Howard County DUI / DWI Defense

howard county dui lawyer

Howard County DUI Lawyer

If you are charged and convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI), a conviction can include jail and restrictions on your driver’s license, including suspension or revocation. A DUI or DWI conviction carries the possibility of jail, fines, costs, probation and increased insurance premiums for years. Depending on the driver’s history, a DUI charge can cost up to $10,000.00, making it one of the most expensive crimes to be alleged to have committed in Maryland. To protect your freedom and privilege to drive, it is wise to hire an experience Howard County DUI lawyer with our firm. Call today to speak with one of our trusted Maryland DUI lawyers.

Howard County DUI Lawyer Randolph Rice

Howard County DUI Laws

In Maryland, the police can charge various DUI and DWI charges if they suspect a driver is operating a motor vehicle with alcohol or drugs in their system. Those drunk driving charges include:

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI)
  • Driving under the influence or alcohol per se
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI)
  • Driving while impaired by a drug
  • Driving while impaired by a combination of alcohol and drugs
  • Driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance

If you’ve been charged with any of these offense, contact our Howard County DUI Lawyer Randolph Rice today.

Penalty for a DUI or DWI in Howard County

The DUI/DWI laws in Maryland and Howard County are complicated. It can be confusing when charged with a DUI/DWI as to the potential consequences of a Howard County DUI conviction. A Howard County DUI lawyer can explain the potential consequences and discuss any options you may have to contest the charges. The contest the charges, the defendant has to make a decision to either try the case before a Judge or a Jury in the Circuit Court or District Court for Howard County.

In Maryland, the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08. That does not mean a driver cannot be charged with DUI or DWI if they have a BAC of less than 0.08 at the time of arrest. If a driver has an alcohol concentration of 0.05 or less it is presumed by the Court that the driver was not under the influence of alcohol and that the person was not driving while impaired by alcohol.

Alcohol Concentrations in Maryland DUI 0.05 – 0.07

If a driver has an alcohol concentration of more than 0.05 but less than 0.07, it may not give rise to any presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of alcohol or that the person was or was not driving while impaired by alcohol. However, the Court or a Jury may consider other evidence in determining whether the person was or was not driving while under the influence of alcohol or driving while impaired by alcohol. That means the trier of facts can look at the driving behavior or actions and observations by the police officer to determine impairment or intoxication.

Alcohol Concentration in Maryland DUI 0.07 – 0.08

A driver with an alcohol concentration of at least 0.07 but less than 0.08 is strong evidence that the driver is driving while impaired by alcohol. All of these numbers may mean nothing if the driver refused to submit to an alcohol concentration test after being arrested. Even if a driver does not take a breath or blood test, the Court or Jury can look to the field sobriety tests to determine impairment.

Court Penalties for a DUI in Howard County

If convicted of DUI, even a first time DUI in Howard County, the Court has the power to impose strict sanctions. Obtaining a Howard County DUI lawyer to represent you may be one of the wisest moves you make as the trial is pending. The Court sanctions or penalties can include: jail, fines, costs, probation (supervised or unsupervised), community service, alcohol treatment and counseling, MADD Victim Impact Panel and any other task the Court deem necessary to address the defendant’s situation.

Below is a chart of DUI and DWI penalties in Maryland:

