Maryland DUI Lawyer

Maryland DUI Lawyer | DWI Attorney in Baltimore

If you have been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland, it is imperative that you contact a Maryland DUI lawyer as soon as possible. Did you know that you can be charged with a DUI or DWI even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is not above the legal limit of .08? An experienced Maryland DUI lawyer can defend you in Court and advise the best actions to take to save your license and keep you out of jail.

A drunk driving investigation starts from the moment the police officer spots a vehicle or arrives on the scene. The officer is looking for clues such as:

  • The vehicle jerks as it comes to a stop
  • Driver has slurred speech
  • The driver smells like alcohol
  • The inside of the vehicle smells like alcohol
  • The driver has bloodshot eyes
  • Driver has troubling finding his license, registration or proof of insurance
  • The driver has trouble exiting the vehicle

Why Did the Police Officer Stop You For DUI

A police officer can make a traffic stop if he has reasonable articulable suspicion of a traffic violation or crime. The officer is looking for moving traffic violations, equipment violations, expired registration stickers or a driver drinking in the vehicle. Some of the most common offense officers make stops for are:

  • Exceeding the speed limit
  • Driving below the post speed limit
  • Close contact with another vehicle or stationary object like road sign.
  • Fail to attach plates at the front and rear of your vehicle
  • Failing to obey a traffic control device
  • Not stopping for a stop sign
  • Failing to drive right of center or crossing the centerline
  • Driving off road while passing another vehicle
  • Driving the wrong direction on a one way road
  • Unsafe lane change
  • Following another vehicle too closely
  • Reckless driving
  • Negligent driving
  • Spinning wheels

After a DUI or DWI charge, the smartest action to take is to contact a Maryland DWI attorney to schedule a free consultation. A Baltimore DUI lawyer will work with you to formulate a defense and strategy for your case. An experienced lawyer will be able to mitigate and reduce the consequences of a DUI charge. Or challenge the State’s case. It’s not the burden of the defendant to prove they were not drinking and driving, it is the State’s burden to prove the charges.

What is DUI?

DUI is “driving while under the influence.” If charged with DUI, the State of Maryland alleges a person drove or attempted to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence. Influence can be alcohol, drugs, drugs and alcohol or a controlled dangerous substances.

About our Baltimore Drunk Driving Lawyer

Randolph Rice is the founding attorney of the Law Offices of Randolph Rice. He has built a reputation throughout the State of Maryland for fighting for his clients that are charged with driving under the influence. Every time someone calls his office to discuss their DUI or DWI, he begins to prepare all possible outcomes and defenses for their case.

He has a perfect 10 out of 10 ranking by Avvo and rated Superb by the online lawyer referral site. He has been nominated and selected by his colleagues as a Super Lawyer – Maryland Rising Star for multiple years. Mr. Rice is lead counsel rated and consistently ranked as a Top Maryland DUI Lawyer by numerous publications and online.

Randolph Rice is a member of the American Bar Association, Maryland State Bar Association, Baltimore County Bar Association and the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys’ Association. Randolph Rice has been a Maryland DUI lawyer since 2006 and represented hundreds of clients throughout the State. He is a former prosecutor and trusted trial attorney in the Maryland District and Circuit Courts.

Is DUI a Felony or Misdemeanor in Maryland?

In Maryland, DUI is a misdemeanor. There are crimes that do involve alcohol and driving that are classified as felonies. Those include homicide by motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. If charged, you could face a felony conviction and subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.

DUI Penalties in MarylandDUI Penalties Maryland

There are two governmental agencies or branches that can penalize an individual for a DUI. They are the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and the Courts, either District Court or Circuit Court, depending on where the case is heard. All DUI cases typically start in the District Court but can be forwarded to the Circuit Court if a jury trial is prayed.

MVA Imposed Penalties

The MVA imposes administrative penalties for all DUI or DWI arrests in Maryland. Those penalties vary depending on your record. If you are stopped for a DUI and the police officer has reasonable grounds to believe you have consumed alcohol, you will be required to submit to a breath or blood test (“Test”). This is called the “implied consent” law. Under Maryland Transportation article 16-205.1, the law deems that you have consented to take a test to measure the alcohol concentration or drug or controlled dangerous substance content in your system.

