A Maryland DUI Defense Lawyer Protecting the Rights of Individuals Arrested for DUI in the Federal Hill Neighborhood of Baltimore
Federal Hill is a Baltimore neighborhood that sits just south of the central business district and occupies part of the South Baltimore Peninsula. The area is home to a bustling business district that hosts bars and restaurants and is seen as a nightlife destination for people throughout the Baltimore area. As is the case in any area in which alcohol is regularly consumed, police arrest a lot of people for DUI in the Federal Hill area, often resulting in significant penalties for the drivers involved.
If you have been arrested for DUI while driving in Federal Hill, speak to an attorney as soon as you can. Attorney Randolph Rice is a former prosecutor with the skill and experience required to aggressively defend your case and bring it to the best possible resolution. For a free case evaluation with Mr. Rice, call our office today at (410) 694-7291 or contact us online.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Maryland?
Many people are under the mistaken impression that a DUI is a minor offense that typically does not result in serious legal consequences—especially for a first offense. This is decidedly not the case, and even a first-time DUI can result in fines of as much as $1,000, one year in jail, and a six-month suspension of your driver’s license. These penalties increase significantly for subsequent offenses. In addition, certain things can be considered “aggravating factors,” and when present could result in you facing far worse legal penalties. These can include drunk driving with people younger than 18 years of age in the vehicle, driving with a particularly excessive blood alcohol content (BAC), or causing an injury to another person while you are driving drunk.
If you are convicted of DUI, you will generally face a combination of the following penalties:
- Community service
- Drug and alcohol counseling
- The loss of your driver’s license
- The installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
- Jail time
A DUI Conviction Can Affect You Long After Your Case Is Over
While you are going through your DUI case, immediate consequences—such as jail time, fines, and license suspension—may naturally be at the forefront of your mind. However, it is also important to consider the potential consequences of a DUI that can linger long after your case is resolved or your probation has ended. Common lasting effects of a DUI conviction in Maryland include:
- Loss of your job – Many people’s jobs involve driving, and suspension of their driver’s licenses can prevent them from performing their job duties and lead to their dismissals. In addition, the inability to drive can take away reliable, on-time transportation to work, which may also lead to job losses. Finally, some employers regularly check to see if their employees have been convicted of a crime, and may not retain those who have.
- Limited employment opportunities – A DUI conviction can also hurt future opportunities, because many companies will not hire applicants with any type of criminal record. In addition, many professionals may find their licenses in jeopardy after criminal convictions. Students may be excluded from certain higher education programs due to DUIs, which can then hurt their future prospects and goals.
- Restricted travel – Having a criminal record can make international travel difficult under some circumstances, and Canada is particularly serious about restricting convicted DUI offenders from crossing the border.
More serious penalties for future DUI cases – After one DUI conviction, the penalties for any subsequent convictions will increase—often significantly. You must avoid even a first DUI conviction whenever possible—and do not assume it is a minor issue because it is your first case.
An Attorney Might Raise Certain Defenses
Remember that you were arrested for a DUI. This does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted of a DUI. The state is required to prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the highest burden of proof available in our criminal justice system. In many instances, a skilled attorney can cast doubt on the evidence against you, or actually suppress it on legal grounds. A skilled attorney, for example, can:
- Argue that you have a medical condition that causes symptoms that resemble the signs of alcohol or drug intoxication
- Introduce evidence that indicates that the officer who stopped you lacked sufficient training to determine whether you were intoxicated or conduct sobriety testing
- Establish that the police officer who pulled you over lacked legal justification to do so
Even if there is no way to cast doubt on the allegations against you or suppress evidence critical to the prosecutor’s case, a lawyer may still help you. Most DUI cases are resolved through a process known as plea bargaining, which involves the defendant pleading guilty to lesser charges or in return for the prosecutor recommending that the judge impose a lenient sentence. In many cases, plea bargains allow people to avoid jail time, and sometimes convictions from appearing on their records. For this reason, always have an attorney review your case and represent you—even if you believe that you were caught driving drunk with no available defenses.
Call Randolph Rice Today to Speak With a Federal Hill DUI Defense Lawyer
A DUI arrest is a serious matter that you should not take lightly. Failing to adequately address the charges against you can result in significantly more serious penalties than you would have otherwise been subjected to—or even an unnecessary conviction. Therefore, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after a drunk driving arrest. Randolph Rice is an experienced DUI defense attorney who represents people who have been arrested in Federal Hill and throughout the Baltimore area. To schedule a free case evaluation with Mr. Rice, call us today at (410) 694-7291 or send us an email through our online contact form.