Your DUI / DWI Case in Maryland
Drunk Driving defense lawyers representing clients in Baltimore County, Harford County, Anne Arundel County, Howard County, Worcester County, and all of Maryland. Contact the owner and founder, G. Randolph Rice, Jr. of the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC, at 410-288-2900 for immediate DUI/DWI help in Maryland (24/7/365). A DUI/DWI conviction in Maryland can affect you for the rest of your life, make sure you hire a lawyer that is experienced in handling DUI and DWI cases in Maryland.
DUI Lawyer G. Randolph Rice, Jr., call 410-288-2900 for immediate help.
Once you’re arrested for a DUI (driving under the influence), DWI (driving while impaired), or Drunk Driving in Maryland, you face two completely separate paths of consequences; 1) the MVA Administrative Hearing and 2) the Criminal/Traffic Court. You will have the option of appearing in front an administrative law judge for the MVA consequences but required to appear before a criminal / traffic Judge.
With few exceptions, what happens in one will not affect the other, except in the circumstance of a guilty finding that could result in MVA points. If you are convicted and do not receive the benefit of a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ), a notification is sent by the criminal court to the MVA that you received a guilty finding and results in Motor Vehicle Administration (“MVA”) points.
DWI Lawyer G. Randolph Rice, Jr., 410-288-2900, call 410-288-2900 for immediate help.
As an example: If you are convicted of DUI, but before the Judge enters the finding of guilty and strikes the finding and enters a Probation Before Judgment (“PBJ”), then the MVA will not assign the appropriate number of points to your driving record.
DUI Lawyers, Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC, call 410-288-2900 for immediate help.
At the time of arrest for every DUI and DWI in Maryland, the police officer will read or require you to read a DR-15 form. In addition, the police officer will provide you with two copies of the form DR-15A. The DR-15 advises you as to the consequences of taking a breath test, refusing a breath test, and the potential penalties of the reading for the breath test. If you submit to a breath test (“test”) and your reading is below a .08, then there is no administrative action by the MVA and you will have your licensed returned to you that day. If your test results in a blood alcohol content of between a .08 and less than .15 then your license will be confiscated and you will be issued a temporary license. The police will not confiscate your license if you are licensed by another state than Maryland. You will have the option of requesting a MVA hearing to contest the stop and procedures for the test or to request that the MVA allow you to maintain a license but with restrictions. You will also have the options of requesting the installation of an ignition interlock devise in all vehicles your intend to drive for the year following. You must return that form within 30 days or you will waive your right to a hearing and result in an automatic suspension of your privilege to drive in Maryland. If you want to guarantee that you will maintain the right to drive between the DUI/DWI arrest then you must return the form within 10 days of the issuance of the DR-15A form.
If you elect to take the breath test and your result is .15 or higher, then you still have the option of requesting an MVA hearing to challenge the administration of the test but not to request an restricted license. You also have the option of electing to participate in the ignition interlock program. The instructions for the program are provide on the back of the DR-15A form. If you elect to have a hearing in any circumstance, then you must include a non-refundable $125.00 filing fee within any request.
DWI Attorneys, Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC, call 410-288-2900 for immediate help.
Therefore, deciding if you should or should not request an MVA hearing is one of the first things you should do and you should consult with a DUI/DWI defense attorney before you make that decision. Contact me at my office 24/7 at 410-288-2900 to discuss the MVA hearing options and the criminal court consequences for a DUI/DWI in Maryland.
Maryland DUI Attorney, G. Randolph Rice, Jr., call 410-288-2900 for immediate help.
Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration / Office of Administrative Hearings Case
The MVA hearing will be held at one of the Office of Administrative Hearing (OAH) locations in Maryland. The hearing is attended by you, your lawyer, and an Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”). This hearing can he held by phone for special circumstance, make sure you mention that to me when you call my office.
