Rely on an experienced Silver Spring DUI/DWI attorney to get you out of the jam you're in.
Rely on an experienced Silver Spring and Montgomery County, MD DUI/DWI attorney to get you out of the jam you're in. If you've been charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Maryland, you may be feeling lost at sea. What should you do next? How can you avoid the severe penalties and long-term impact on your future that come along with a conviction on either of these serious charges? The most important thing you can do after your arrest is to immediately call a skilled Silver Spring, MD, and Montgomery County, MD DUI/DWI attorney to evaluate your case and help you plan the best course of action to mount a defense. It's important to know the difference between DUI and DWI charges in Maryland:
DUI – requires a measured blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at a level of 0.08% or higher. It can result in license revocation, fines and imprisonment, even for a first offense. The equipment used to take this reading and the manner in which the test was administered are subject to mishandling and can be challenged by a skilled Silver Spring and Montgomery County, MD DUI attorney.
DWI – can result if you fail an officer-administered field sobriety test, even if your BAC is 0.07% – that is, below the legal limit. Just like DUI, a conviction on this charge can result in license suspension, a stiff monetary fine, and imprisonment, at the judge's discretion. Obviously, the assessment of the officer at the scene is subjective and can be challenged by a competent Maryland DWI attorney.
Regardless of the charge or the sentence imposed upon conviction, you will also face a bump in your auto insurance rates that can tap into your income in a significant way. By choosing an accomplished Silver Spring, MD and Montgomery County, MD DUI/DWI attorney to represent you, you may be able to avoid conviction entirely or benefit from a reduction in charges and penalties. Consult with Peters Law, L.L.C. in Silver Spring, MD and Montgomery County, MD as soon as you find yourself charged with DUI or DWI in the Montgomery, Howard, or Prince George's County area. Delaying your consultation could cost you a conviction and your freedom, and significantly impact your future career opportunities.
Common DUI and DWI Defenses
Officers have many options at their disposal when it comes to enforcing Montgomery County, MD's DUI and DWI laws. For instance, under Maryland's implied consent law, by getting behind the wheel in Maryland you consent to submit to a breath test. A recent Supreme Court ruling makes it illegal for states to impose additional penalties when individuals refuse to submit to a blood test without officers first getting a warrant. However, refusing to submit to a breath test can result in immediate license suspension and the refusal can be used against you in court to later get a conviction. Even if you submit to required testing and do not pass these tests, it is important to understand that the tests can be mishandled, the equipment not properly calibrated, and the tests may not have been properly administered. A DUI and DWI lawyer in Montgomery County, MD may be able to assist you by presenting a strong DUI defense to the court. What are some DUI defenses? Here are a few:
Improper Arrest Procedure: If your arresting officer suspected that you had been drinking, the officer is required to follow proper arrest procedure. This includes reading you your Miranda rights when questioning you and initiating traffic stops based on probable cause. Finally, if an officer doesn't have good cause to pull you over, any evidence gathered during the course of the arrest could be dropped.
Invalid Field Sobriety Test Results: Field sobriety tests which are used to determine whether someone should be arrested and tested for a DUI have come under intense scrutiny in recent years. These tests, even if properly administered, can result in sober individuals appearing drunk. In some cases, the tests are not properly administered and officers aren't trained to detect when someone is drunk. Someone who is just tired can fail field sobriety tests. If you take certain kinds of medications or if you have certain medical conditions, it is possible to fail a field sobriety test. If you weren't drinking and failed a field sobriety test, it is important to get the assistance of a skilled DUI/DWI attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.
You Weren't Driving: If you weren't driving you may be able to mount a defense to show that you didn't have the intent to drive. Officers can arrest individuals for a DUI/DWI even if the person is not driving, if the officer believes the person will drive drunk.
Flawed and Unconstitutional Breath or Blood Alcohol Tests: In some cases, officers use equipment to test your blood alcohol limits that have not been properly calibrated or maintained. If evidence is mishandled in any way, it might also be thrown out. After the recent Supreme Court ruling, it is possible to get blood results thrown out if you were forced to take the test without a warrant or took a test under the fear of additional legal penalties.
Peters Law, L.L.C. is a qualified DWI and DUI lawyer in Montgomery County, MD who can help you if you've been charged with a DUI or DWI. We'll look at the circumstances leading up to and following your arrest and evaluate the quality of the evidence presented against you. In some cases, charges can be dropped and in other cases we can fight to have your charges reduced. Contact Peters Law, L.L.C. today to learn more about your rights.