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Maryland DUI Lawyer
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In order to be convicted of DUI in Maryland, it must be shown that you were driving or in actual physical control of a moving vehicle. The burden is on the State to show that the officer had a reasonable, articulable suspicion for stopping or approaching the vehicle. If you were stopped at a roadblock, the prosecutor must show that the roadblock was set up in accordance with the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. These issues are somewhat complex. Lawyers who only handle the occasional DUI will not be aware of the latest cases that affect your rights.
The next stop in a DUI case is the officer’s roadside determination that there is probable cause to arrest you for DUI in Maryland. The State must show that it is likely that you were a less safe driver as a result of drinking alcohol. Many cases involve the use of field sobriety tests. These tests can help an officer make up his mind about whether you should be arrested OR bolster his previously formed opinion that you are DUI.
After you are arrested, the officer MUST read at the time of arrest the correct Implied Consent warnings. These warnings must be read in substantial compliance with the statute.
There are three different warnings, and the officer must read the correct warning. This warning gives you the option of either taking a State test (or tests) or refusing the test. The officer chooses the test. The officer also must advise you that you have the right to an independent chemical test of your own choosing. Occasionally an officer will not read the Implied Consent warning at the time of arrest or refuses a request for an independent test. This may be grounds for the exclusion of the State test. You do not have the right to have an attorney present at this point in time.
In most DUI’s the final part of the case is the State administered test or lack of a test. If a test is given, the State must prove that the test was done properly and on a machine that was working properly.
How can we help you?
We can make no promises except one: There is a 100% chance that you will be found guilty if you plead guilty.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you took a test and the result exceeded .08 (all others) or if you refused the test, you must call me - 410 - 486 - 1800 - as soon as possible so that your privilege to drive is not taken away before we ever set foot in the courtroom.
ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION Your driver’s license can be suspended before your criminal case is resolved. It is possible to suffer a suspension of your license and then be found not guilty at trial. There are two ways to have your license suspended before you are convicted of DUI. “Per Se” is the blood alcohol level above which it is illegal to drive even if you are not less safe. The illegal act is simply having that specified amount of alcohol in your body. The level IS 0.08 grams.
Following the arrest and test or refusal, the officer is supposed to submit a sworn report to the Department of Public Safety to initiate an administrative license suspension hearing. This process is separate and distinct from the criminal hearing. The “only” penalty is loss of your privilege to drive; no criminal penalties can be imposed in the administrative license suspension proceeding. The Administrative hearing is conducted by the Office of State Administrative Hearings. If you either refuse to take the test or register a "per se" alcohol level, you have ten business days to request an administrative hearing. If you do not request the hearing with ten business days, the following penalties apply:
REFUSING THE TEST
Your license will be suspended for the same period of time if you request a hearing in a timely manner but lose at the administrative hearing. Note, if you are a commercial trucker, the limited permit is NOT valid for a commercial vehicle.
If you receive an administrative suspension for a “per se” violation, the time should be credited against any suspension that is imposed because you plead guilty or are found guilty.
FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS FOR DUI IN MARYLAND
THE HORIZONTAL GAZE NYSTAGMUS TEST FOR DUI IN MARYLAND
What does all of this mean?
We know when a police officer does not do the tests correctly. Oftentimes, if I am able to catch them, they will look foolish. Most juries can understand that field tests really do not mean all that they are set out to be. Most jurors cannot stand on one leg regardless of whether or not they have been drinking. Field sobriety tests can be handled in court with proper training and questioning. I believe that people who have been drinking will not perform well on these tests, but I also believe that most non-athletic people will not perform well either.
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is used by police and prosecutors as a scientific test. If it is done correctly, it has been shown to have validity. However, road conditions are different than laboratory conditions. An officer with traffic going by, blue lights flashing, and potential for danger does not always do the test as he was taught. Thus, if the test is not done properly, the validity is compromised.
State Administered Tests of Blood, Breath, and Urine
Once you are arrested for DUI, an officer should read the implied consent warning. This warning advises you of the consequences of taking a test and gives you the option of refusing a test. In addition, the warning advises you of your right to your own chemical test once you take the State test. Contrary to public opinion, the law does not give people the right to an attorney prior to taking a test.
Breath Tests For DUI in Maryland
Problems With Breath Testing:
To bring it closer to home: Would you feel comfortable if I told you that ten people were going out on a boat and the law required me to have a life jacket for each of them. However, the law gave me some leeway and told me that it would be o.k. if I had anywhere between 8 and 12 jackets on the boat. Would you feel comfortable getting on that ship?
There are numerous things that can affect a breath test such as proximity to electronics that emit radio waves, like police walkie-talkies. These items should be turned off when in the room where the Intoxilyzer test takes place. The machine if properly working should detect any radio interference.
A person's physical condition, or exposure to certain substances, may also cast doubt onto the accuracy of the Intoxilyzer 5000. Some forms of diabetes, hernias, gastric reflux, or other illnesses may yield inaccurate results on a breath test. In addition, exposure to certain chemicals like acetone may result in an inaccurate breath alcohol test result. Further, some diets like high protein diets may impact a breath test.
The machines are only tested four times a year in Georgia. In some states, there is the ability to save the breath sample for re-testing. However, Georgia has chosen not to have this feature on its machine. Although our breath machine has a filter that should eliminate interfering substances such as toluene, acetaldehyde, and acetone, from a breath test, routine inspection only includes testing for acetone filtration. Moreover, there is nobody in Georgia who can repair a broken machine. Rather, the machine must be packed and shipped to the factory for repair. The officer who gave the breath test has generally only been through a sixteen hour course to administer tests. They do not know much more than how to turn the machine on and off. However, following recent court decisions, it is highly likely that the breath test will be admitted into evidence at trial. Therefore, it may be necessary to hire an expert to testify and educate the jury about the deficiencies in the breath test. It may be likely that there were some problems with a breath test. If there were, a good lawyer should be able to attack the result.
Can we really win?
Can I plead Nolo or No Contest?
Will the Prosecutor know my record?
How long does a DUI stay on my record?
I do not live in Maryland, so how will this affect me, and will I have to return for court?
Will I go to jail for this?
Can I get a work permit if I am convicted?
If it is a second offense in five years, you cannot get a limited permit until 12 months after the suspension goes into effect and you have an interlock ignition device installed on your car. If it is a third offense in five years, a permit is only available after two years. However, if you have been administratively suspended, these answers may change. There are many different situations, so an individual analysis is what you need. It costs nothing to talk to me, just call 410-486-1800 if you are outside our area code.
What is an interlock ignition device?
When can I speak to you?
WHAT TO DO IF STOPPED BY THE POLICE FOR DUI
If you are over twenty one and have not been convicted of a DUI in the last five years:
If over twenty one and have been convicted of a DUI in the last five years:
If under twenty-one:
If a commercial driver:
Free Telephone Consultation: 410 - 486 - 1800
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