Bel Air DUI Lawyers
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- Magnuson Lowell:
Highlights/Results DUI Defense
A client was visiting friends and watching a ball game during the
weekend. They were doing what many sports fans do while watching a
game: eating snacks and having a few beers. During the game, he had a
couple beers. On the way home, he was pulled over for speeding. Then he
was asked to step out of the car. The officer had the client perform
some field sobriety tests and blow into a handheld breathalyzer. The
breathalyzer registered over .10. The client was baffled by the result
because he knew had only two beers over several hours. After his
arrest, he took another breathalyzer at the station. The result was
.076. The client retained Olaf Hansen to represent him against the
charge of DUI. Olaf noted that the police report indicated that the
client was only speeding and that the car's tire touched the lane
divider just twice in two miles. Additionally, the report confirmed
that the client passed the field sobriety tests. Based upon these
issues, Olaf was able to obtain a reduction of the charge from DUI to a
- Mignini, Raab, & Demuth:
DUI, DWI, assault, possession of CDS, driving on suspended or revoked license and MVA administrative hearing appeals
- Schlaich & Thompson:
DUI, or driving under the influence, carries stiff penalties under Maryland law, even for a first offense. A driver can be arrested for DUI if the blood alcohol test is .08 or higher.
For first offense:
Minimum suspension of driver's license for 45 days
Fines up to $1,000
Punishment in jail of up to 1 year
12 points on the Maryland Driver's License record if convicted
Or driving while impaired, arrests occur when blood alcohol tests at .07 BAC. While not as extreme as DUI penalties, DWI penalties are still quite stiff.
Fines up to $500
First offense - Punishment of up to 2 months in jail
Second offense - Punishment of up to 1 year in jail
Contacting an attorney before submitting to a breath or blood alcohol test should be your first course of action. We will be able to advise you on what to do. If you have already submitted to a breath or blood alcohol test, the earlier you contact us, the better prospects you have for getting reduced charges or case dismissal.
- Harrison, Thomas:
criminal defense matters (including DUI, DWI, serious traffic, all felony and misdemeanor offenses) in the District and Circuit Courts for the State of MD
- Priser, Michael:
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- Andrews, Edward:
Criminal (serious and minor)
Personal Injury – Motor Vehicle Accident
- Jones, Karen:
What are the possible penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol?
The maximum penalty for a 1st offense DUI is one (1) year in jail and/or a $1000 fine. The range of possible sentences is determined by a variety of factors including the facts of the case, any policies of the local court and prosecutors, the weaknesses in the case uncovered by the defense attorney and the reputation of the attorney. All of this is independent of the MVA driver's license suspension which is determined separately and which can itself be very complicated.
Driver's License Suspensions
When a Maryland driver is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, his driver's license is immediately confiscated by the police and he is served with the MVA's "Notice of Suspension". This document serves to (1) formally suspend the license, (2) provide a temporary driving privilege for 45 days, and (3) explain some aspects of the applicable law. Buried in this fine print on the duplicate "hearing request" copy is the most important legal provision: there is a right to an administrative hearing to contest the suspension and force the MVA to return the license but only if the individual or his DWI attorney contacts the Office Of Administrative Hearings and formally demands a hearing WITHIN 10 CALENDAR DAYS of the arrest. If the request is made after the 30th day, the right to contest the suspension is lost and it will begin 46 days from the arrest regardless of any possible defenses.
This immediate suspension is for either (1) having .08% or higher blood-alcohol (.01% for drivers under 21); (2) providing a blood or urine sample when the officer believes the eventual analysis will be .08% or higher; or (3) refusing to take a chemical test. This is referred to as an administrative suspension (or sometimes administrative per se or APS suspension), and is to be distinguished from a license suspension or restriction which may later occur in the criminal courts in addition to the administrative suspension.
If the driver is from another state, the officer has no right to seize the license, as that document is the property of another state. Similarly, Maryland has no jurisdiction to suspend a driver's license issued by another state. The officer can and will, however, issue a "Notice of Suspension" identical to that given Maryland license holders; this acts only as a suspension of the right to drive (after 45 days) within the State of Maryland. If there is a conviction, Maryland (as a member of the Interstate Driver's License Compact) will notify the home state of that fact; that state will then usually suspend the license in the same way as if the person had been convicted in the home state.