Your hearing will be held from 60 to 120 days after you submit the request for a hearing to the OAH. There are only 7 issues that may be addressed at the hearing and they are described in Maryland Transportation Article 16-205.1(f)(f). Those seven issues are:
1. Whether the police officer who stops or detains a person had reasonable grounds to believe the person was driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol, while impaired by alcohol, while so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that the person could not drive a vehicle safely, while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance, in violation of an alcohol restriction, or in violation of § 16-813 of this title;
2. Whether there was evidence of the use by the person of alcohol, any drug, any combination of drugs, a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol, or a controlled dangerous substance;
3. Whether the police officer requested a test after the person was fully advised, as required under subsection (b)(2) of this section, of the administrative sanctions that shall be imposed;
4. Whether the person refused to take the test;
5. Whether the person drove or attempted to drive a motor vehicle while having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more at the time of testing;
6. Whether the person drove or attempted to drive a motor vehicle while having an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more at the time of testing; or
7. If the hearing involves disqualification of a commercial driver’s license, whether the person was operating a commercial motor vehicle or held a commercial driver’s license.
At the MVA hearing, the standard of proof is lower than at the criminal court proceeding, and generally more relaxed, the ALJ must only find beyond a preponderance of the evidence to proceed with a finding. Any arguments by an accused driver must be compelling and are often very complicated that rely mainly on case law. Although an attorney is not needed, it would be a waste of time and money for an individual to represent him or herself at the MVA hearing.
Criminal Court Process
The criminal court process for a DUI / DWI in Maryland starts in the District Court and may be resolved there depending on the decisions made in Court.
Baltimore, Md DWI Attorneys, Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC, call 410-288-2900 for immediate help.
When you appear for your DUI or DWI in the District Court, that first appearance is your trial date. The case can be resolved on that date or the defendant or State could request a postponement or the Defendant could request a jury trial if there is a charge still remaining that carries the potential for more than 90 days incarceration.
If you are facing a charge that carries the potential of more than 90 days incarceration, you have the absolute right to a jury trial for a DUI/DWI case. However, you also have the right to “waive” your jury trial rights and have your trial conducted before a judge. That trial could occur in the District Court or if you pray a jury trial, you would still be entitled to a trial by a Judge in the Circuit Court for the county in which you were charged.
If you, along with your attorney, believe that a plea deal is the best route to proceed, then your attorney can negotiate a plea agreement with the State’s Attorney. If your attorney reaches a plea that you are satisfied with, then you could enter that plea on the date of trial in the District Court. Most DUI or DWI cases proceed by way of a Not Guilty Agreed State of Facts is a plea is reached. That means that the State’s Attorney will merely read the facts as recited in the Statement of Charges and based on that information the Judge will more likely than not find you guilty, still allowing the potential for an entry of a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ). The purpose of a plea in most cases is to better position yourself for sentencing. It would include a “better deal” had you proceeded with a trial and found guilty. You are saving the Court and the State’s Attorney’s Office time and energy in trying the case before a Judge or Jury and admitting that you agree with the facts of the case and thus are willing to “admit fault.” That admission and waiver of a trial will go a long way in sentencing, with both the State and the Judge.
Baltimore County DUI / DWI Lawyers, Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC, call 410-288-2900 for immediate help.
Once the plea is complete and the Judge hears from the State, your attorney, and you are given the right to speak, called mitigation, then the next phase is sentencing. The Judge can enter the sentence then or can hold the case sub curia for you to complete a number of tasks. When the Judge imposes the sentence, he or she can order you to a period of probation, pay fines, courts costs, treatment, urinalysis, attend classes, electronic home monitoring, ignition interlock, community service, restitution, visits to a local hospital to handles drunk driving accidents, MADD classes, or any number of punishments including jail. A successful plea or trial should at all costs avoid the potential of jail for certain offenders. Individuals that are facing their first or subsequent DUI/DWI should always have an attorney that knows the case law, is familiar with the Court and State’s Attorneys and vice versa and will fight to make sure you receive the best possible outcome. This sentence will vary depending upon the plea bargain, recommendations from the prosecutor, prior convictions and so on. (Please see my DUI/DWI penalties page for potential maximum penalties).
If you are facing a DUI/DWI in Baltimore County, Harford County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Worcester County, and all of Maryland.
Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC
6914 Holabird Avenue, Suite A
Baltimore, Maryland 21222-1747
410-288-2900 (Office available 24/7/365)
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