Are you facing DUI charges or DWI charges anywhere in Maryland? If so, according to Maryland DUI laws, you are looking at very serious penalties such as loss of drivers’ license, loss of child custody, heavy fines and possible jail time. Our Maryland DUI lawyers handle misdemeanor, felony, DUI, DWI and juvenile cases throughout Annapolis, Baltimore, Ellicott City, Frederick, Glen Burnie, Salisbury, Silver Spring, Upper Marlboro and Wheaton, Maryland. Our team of Maryland DWI defense lawyers includes former prosecutors as well as former career police officers. Together with our private detectives and forensic experts, we work as a team, drawing on more than half a century of law enforcement experience. We know firsthand how cops and district attorneys put together cases. We used to be in their shoes. We have the playbook. Now we use this insider knowledge to your advantage in fighting your pending DUI and or DWI charges.
Contact Our Maryland DUI Lawyers
Please feel free to email our Maryland DUI lawyers and Maryland DWI attorneys. Maryland is one of the few states to have different laws based on BAC level. Our MD DWI attorneys have been handling all types of Maryland impaired driving cases. They offer free consults and serve all of MD: Annapolis, Aberdeen, Baltimore, Bel Air, Bethesda, College Park, Columbia, Denton, Easton, Elkton, Frederick, Upper Marlboro, Landover, Hyattsville, Chevy Chase, Olney, Towson, Silver Spring, Wheaton, Oakland, Salisbury and Ocean City.
Maryland DUI Laws & Maryland DWI Laws
If you are stopped by a law enforcement official and he or she thinks you are under the influence, they may request that you to submit to a field sobriety test or portable breath test. If you are arrested for impaired driving, the officer will advise you of your rights and provide you with an Advice of Rights form (DR-15) before requesting that you submit to a chemical blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test.
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol present in a 100 milliliter (mL) volume of blood. For example 80 mg is 0.08 grams, 0.08 grams of alcohol in 100 mLs is written as 0.08%. In other words, 80 mg% is equal to 0.08% which is equal to 80 mg/dL (deciliter; 100 mLs). This value can also be described as 0.08 BAC.
If you test above the legal limit for alcohol (0.08 BAC), or refuse an officer’s request to submit to a chemical test for alcohol or drug use, you will be issued an Order of Suspension (form #DR-015A) along with your traffic citation(s).
The police officer will confiscate your Maryland driver’s license and may issue you a 45-day temporary paper license.
If you were operating a commercial vehicle or are a commercial driver license holder at the time of your stop, you are also subject to the disqualification of your commercial driving status.
Violations Of License Restriction
An alcohol restriction on your license prohibits you from operating a vehicle with any level of alcohol in your blood. If you are under the age of 21, your license automatically carries “Under 21 Alcohol Restriction.” If you have a prior impaired driving offense, your license may carry an alcohol restriction on it that was placed there by the Administration or the Courts. An alcohol restriction on your license also mandates that you submit to a chemical test when an officer suspects that you may be driving under the influence. If you refuse the test, or test positive for any level of alcohol, then you will be subject to additional sanctions.
Maryland DUI Penalties
If you are convicted of an impaired driving offense, you face both criminal penalties and license sanctions.
If you are convicted of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI):
- For a first offense, you face up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail. Twelve (12) points will be assessed on your driving record and your license may be revoked for up to six (6) months.
- For a second offense, you face a $2,000 fine and up to two years imprisonment (with a mandatory minimum of five days). Twelve (12) points will be assessed on your license and your license may be revoked for up to one year.
- For two convictions within five years, a mandatory period of suspension will be followed by a minimum required period of participation in the Ignition Interlock Program.
- You may be required to participate in an alcohol abuse assessment and program.
Maryland DWI Conviction Penalties
- For a first offense, you face up to a $500 fine and up to two months imprisonment. Eight (8) points will be assessed on your driving record, and you face a 6-month license suspension. If this conviction is the result of a driver under 21, you will face a 1-year suspension.
- For a second DWI offense, you face up to a $500 fine and up to one year imprisonment. Eight (8) points will be assessed on your driving record, and you face a license suspension of 9 to 12 months. If this conviction is the result of a driver under 21, you will face a 2-year suspension.
The penalties are substantially higher if you are transporting a minor at the time of the offense or for a third offense.
Maryland Juvenile DUI Laws
If you are under the age of 21 and found to have purchased, possessed or consumed alcohol, you face a fine of $500 for your first offense and $1,000 for your second or subsequent offense.