If you refuse to take a test or your test result indicated an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, then the police officer will confiscate your driver’s license. This only applies to driver’s license in Maryland. If you are not licensed in Maryland, then the officer will not take your driver’s license.

Refuse to Submit to a Test

If you refuse to submit to a Test, your license will be suspended for 270 days for a 1st offense and 2 years for a 2nd or subsequent offense.

Test Result of 0.08 But Less Than 0.15

If you submit to a test and your alcohol concentration is at least 0.08 but less than 0.15, your license will be suspended for 180 days. If the DUI arrest involves a motor vehicle accident that resulted in the death of another person, your license will be suspended for 6 months for a offense and 1 year for a second or subsequent offense. You may request an MVA hearing to determine if you are eligible for a restricted or modified license.

Test Result of 0.15 or More

If you take a test and your alcohol concentration is 0.15 or more, you license will be suspended for 180 days for a 1st offense and 270 days for a second or subsequent offense. If you are involved in an accident and you cause the death of another, then your license will be suspended for 1 year for a 1st offense and revoked for a 2nd or subsequent offense.

Court Penalties

After a DUI, you will receive a trial date. The trial date will be in the District Court for the county where the traffic stop occurred. When you receive the trial date, make note of the time and location. If you fail to appear for the trial date, the Court may issue a show cause or bench warrant for you.

Maryland DUI Penalty Chart

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

When you appear in Court, the State’s Attorney will make various offers and provide options. Your Maryland DUI lawyer will be talking to the State’s Attorney and determining what the State wants to do with the case. The State’s Attorney may ask for a postponement to further prepare for the case. The State may make an offer if you decide to plea to one or more charges.

Driving under the influence and driving while impaired are criminal charges codified under the Maryland Transportation Article. A DUI or DWI conviction can lead to jail, fines, probation, community service, loss or your privilege to drive and other penalties. In addition to the court penalties, you could see an increase in insurance rates, loss or job or loss or your privilege to possess a firearm. One of the most common penalties for a DUI or DWI arrest and conviction is the requirement to participate in the ignition interlock program.

The penalty for a DUI or DWI conviction can be found in the Maryland Transportation Article section 27-101.

Under the influence conviction

If you are convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI):

  • For a first time DUI conviction, you face up to a $1,000 fine and one year in jail. In addition, you will assessed Twelve (12) points to your driving record. If you receive a probation before judgment, you will not be assessed the points.
  • For a second offense, you could face up to a $2,000 fine and Two (2) years in jail. There is also a mandatory Five (5) day sentence for a second offense in Maryland. Twelve (12) points will be assessed to your driving record. After Ten (10) years, you are eligible for a probation before judgment.

If you are convicted of Driving While Impaired (DWI):

  • A first offense DWI can result in a fine of up to $500 and up to Sixty (60) days in jail. If you are found guilty, Eight (8) points will be assessed to your driving record. Again, a probation before judgment will result in Zero (0) points assessed to your driving record.
  • A second DWI conviction may result in a $1000 fine and up to One (1) year in jail. Eight (8) points will be assessed to your driving record.

Maryland DUI Lawyer Locations

Baltimore County

According the Maryland Judiciary, there were 2,078 DUI cases filed and 2,471 terminated in Baltimore County. Baltimore County has 3 District Court locations, Catonsville, Towson and Esses. The Catonsville District Court has 3 sitting judges, Towson has 6 and Essex has 3 Judges that hear DUI and DWI cases.  With the I-695 beltway and I-83 as well as thousands of surface streets, Baltimore County highways are some of the busiest in Maryland. This equates to more motorists and more drivers charged with DUI. The Judges in Baltimore County are fair but tough when it comes to DUI cases. For the best outcome, an experienced Baltimore County DUI lawyer can guide you through the process. Call our office today at 410.288.2900 to schedule a free consultation.

The outcomes for DUI and DWI cases in Baltimore County in 2015 resulted in:

  • 623 guilty findings
  • 83 not guilty
  • 1,356 probation before judgment
  • 7 dismissed DUI and DWI cases
  • 245 Nolle Prosequi
  • 5 cases marked Stet
  • 140 case elected a jury trial
  • 12 resolved in another manner.

