DUI Rights in Maryland – Maryland DUI Help
The state or Maryland takes drinking and driving very seriously – currently, deaths because of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) account for more than 30 percent of all traffic deaths. Although this is an improvement over the past few years, state officials have still strengthened DUI laws in order to keep individuals safe on the road. In 2014, Maryland widened the scope of the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirements to include any individuals having custody of children under the age of 18.
In addition to a harsher IID requirement, Maryland also implements high monetary fines, long license suspensions, and lengthy jail sentences for those convicted of DUI. It is also important to note that, in Maryland, a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) reading of 0.04 percent is enough to have an individual charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), which carries similar consequences. With all of these punishments on the line, it is important to begin fighting your DUI charges as soon as possible.
Fight Your Charges by Knowing Your Rights
One of the first steps in fighting impending DUI charges is hiring a knowledgeable attorney. This legal professional should be experienced trying DUI and DWI cases as well as being knowledgeable in the DUI laws for Maryland. The attorney will take the time to review your case with you and let you know what options you have when it comes to taking the case to court. Maryland does allow plea bargaining for wet reckless instead of DUI so, if you are comfortable pleading guilty, it may be an option.
If you are interested in having the case dismissed completely, your attorney will need to be able to build a defense against the evidence the prosecutor will be presenting against you in court. First, the attorney will want to establish if any of your rights were violated during the DUI arrest. In order to do this, he or she will review the finer details of the arrest with you and ask some of the following questions:
- Was their probable cause to make the traffic stop?
- Was the car in operation when the stop was made?
- Were proper field sobriety tests given during the traffic stop?
- Did any weather conditions affect the results of the field sobriety testing?
- Was the Breathalyzer test administered? When was it administered?
- Were you read your Miranda Rights?
Protect your rights and learn how to get your Maryland DUI charges dismissed. Get Started Now by filling out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form to get the answers you need.
No matter how guilty you may think you were at the time of the arrest, we want you to know one important thing: There is ALWAYS an aggressive and effective defense that will help you fight for the best possible outcome. In our experience, many officers do not follow proper field sobriety test procedures. In fact, challenging probable cause and the way field sobriety tests, blood tests and breath tests were administered is often a successful strategy to reduce or drop the charges. Also, many people plead guilty prematurely based on a breath test with a result above the legal limit. This is a common and costly mistake, as there are a variety of ways in having the breath test suppressed as we will show you how to do.
If you rely solely on a public defender to help you, your chances will be limited in preserving financial security and effectively winning your case. We will help you protect yourself against an unfair court system and not risk losing your license or financial security. With our help, we will show you the easy to understand steps needed to get your Maryland DUI charges dismissed effectively and take back the control of your situation by being equipped with the real information and DUI counsel you need to win your case.
DUI Laws in Maryland
In Maryland, a DUI is also known as a DWI, or driving while intoxicated. Maryland is aggressive with its penalties and fines in DUI cases, especially where jail terms are considered. The state actually offers two different levels of penalties and fines based on the blood alcohol content on the driver at the time of the arrest.
Consequences for Refusing to Take Chemical Tests
Anyone refusing to take chemical tests in Maryland after a DUI arrest will face an automatic license suspension:
- First offense – 120-day suspension
- Second offense – one-year suspension
- Third offense – one-year suspension
Challenging BAC Levels in Court
Maryland follows general guidelines for DUI BAC levels, but also has an additional category for drivers over the age of 21:
- Drivers that are 21 years or older, .08 percent considered DUI, .04-.08 percent considered DWI
- Drivers under the age of 21, .02 percent
- Commercial drivers, .04 percent
Is There Mandatory Jail Time Required for a DUI in Maryland?
There is mandatory jail time in Maryland for anyone arrested and convicted of DUI or DWI. The sentences for each are listed below:
- First time offenders – up to one year for DUI or two months for DWI
- Second time offenders – up to two years for DUI or one year for DWI
- Third time offenders – up to three years for all violations
In terms of sentencing, Maryland does not offers a five-year lookback period for sentencing.
Monetary Fines and Penalties for DUI in Maryland
Fines are about average in Maryland when compared to the rest of the country:
- First offense – up to $1,000 for DUI or up to $500 for DWI
- Second offense – up to $2,000 for DUI or up to $500 for DWI
- Third offense – up to $3,000 for all violations
License Suspension for DUI in Maryland
Maryland does have mandatory suspensions in place and the length of the sentence is the same regardless of whether you are convicted of DUI or DWI:
- First offense – minimum of six months suspension
- Second offense – one year license suspension
- Third offense – 18-month license suspension
IID installation is not mandatory for first time convictions, but all repeat offenders are required to have an ignition interlock device placed on their vehicle.
Reasons to Hire a Maryland DUI Attorney
Defendants with little or no savings may shudder at the thought of paying for a lawyer. They may not have to because public defenders might be appointed by the courts. Though this might seem like a blessing, it is usually worth scraping together the money to retain private DUI lawyers. Public defenders are not experts in DUI laws and may do almost anything to avoid entering a courtroom.
DUI attorneys practicing in Maryland understand every aspect of state DUI laws. They deal with these regulations daily while defending drivers charged with DUI. These lawyers also understand how the Maryland court systems operate and they know the judges, making it easier for them to take a case to trial and negotiate the best outcome.
It is easy for an experienced DUI lawyer to identify errors made during a DUI arrest or subsequent chemical testing to measure BAC. This evidence becomes the foundation of the defense argument, illustrating that the defendant may not have been guilty. All it takes for a judge to reduce charges or throw out the case is some degree of reasonable doubt. Once that seed is planted, the defendant may no longer need to worry about jail time or even a blemish on the criminal record.
Finding a DUI Attorney in Maryland
Individuals charged with DUI in Maryland have more important things to do than search high and low for the best DUI attorneys. At DUIRights.com, we have a network of DUI lawyers practicing in Maryland and are happy to take new cases. Visitors to our website simply complete a short request form and we match them with Maryland DUI lawyers who provide free arrest evaluations.
Information discussed during this consultation is valuable and helps a DUI offender decide how to plead during trial. Defense services are available at a reasonable charge should the individual wish to utilize them. Legal representation is recommended when going to trial for DUI because a good lawyer could mean the difference between conviction and walking out of court with a clean record.
With varying degrees of penalties and fines, there is less wiggle room in Maryland than in other states in the country. However, just as you can in some other states, you may be able to plead the case down to lesser charges if it is your first arrest. To do this, you will need the help of a local, skilled attorney in Maryland. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI in Maryland, you can submit your case for a free evaluation and find a licensed, local attorney.