Offense1st Offense2nd Offense3rd or Subsequent OffenseMVA Point AssessmentMandatory Penalty
21-902(a)(1) Driving while under the influence of alcoholA fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or bothA fine of not more than $2,000, or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or bothA fine of not more than $3,000, or imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both12 PointsA person who is convicted of a violation of 21–902(a) within 5 years after a prior conviction is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 5 days. A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under 21–902(a) within 5 years is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 10 days
21-902(a)(2) Driving while under the influence of alcohol per seA fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or bothA fine of not more than $2,000, or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or bothA fine of not more than $3,000, or imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both12 PointsA person who is convicted of a violation of 21–902(a) within 5 years after a prior conviction is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 5 days. A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under 21–902(a) within 5 years is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 10 days
21-902(a)(3) Driving while under the influence of alcohol while transporting a minorA fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years or bothA fine of not more than $3,000 or imprisonment for not more than 3 years or bothA fine of not more than $4,000 or imprisonment for not more than 4 years or both12 PointsA person who is convicted of a violation of 21–902(a) within 5 years after a prior conviction is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 5 days. A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under 21–902(a) within 5 years is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 10 days
21-902(b)(1) Driving while impaired by alcoholA fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or bothA fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or bothA fine not exceeding $3,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or both8 PointsN/A
21-902(b)(2) Driving while impaired by alcohol while transporting a minorA fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months or bothA fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year or bothA fine of not more than $4,000 or imprisonment for not more than 4 years or both8 PointsN/A
21-902(c)(1) Driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcoholA fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or bothA fine not exceeding $500 or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or bothA fine not exceeding $3,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or both8 PointsN/A
21-902(c)(3) Driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol while transporting a minorA fine of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months or bothA fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year or bothA fine of not more than $4,000 or imprisonment for not more than 4 years or both8 PointsN/A
21-902(d)(1) Driving while impaired by controlled dangerous substanceA fine of not more than $1,000, or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or bothA fine of not more than $2,000, or imprisonment for not more than 2 years, or bothA fine of not more than $3,000, or imprisonment for not more than 3 years, or both12 PointsA person who is convicted of a violation of 21–902(d) within 5 years after a prior conviction is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 5 days. A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under 21–902(d) within 5 years is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 10 days
21-902(d)(2) Driving while impaired by controlled dangerous substance while transporting a minorA fine of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years or bothA fine of not more than $3,000 or imprisonment for not more than 3 years or bothA fine of not more than $4,000 or imprisonment for not more than 4 years or both12 PointsA person who is convicted of a violation of 21–902(d) within 5 years after a prior conviction is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 5 days. A person who is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under 21–902(d) within 5 years is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of imprisonment for not less than 10 days
21-902.1 Driving after arrest for drunk drivingA fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or bothA fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or bothA fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or both8 PointsN/A

If a defendant receives a probation before judgment, MVA points will not be assessed against the driver’s record.

Administrative (MVA) Penalties for a DUI in Howard County

Office of administrative hearings hunt valley maryland
Office of Administrative Hearings Hunt Valley Maryland

Not only will a driver face criminal court penalties if charged with a DUI, but the Motor Vehicle Administration can and will take action against the driver’s privilege to drive. Below are the potential MVA penalties after a DUI or DWI arrest.

  • Refusal to submit to a test will result in a driver’s license suspension for 270 days for a 1st offense and 2 years for a 2nd or subsequent offense.
  • An alcohol concentration test of at least 0.08 but less than 0.15, will result in a 180 days suspension. If the DUI involves a motor vehicle accident that resulted in the death of another person, the license suspension will be 6 months for a 1st offense and 1 year for a 2nd or subsequent offense.
  • Alcohol test result of 0.08 but less than 0.15, a driver’s license suspension may be modified or a restricted license may be issued at a MVA hearing. Our Howard County DUI lawyer can advise if a driver should select an MVA hearing after a DUI arrest.
  • Test result of an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more, the driver’s license will be suspended for 180 days for a 1st offense and 270 days for a 2nd or subsequent offense. If the drunk driving offense involves a motor vehicle accident that resulted in the death of another person, the suspension shall be 1 year for a 1st offense and for a 2nd or subsequent offense the driver’s license shall be revoked.
  • Refusal to take a test or the driver takes a test with a result of 0.15 or more, the person is ineligible for modification of the license suspension or the issuance of a restricted license. However, the driver may participate in the Ignition Interlock System Program.

How Our Howard County DUI Lawyer Can Help

A DUI or DWI is complicated and with the proper guidance of a Howard County DUI lawyer, a defendant can challenge the State’s case or mediate the consequences. If you’ve been charged with drunk driving in Howard County, Maryland, work with a lawyer that knows the law, Judges and State’s Attorneys prosecuting your case. Our Howard County DUI lawyer Randolph Rice has the experience in the Courtroom to present all possible defenses and argue your case before  Judge or Jury. In addition to being there in Court, our lawyer will work with you to determine the best course of action to protect your driver’s license and keep your record clean and points off your driving record.

Howard County Courthouse

Most DUI and DWI cases will start out for trial in the Howard County District Court. The District Court of Maryland for Howard County is located at 3451 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, MD 21043. The courthouse is open from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday except legal holidays. There is ample free parking adjacent to the Courthouse in Howard County.

Howard County Circuit Court

howard county circuit court maryland
Circuit Court of Maryland for Howard County
A DUI/DWI case in Howard County can be transferred to the Circuit Court if the Defendant prays a jury trial. The case will be rescheduled within a couple of weeks of the District Court trial date. The Howard County Circuit Court is located at 8360 Court Avenue, Ellicott City, MD 21043. The Circuit Court is open from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday except legal holidays. Free parking is available  block from the Courthouse.
Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today if you’ve been charged with DUI/DWI in Howard County Maryland.