Things to Consider When Hiring a Maryland DUI Lawyer
If you’ve recently been arrested in Maryland for driving under the influence or driving while impaired, you may have a lot of questions about the process and your driver’s license. In this article, attorney Randolph Rice will explain the steps after a DUI or DWI arrest in Maryland.
In Maryland, there are two types of drunk driving charges you may face. They include DUI, which stands for driving under the influence. Or you may be charged with DWI, which stands for driving while impaired.
Finding a Maryland DUI Attorney
The steps to finding a Maryland DUI attorney are easier today than they were 10 years ago before the advent of the internet. The internet is the phone book of today and the simple search for Maryland DUI attorney will return thousands of results.
The trick is finding the best Maryland DUI attorney for your case. There are number of factors that you should look for in a Maryland DUI attorney before hiring him or her to represent you.
Experienced Maryland DUI Attorney
Experience is one of the most important factors to consider when hiring a Maryland DUI lawyer. It is certainly possible that a new lawyer is capable of Defending you at trial. However, it is advisable that you seek an attorney who has experience in the jurisdiction you are charged as well as with the type of drunk driving case you’re facing.
Trial Tested DUI Attorney
Not all drunk driving cases result in a plea bargain. For that reason, it is favorable to hire a lawyer who has represented defendants charged with DUI before judges and juries. In most drunk driving cases, the accused has the option to elect a jury trial.
If you are considering a jury trial for DUI charges in Maryland, make sure you discuss this option in depth with your lawyer. The reason is, DUI and DWI charges are very difficult to litigate before a jury. Most jurors don’t take drunk driving cases lightly. Because of the risks and dangers of drunk driving, the general public and potential jurors have a predisposed opinion about drunk driving cases.
What can Happen if You’re Charged with DUI?
A drunk driving charge in Maryland has multiple possible penalties and consequences. The two main issues that arise in all drunk driving cases are the drivers license and the penalties before the judge. In Maryland, all drivers have implicitly consented to submit to a breath or blood test if they’re suspected of drunk driving.
A failure to submit to a breath test or blood test may result in a suspension of the driver’s license or a requirement to participate in the ignition interlock program. If a driver does submit to a breath or blood test, the level of intoxication will dictate the consequences and possible license suspension. Finding the top Maryland DUI lawyer to advise you on what to do about your driver’s license is imperative to your ability to drive after a drunk driving arrest.
Jail and Probation Consequences After a Drunk Driving Arrest
The second phase of any drunk driving case is the resolution of the matter before the courts. All drunk driving charges originate in the Maryland District Court for the jurisdiction where the driver was charged. Between 30 and 90 days after the arrest, a trial date will be scheduled.
This initial trial date allows the defendant to select the options of pleading guilty or not guilty before the judge. In addition, the defendant, if charged with DUI, has the option of electing a jury trial. If a jury trial is elected, the case will be forwarded to the Circuit Court for the jurisdiction where the defendant was charged. At that point, the charged defendant will have the option of entering a plea, electing a bench trial, or having the case tried before a jury.
If the defendant remains in the District Court, he or she may enter a plea bargain, plead not guilty, or in some circumstances the state may dismiss the drunk driving charges. There are two outcomes before a judge for a drunk driving charge. The judge may find the defendant guilty or strike the guilty finding and enter a probation before judgement.
If the defendant is granted a probation before judgement, then he or she has not been convicted and points will not be assessed to the driver’s record. If the defendant is found guilty, points will be assessed by the motor vehicle Administration.
Probation After a Drunk Driving Conviction
In Maryland, the length of probation will be decided by the judge. Probation in Maryland can be either supervised or unsupervised. If supervised, the defendant will be required to check in with their probation agent and may be required to complete other tasks and fulfill other requirements as ordered by the judge.
If the judge grants the defendant unsupervised probation, then the defendant will not be required to report to an agent, but must remain law-abiding During the period of probation. That means no additional series traffic tickets or criminal convictions, including DUI or DWI. Maryland District Court judges may place a defendant on probation for up to three years. Whereas, Maryland Circuit Court judges can place a defendant on probation for up to five years.
Expungement of a DUI in Maryland
Can I expunge my DUI in Maryland? It all depends on the outcome of the case. If you were found guilty or granted a probation before judgement, then you may not file for expungement of the DUI or DWI. This is done because the state pursues subsequent convictions and it must be present on the record for them to seek enhanced penalties if you receive a second or subsequent conviction. Enhanced penalties do not take effect unless you previously been found guilty of drunk driving.
Find a Maryland DUI Lawyer Near Me
When trying to find a Maryland DUI lawyer near me, contact attorney Randolph Rice at 410-288-2900. Attorney Randolph Rice is a former prosecutor and has been defending individuals charged with DUI and DWI in Maryland since 2009. He is ranked as a Super Lawyer Maryland Rising Star, Avvo 10 out of 10 Superb Rating and Lead counsel rated.
Contact his office today to schedule a free consultation.