Anyone under 21 who violates their alcohol restriction must automatically participate in the ignition interlock program or face suspension. If assignment to interlock is for a second alcohol violation in 5 years, the duration of participation in the ignition interlock program is determined by how many times they have been assigned to interlock due to one of these violations.
If you are under 21 and in possession of a fake ID, you face a fine of up to $500 and up to 2 months in prison. Twelve (12) points will be assessed on your driving record, and your driver’s license may be suspended or revoked.
If you are caught selling fake IDs, you face fines of up to $2000 and up to two years in prisonfor each fake ID sold. You are also subject to prosecution for violating federal and homeland security laws
If you are over 21 and knowingly furnish alcohol to a minor, you face a fine of up to $2500 for the first violation and a fine of up to $5000 for a second or subsequent violation.
Maryland MVA Point System
You will be required to go to Court for the citation(s) that were issued for an impaired driving offense. If you are found guilty of the violation, a record of the conviction will be posted to your driving record and points will be assessed.
Once the points have been assessed, if you have accumulated between 8 and 11 points within a two year period, your driver’s license will be suspended. For an accumulation of 12 or more points, your license will be revoked. You may request a hearing or, in some cases, be eligible to opt into the Ignition Interlock Program.
Maryland Repeat DUI & DWI Offense Laws
If you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and you have had a prior driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled dangerous substance violation within five years of the date of the violation, your license will be suspended for one year followed by participation in the Ignition Interlock Program for one year. You may, if eligible opt into the Program for one year in lieu of your suspension.
Maryland Ignition Interlock Device Program
Ignition Interlock is a device that is installed in vehicles that prevents drivers from operating the vehicle while impaired by alcohol. The driver must blow into the device and if his or her breath alcohol level exceeds the accepted level set on the device, the vehicle will not start. When installed, interlocks are associated with about a 70% reduction in arrest rates for impaired driving.
The 2011 Drunk Driving Reduction Act, implemented on October 1, 2011 expanded Maryland’s Ignition Interlock program by requiring more drivers to participate. Participants in this program must have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in their vehicle, obtain an ignition interlock-restricted license and must successfully complete their assigned period of participation before they may regain full licensure.
Maryland Implied Consent Laws
Maryland implied consent laws, which are similar to all other states implied consent laws, are meant to punish drivers who operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. If you have received a temporary driver’s license, contact an attorney about scheduling an administrative license hearing with Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration. Read on to learn more about Maryland’s implied consent laws and how my law office can help you.
Under Maryland’s implied consent laws, drivers are required to take a blood, urine, or breath test (includes preliminary) if an officer reasonably believes the driver is driving while intoxicated, or under the influence of alcohol. The officer does not have to arrest the driver in order to request a chemical or breath test. The officer must inform the driver that his/her license may be suspended for up to 120 days if he/she refuses to take a chemical test. In addition, the officer must inform the driver that if he/she fails the test, his/her driver’s license will also be suspended for up to one year. If a driver refuses to take the test, or fails the test, the police officer will confiscate the driver’s license and issue a temporary license that is good for 45 days. The driver should request a hearing with Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration to have his/her driving privileges reinstated.
Civil Administrative Hearing
As mentioned above, the process of suspending a driver’s license occurs when the police officer issues a temporary license as a result of the driver refusing to take a chemical test or failing one. The temporary driver’s license will be valid for 45 days. Upon the 46th day, the MVA may officially suspend or revoke the driver’s license.
If the driver failed the breath test, his/her license will be suspended for 45 days (first-offense). If the driver refused to take the test, his/her license will be suspended for 120 days. A driver can request a hearing immediately following the issuance of the temporary driver’s license. An experienced attorney can represent the driver during the hearing. If the driver request the hearing within 10 days of the temporary license issuance, he/she can have a hearing set within 30 days. The driver’s license will not be suspended prior to the hearing. If a driver requests a hearing after this 10 day period, his/her driver’s license may be suspended prior to the 45 day hearing request limit.
An administrative law judge will oversee the matter and decide whether the driver’s license should be suspended. The driver will have 30 days to appeal the judge’s decision to the Circuit Court.
If you have received a temporary driver’s license, contact an attorney to represent you at your administrative hearing. Hire an experienced attorney to represent you and protect your driving privileges. Do not delay in contacting an attorney when your driver’s license is on the line. Doing so can result in your driver’s license being revoked for a prolonged period of time and points being added to your driving record.
