Montgomery County Criminal Lawyer
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the most common criminal charges in Maryland. Although DUI is common, seldom is anyone prepared for these serious charges and the possible consequences of conviction. A Maryland criminal lawyer can provide effective DUI defense to help you avoid the criminal, administrative, and collateral consequences of a DUI conviction.
If you are pulled over in a traffic stop, you are under no obligation to tell law enforcement whether or not you have been drinking or how much you have had to drink. It is at this point in the process when you should call a defense attorney as soon as possible for legal counsel.
Why Hire an Attorney?
Just because a person is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol does not mean that he or she is actually guilty of DUI. In recent years, there have been several cases of DUI charges and convictions being thrown out after the discovery that improperly calibrated breathalyzer machines were used to measure blood alcohol of drivers suspected of DUI.
Furthermore, numerous scientific studies have questioned the accuracy of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) standardized field sobriety tests.
A MoCo DUI lawyer can also challenge the legality of the traffic stop that led to a DUI arrest. Law enforcement must have probable cause to pull you over. This can be as obvious as erratic driving or as subtle as a minor traffic violation, but there must be cause to pull you over.
- Reckless Driving
Maryland DUI Laws
Maryland Code § 21-902 forbids driving when a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol or impaired by these substances. Specifically prohibited acts include the following:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI)
- Driving under the influence of alcohol per se (DUI per se)
- Driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI)
- Driving while so far impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol that a person cannot safely operate a vehicle
- Driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance (DUI-drug)
DUI per se means that a person is considered to be under the influence of alcohol with a BAC of 0.08 or greater, regardless of whether or not that person demonstrates obvious signs of impairment.
DUI Penalties in Maryland
As a first offense, Maryland DUI is punishable by a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Penalties increase for aggravating factors, such as transporting a minor or repeat DUI offenses.
Seldom will the courts hand down a maximum sentence for DUI, but it is important to hire a MoCo DUI attorney to handle your case. Your lawyer may be able to get the charge dismissed, or he or she can negotiate favorable sentencing, such as Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) that allows you to avoid jail and criminal conviction.
Consulting a DUI Lawyer in Montgomery County
If you have been arrested for DUI in Montgomery County, do not hesitate to find a DUI attorney who can represent you before the Montgomery County Circuit Court and in Maryland MVA hearings regarding the status of your driver’s license.
We have successfully helped countless people just like you, and we are willing to go the extra mile to fight for you. Call today to speak with someone who can help.