- Marts, Christopher:
How Do I Choose a Maryland DWI Attorney?
If you were charged with a DWI (known elsewhere as DUI), chances are you have seen an avalanche of postcards and letters coming to your home from DWI defense lawyers. How do you choose?
Here are a few criteria you can look for when deciding which DWI lawyer to bring on your case:
Length of Experience: How many years has this lawyer been handling DWI? How much experience do they have in the local courts in Harford County?
Range of Experience: Do they handle both the driver's license hearing and the criminal case? Will they handle appeals? (Few attorneys will go that far, but if your driver's license is your livelihood, you may need that.)
Personal Attention: Do they work for a mill, churning out DWI defense without really getting to know the client or their case? Do they investigate the case themselves? Will you work with the attorney whom you have met? Or could your day in court be the first time you have met your lawyer?
- McGill, David:
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
In most states, the penalties for driving under the influence of drugs are the same or very similar to the penalties imposed for driving while under the influence of alcohol. The penalties for these offenses are so varied that it would be impractical to discuss each state's penalties. Many states have adopted sentencing guidelines that are similar to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The guidelines generally provide a sentencing range for each type of offense and provide the aggravating and mitigating factors that can increase or decrease the sentence. More...
Electronic Monitoring as Alternative Sentencing for DUI/DWI
Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) can result in harsh penalties in the form of mandatory prison sentences and license suspensions. However, there are sentencing alternatives. One such alternative is electronic monitoring. More...
Penalties for Vehicular Homicide
Vehicular homicide is a serious crime with serious penalties. The penalties for this crime vary depending on the state where the homicide occurred, the degree of the homicide, and any aggravating or mitigating circumstances. Vehicular homicide can be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense. More...
Consequences for Refusing to Submit to Blood Alcohol or Field Sobriety Tests
As chemical testing has evolved into a much relied on prosecution tool, ''implied consent'' laws have evolved to defeat the drunk driver's inclination to refuse to consent to such testing. An implied consent statute does not command that a person suspected of driving while intoxicated be forced to submit to a chemical test; rather, the person may refuse to take a chemical test of his or her blood, breath or urine, but if certain statutorily prescribed procedures are complied with, such a refusal does not go unpunished. More...
Elements of Criminal Offense of Driving While Impaired
Drunk driving statutes across the country are not uniform in how they describe the degree of inebriation that is required for conviction for a drunk driving offense. For example, some states have interpreted the terms "intoxicated" and "under the influence" as meaning the same thing, while others have concluded that the two terms represent different levels of impairment. States that view the terms as the same conclude that the degree of inebriation or impairment of the faculties required are the same. More...
- Arnold, Donald:
Being charged with drunk driving is a very serious matter. It is the government (the State of Maryland or the United States of America) against you. You may face jail time and being on probation with all the requirements and restrictions imposed by the Court on your liberties, such as reporting to a probation agent and alcohol/drug testing. A conviction also carries collateral consequences, such as interfering with present and future employment opportunities, problems with your driver's license, and if a person is not a U.S citizen, immigration problems. Legal concepts and terms you would likely need to know include the substantive elements of the offense charged, the procedural steps involved with defending the case, the meaning of being proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, what can be done to compel the prosecutor to prove the case, and what the Court may consider in mitigation of punishment. For example, a person charged with drunk driving does not have to be innocent to be found not guilty. Not guilty really means not proven guilty by the prosecutor. How these legal concepts interrelate to each other is also important.
It can be quite confusing and complicated. The prosecutor is a trained and experienced attorney, who has available to him the full investigative power of the government, including trained full time investigators known as the police. Do you know the law? Do you know how the law applies to the facts of your case? Do you know the rules of evidence? Do you know what the prosecutor must prove and how? Shouldn't you find out? Shouldn't you have someone who knows the law to protect your rights and interests as the person accused of a crime? Only an attorney can do so for you.