Maryland Probable Couse Laws
If you are pulled over for DUI or DWI in Maryland you may not be sure exactly why you were pulled over. Frequently the reasoning behind being pulled over had nothing to do with the arresting officer thinking you were intoxicated. Sometimes you can be pulled over for erratic or improper driving behavior and then, once the officer approaches you, he or she decides that you may be drunk or intoxicated. Under Maryland law, to legally pull you over, a police officer only has to have reasonable suspicion you have committed a crime or are about to commit a crime. A Maryland DUI Defense Attorney can help you understand the situation and also protect your rights.
Reasons You May Be Pulled Over For DUI
A law enforcement official may pull you over for any number of driving behaviors that may make him or her suspect you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Examples are:
Drifting Into Other Lanes
Driving Below Speed Limit
Driving On Center Lane Marker
Driving On Right Shoulder Marker
Signaling Inconsistently With Driving Actions
Driving With Headlights Off
Inexplicable Slowing Or Stopping
Being Reported By Another Citizen
No matter what driving behavior you exhibited that led to you being pulled over you have rights and they need to be protected. The best way to ensure your rights are protected is to enlist the help of a skilled and experienced DUI defense attorney who is familiar with Maryland DUI laws as well as Maryland Probable Cause Laws.
Determining Probable Cause In Maryland
Merely being pulled over for any of these driving behaviors in Maryland does not necessarily constitute probable cause to arrest for DUI or DWI in Maryland. Once you are pulled over you have no legal obligation to answer any incriminating questions the officer may ask you. Of course, they will be looking for signs of intoxication such as bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, decreased motor skills and an alcohol odor from your car or breath.
An officer needs probable cause to arrest you. However, he only needs reasonable suspicion to believe a crime has been committed or is about to be committed to pull you over. Thus, any infraction of the motor vehicle code gives the police reasonable suspicion but that’s not probable cause to arrest you for a DUI without more. Accordingly this is why you may want to refuse to answer questions or do field sobriety testing. If you are facing DUI or DWI charges anywhere in Maryland, and have concerns regarding probable cause, contact our tenacious Upper Marlboro Maryland DUI lawyers to discuss your case.
Maryland DUI Court Programs
The state of Maryland offers various DUI treatment courts and DWI treatment court programs to those facing DUI & DWI charges in MD. These courts are built upon a unique partnership between the criminal justice system and the drug and alcohol treatment community. A single DUI/DWI treatment court judge, through his or her authority and personal involvement, structures treatment intervention. DUI/DWI treatment courts are dependent upon the creation of a non-adversarial courtroom atmosphere where a single judge and dedicated team of court officers and staff work together toward the common goal of breaking the cycle of alcohol abuse and criminal behavior.
An Aggressive Approach To MD DUI & DWI Cases
Many Wheaton Maryland DUI defense lawyers take a wait-and-see approach. They stall until the first court date, or until they receive the police reports, before investigating and working up your case.
By contrast, our Towson, Maryland DUI lawyers believe there’s no time to waste. The most critical window for DUI and DWI defense work may be the first few days following an arrest, or even prior to formal charges being filed. By getting to work immediately, often we can locate favorable defense evidence and witnesses, and get a “head start” towards defeating the charges.
Make no mistake. Cops concern themselves mainly with aiding the prosecution and building up a case against you. They should not be relied upon to gather favorable evidence that helps exonerate their suspect. They are not on your side.
Some of our Ellicott City Maryland DUI lawyers are former career police officers. But now their job is to find the evidence that will benefit you. We assign them to re-interview and locate witnesses, to canvass neighborhoods, to obtain surveillance tapes, to do background checks on key prosecution witnesses, and to locate evidence to corroborate our client’s version of the events.
Our Towson MD DUI Lawyers Know the Local Courts
Every county and every courthouse has its own way of doing things. The DUI court process in Baltimore County, for example, differs significantly from the process in Anne Arundel County. But even within Worcester County, the procedures at the central courthouse vary considerably from Harford and Frederick County. As each county has a different system and process for handling DUI and DWI cases it is important to retain a local attorney who is familiar with all counties laws.
Our College Park, Maryland DUI lawyers are all very well versed in the working at their own local courthouses. By working day in and day out in the same places, we develop trusting relationships with judges, prosecutors, probation officers and court staff. Moreover, we know how things work in particular courtrooms, and with particular prosecuting agencies. We’ve learned whom to talk to, who has discretion, and the most effective ways to get the job done.
Contact Our Maryland DUI Lawyers
Facing Maryland DUI and Maryland DWI charges can traumatize most people. This is especially true of those who are facing their first run in with the ever. Nothing compounds the stress more than the inability to reach your attorney.
