Maryland DUI and DWI: A Brief Overview.
Introduction to DUI and DWI in Maryland:
DUI and DWI charges are subject to the same strict constitutional requirements and right as any other serious criminal case. These charges carry severe possibilities for punishment. Therefore, it is important that you obtain qualified and competent legal representation. If you cannot afford a private lawyer, contact the public defender’s office at once as you may be entitled to free legal representation. Don’t ever wait until the court date to see your lawyer. In order for a defendant to be convicted of DUI or DWI, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt as to each and every element of the crime charged. Before even getting to the substance of the crime charged, there may be challenges that can be made to the reason why you were even stopped, searched and/or arrested to begin with. We can also challenge the validity of the Field tests and/or the intoximeter results. That is where we will start in our analysis of your case to ensure that we have exhausted all defenses and avenues of challenging the State’s case and putting the State to its Constitutional proof.
Where the Fight is Fought:
Maryland DUI or DWI arrests must be legally dealt with in two separate arenas.
First, the MVA process (if you are a Maryland License holder). You only have 10 days from the date of arrest to request an MVA hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings, located in Hunt Valley, Maryland. (you must include a check for $125 with your Hearing Request). If you are arrested for drunk driving or DUI and you do not request the hearing on time, you license will be automatically suspended.
Second is the Court Process, where there are severe consequences possible for anyone charged with drunk driving, DUI or DWI in Maryland.
The call and initial consultations with us are always FREE. Maryland drinking and driving arrests are most commonly known as DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while impaired). The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level violating Maryland's DUI or DWI laws were lowered a few years ago; it is now much easier to be convicted of drunk driving in Maryland. A blood alcohol level of .08 or higher will result in a DUI arrest; a blood alcohol level of .07 will result in an arrest for DWI. A knowing refusal to take the breath test can now be admitted into evidence at a DUI trial as consciousness of guilt. Maryland DUI is prosecuted under two different theories: that the defendant is under the influence of alcohol, which is where the driver's normal coordination has been substantially impaired as a result of the consumption of alcohol, or by violating Maryland's "per se" law of driving with .08% or more BAC (blood alcohol level), regardless of driving ability or impairment.
Maryland DUI (driving under the influence) consequences include a minimum driver's license suspension of 45 days, and punishment of up to $1,000.00 and one year in jail for a first offense DUI, and $2,000.00 and two years in jail for a second offense DUI. A Maryland DUI conviction will result in 12 points on the Maryland Driver's License record.
Maryland DWI (driving while impaired) , while a lesser offense to a Maryland DUI (driving under the influence) still has very harsh consequences, including a driver's license suspension of up to 60 days, 8 points on the Maryland Driver's License record, up to $500 and two months in jail for a first offense, and up to $500.00 and one year in jail for a second offense. A refusal to take the breath test in Maryland may result in a 120-day driver's license suspension, plus the refusal may be admissible in court against those accused of violating Maryland DUI or DWI laws.DUI and DWI arrests of persons from other states will still require a Maryland MVA Hearing to protect their driving privileges. Maryland is a member of the Interstate Driver's License Compact, which shares information about DUI convictions and driver's license actions with other member states. There are 45 states that belong to this compact.
Maryland DUI or DWI punishment in court for a second or third drunk driving conviction is much harsher than for a first offense: it involves mandatory jail terms, a lengthier alcohol education program, the possibility of a required ignition interlock device, and more. Call me any time to speak to me about what we can do to make this process shorter, easier and minimize the damage. I am experienced and the cost of hiring me are well worth the damage and problems you may avoid. We charge $1,500, for a first time offense for all legal services in the District Court of Maryland (this fee also fully includes the MVA process). Call me a.s.a.p. at (301) 738-7500. If this is an emergency, you may call me on my cell phone at (240) 401-2062.