- Tim Cook:
Everyone has a right to a fair trial and a strong defense.
- Christopher vanRoden:
You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
- Henninger & Henninger:
If you or a loved one have been arrested for a drunk driving or
criminal offense than you know what a life-altering experience it can
be. The lasting effects of an arrest and conviction can include the
threat of incarceration, permanent criminal record, suspension or
revocation of your driver's license, increased insurance rates, court
imposed fines and loss of employment.
Anyone can be pulled over for DUI. By taking action and contacting an experienced criminal defense and DUI lawyer, you can minimize the negative consequences, keep your license, and make sure your rights are protected. Having handled hundreds of drunk driving cases, attorney Francis J. Henninger understands the consequences that face his clients.
Criminal defense for everyday people
Contact Attorney Francis J. Henninger
The offense commonly called drunk driving is also often referred to as either "DUI" (driving under the influence), "DUI Per Se" (driving under the influence per se), or "DWI" (driving while impaired). They are all similar offenses and can be found in Statute 21-902 of the Maryland Vehicle Law Annotated. Often, a person charged with a drunk driving offense receives citations for all three of the above. However, he can only be convicted of one of the charges for one particular stop. The maximum penalties for DUI Per Se and DUI are one year incarceration and/or a $1,000 fine for the first offense, two years and $2,000 for a second offense, and three years and $3,000 for all subsequent offenses. In addition to the above penalties, the Motor Vehicle Association ("MVA") will impose twelve points on the driver's record and will often revoke the driver's privilege to drive.
Driving while impaired ("DWI") carries a maximum penalty of sixty days of incarceration and a $500.00 for a first offense, with a one-year and a $500.00 fine for all subsequent offenses. In addition, the MVA will impose eight points on the driver's record and the driver's license may be suspended.
A driver who is charged with a drinking and driving-related offense should be aware that he has a right to request a hearing before an administrative law judge prior to his license being revoked or suspended. In order to ensure that the driver's privilege to drive is not suspended prior to the hearing, the request for a hearing must be made within ten days of the date of the Order of Suspension. If a request is made after the 10-day period, but within thirty days of the date of the Order of Suspension, the driver will still receive a hearing. However, the suspension will take effect on the 46th day after the date of the Order of Suspension.
Keeping Your License: If you have been charged with a drinking and driving-related offense, you can still take action to keep your license. You can request a hearing before an administrative law judge, in which you can attempt to keep your license from being revoked or suspended. However, time is of the essence, and you must file your request for the hearing within ten days of the date of the Order of Suspension.
Important Information for persons charged with DUI or drunk driving related charges in Bel Air, Maryland (Harford County):
DUI charges are heard before the District Court unless the defendant asked that the matter be tried before a jury. The Harford County District Court is located at 2 South Bond Street in Bel Air. No cameras or camera phones are allowed in the courthouse.
If a person charged with DUI is placed on supervised probation following his appearance in a Harford County court, his probation will be monitored by the Harford County Drinking and Driving Monitor Program (DDMP). The DDMP office is located in Bel Air on the second floor of the District Courthouse.
When a person charged with DUI or a drinking and driving related offense in Bel Air, Maryland (Harford County) requests a jury trial, the case is transferred to the Circuit Court. The Circuit Court is located at 20 W. Courtland Street, Bel Air, 21014.
MVA hearings for persons charged with DUI or drinking and driving related charges who live in Harford County are heard at the Bel Air branch office at 501 W. MacPhail Road in Bel Air (across from Upper Chesapeake Hospital). MVA hearing requests are time sensitive. Persons facing suspensions or revocations should contact a lawyer immediately in order to avoid losing the opportunity to request a hearing.
- Stanley E. Protokowicz:
If I am pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving, what should I do?
Cooperate with the officers; be polite and respectful. Do not volunteer
ANY information. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
- Shane Nolan:
DWI convictions are serious. But, do not assume that failing a breath
test means you are guilty. Because it is a criminal charge, you are
presumed innocent, and breath tests are not 100% accurate.