Our Bel Air Maryland DUI lawyers put a premium on the accessibility of our criminal defense lawyers and support staff. We’re here to provide moral and emotional support as well as legal representation. To do this, we observe two policies:
- Every client phone call, email or text is returned the same day; and
- Every client gets the personal cell phone number of his/her attorney and the lawyer’s assistant
Not only does this provide you the assurance of knowing you can reach your lawyer at critical times. It also helps us to do our job more effectively.
We find that close client interaction is pivotal to our work. Our DUI clients are the best resource for understanding what happened and who the key players are in the case. We want to hear from you, and you’ll definitely be hearing from us as together we map out the story and put together the best defense possible.
Early Intervention Before Charges Get Filed
Sometimes it’s possible to stop criminal charges from ever being filed.
Following an arrest or investigating a suspected crime, the police take their evidence to the district attorney. The D.A. evaluates the potential case and decides what criminal charges (if any) to file. Usually, the prosecutor makes this decision based solely on what the police present. But often there’s much more to the story.
Many times our network of Maryland DUI lawyers serving Annapolis, Essex, Bel Air, Rockville and Upper Marlboro can also meet with the D.A. during this same time period. We can present our witness statements, our evidence and our information.
Knowing your side of the story may affect the D.A.’s calculations. When the prosecutors see the whole picture, not just what the cops (or the alleged “victim”) have to say, they may decide to file lesser charges (a misdemeanor rather than a felony, for example) or not to file DUI or DWI charges at all (we call this a “D.A. Reject”).
Legal “Second Opinions”
Do you already have a Maryland DWI defense lawyer? Has your case been pending for awhile. Your attorney advises you on a certain case strategy, such as accepting the D.A.’s offer, or taking the case to trial. Now you face a major life decision. And you’re just not sure what to do.
We can evaluate your case and offer our independent judgment as to your various options and the merits of each. Much like a patient may see another doctor for a “second opinion” before deciding whether to undergo an elective surgery, we can give you a legal second opinion.
In the end, we may concur with your present attorney’s position. Or we may not. Or we may suggest a totally different approach. But our advice to you will be (a) unbiased, (b) independent, (c) looking only to your best interests, and (d) based on a careful analysis of all the facts and law.
Help With Bail And Release
If your loved one is custody for DUI charges, our skilled Ellicott City DUI defense attorneys can often arrange a bail hearing to get bail reduced or to secure your release. We assist inmates in custody at any of the state’s jails, detention centers, juvenile facilities and correctional facilities.
Types Of DUI & DWI Cases We Handle
Many of our Maryland DUI defense attorneys are former DUI prosecutors and law enforcement officers with decades of experience both prosecuting and defending drunk driving cases.
Over their legal careers out Bel Air Maryland DUI lawyers have worked closely with the law enforcement officials and police toxicologists, compiling evidence and presenting cases in court. They use that experience to effectively defend your rights and have your charges dropped or dismissed. If that cannot happen they will do everything necessary to minimize the legal repercussions associated with your case.
We proudly serve those facing DUI and DWI charges of all types including:
Maryland DUI Lawyers
MD DWI defense attorneys
First offense and subsequent offense DUI
Reckless driving alcohol related (aka wet reckless)
Ambien DUI and Lunesta DUI
College student DUI
DUI with minor in vehicle
DUI with property damage
DUI with physical injury
DUI on federal property
CDL holder DUI
These are some of the more common DUI case our Upper Marlboro Maryland DUI lawyers handle. No matter what DUI cases you are facing, or what secondary charges are bundled in, you should seek experienced legal counsel right away.
Contact Our Annapolis Maryland DUI Lawyers
Our Silver Spring Maryland DUI lawyers start every case the same way. We listen. Once retained our Ocean City Maryland DUI lawyers sit down with you (and your witnesses) to hear exactly what happened. The police and the accusers are going to have their story. We’ll be presenting yours. So we want to start by hearing and understanding your side of it. Contact our Glen Burnie Maryland DUI lawyers to schedule a consultation to see if we’re the right Salisbury Maryland criminal defense lawyers for you.
Our College Park, Maryland DUI lawyers have local criminal law offices in Annapolis, Baltimore, Bel AIr, Bethesda, Bowie, College Park, Crownsville, Denton, Elkton, Frederick, Easton, Landover, Salisbury, Havre De Grace, Oakland, Glen Burnie, Hagerstown, Hyattsville, Landover, Laurel, Ocean City, Rockville, Silver Spring, Upper Marlboro and Wheaton.