before. They understand what you face, and what your options are. Call their office today to talk about those options, and have knowledgeable representatives answer your questions in a free initial consultation.
Maryland MVA Hearing
In addition to criminal penalties associated with a DUI, a person is subject to administrative penalties – namely the inability to drive for a designated period. However, it is important to understand that if you are charged with DUI you are not automatically prohibited from driving. Under the law, you can challenge the suspension of your driving privileges at a MVA hearing. This hearing is held before an administrative law judge, and it is advised that you retain legal counsel. Please visit the Maryland MVA Hearings page for an overview of the MVA hearing process, and the specific details pertaining to driving privileges and DUIs.
An experienced attorney will be aware of the intricacies of the administrative hearing process, and the arguments that will prevail in front of a judge. Maryland DUI lawyer Seth Okin has handled numerous cases, and can advocate on your behalf to protect your ability to drive. Do not hesitate to contact Seth Okin if you have been charged with a DUI and are looking for legal assistance regarding the administrative penalties.
Felony DUI Offense
Maryland does not recognize a DUI as a felony. It does not matter how many a person gets. In plenty of other states, a third or a fourth offense becomes a felony.
However, they have strict laws throughout the state of Maryland. Several counties have task forces and spider teams that are designed for DUI enforcement or at least their goal is to do DUI enforcement.
These charges are taken very seriously. They are prosecuted heavily. They are always warning the greater public that this is a serious matter and that they are investigating at all times and that they will prosecute them. A person can know that by simply just looking at the highways as they drive and a number of signs that they see up that are related to Maryland DUIs. They have warned a person well ahead of time if they are going to do the strict enforcement from it. They even have the commercials now, which is the Do Not Drive Buzzed Campaign that is also of great importance.