Baltimore City

Because of the number of bars, restaurants and colleges; Baltimore City saw 911 DUI case filed and 1,169 DUI cases terminated in 2015. One of the most common locations for DUI and DWI arrests in Baltimore City is the I-83 corridor as it heads north. In addition, the law enforcement charges a number of DUI case on the beltway near the tunnels. One of the most famous DUI arrests in Baltimore was of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps in 2014. If you are within Baltimore City, contact our Baltimore DUI lawyer Randolph Rice for immediate legal help.

Of the 1,169 DUI and DWI case terminated in Baltimore City in 2015, the majority of them resulted in probation. The other case ended as follows:

  • 302 guilty findings
  • 40 not guilty DUI and DWI cases
  • 502 cases resulted in probation before judgment
  • 4 cases dismissed
  • 257 cases Nolle Prosequi by the State
  • 26 DUI cases marked Stet docket
  • 30 defendants elected a jury trial
  • 8 case resolved as “other”

Harford County

Harford County, although one of the smaller counties by population, is one of the strictest jurisdictions when it comes to DUI crimes. With I-95 running through the middle of the county and cities like Bel Air and Edgewood, it does have a fair number of DUI and DWI arrests. The Judges and State’s Attorneys in Harford County are tough on DUI defendants. The advice of a DUI lawyer in Harford County can mean the difference between jail or walking out of the courtroom on your trial date.

In 2015, there were 882 DUI cases heard in the District Court for Harford County. Of those 882 cases, they were resolved in the following manners:

  • 379 guilty findings
  • 17 defendants were found not guilty
  • 332 defendants received probation before judgment
  • 0 cases were dismissed
  • 60 cases were nolle prosequi
  • 22 cases were marked Stet by the Court
  • 63 defendant’s choose a jury trial
  • And 9 cases were resolved as “other” manner

Howard County

Howard County is located in the central part of the State and west of Baltimore County. The county seat is Ellicott City and has one District Court and Circuit Court location. I-95 interstate runs through the county and it’s proximity to Washington D.C. makes it a home for many beltway employees. Howard County is an average county when it comes to the number of DUI and DWI cases each year.

In 2015 there were 1,314 DUI cases in their Court system that resulted in:

  • 327 guilty findings
  • 34 not guilty defendants
  • 781 probation before judgments
  • 3 cases were dismissed
  • 126 DUI cases were nolle prosequi by the State
  • 5 cases were marked Stet
  • 32 defendants choose a jury trial
  • And 6 cases were resolved as “other”

Anne Arundel County

Anne Arundel County has numerous major highways within its borders, including I-97, I-695, and I-895. In addition to the major highways, the main cities of Annapolis and Glen Burnie and a population of over 500,000 people make the roads busy with drivers. Anne Arundel County has Two (2) District Court locations, one in Glen Burnie and one in Annapolis. The police, State’s Attorney and Judges are tough but fair with DUI cases and DUI defendants that appear in Court.

In 2015, Anne Arundel County charged 2,149 driver with DUI or DWI. Those cases resulted in:

  • 491 guilty DUI defendants
  • 65 cases resulted in not guilty
  • 1,008 probation before judgment were granted
  • 2 cases were dismissed
  • 452 cases were nolle prosequi by the State
  • 95 Stets were entered by the Court
  • 1 case was merged
  • 20 defendants elected a jury trial
  • And 15 cases were resolved as “other”

Carroll County

Carroll County is one of the more divers counties in Maryland and fairly rural. However, there are some significant areas or populations and drivers on the road that can cause officers to look for drunk drivers. Most DUI and DWI cases are charged by the Maryland State Police in Carroll County. If charged with DUI, it is important to speak with a Carroll County DUI attorney as soon as possible. An attorney can begin to put together a defense in your case and preserve valuable evidence to aid in your case.

In 2015, Carroll County saw 579 DUI cases charged. Of those case, they resulted in:

  • 110 guilty findings for DUI
  • 16 not guilty defendants
  • 320 probation before judgments
  • 1 case was dismissed
  • 71 DUI cases were nolle prosequi
  • 4 cases were marked on the Stet docket
  • 55 individuals elected a jury trial
  • 2 cases were resolved in an “other” manner

DUI and Jail

Will I go to jail for a DUI in Maryland is everyone’s biggest concern. The general answer is no, but, there are are a number of exceptions to that statement. If you do everything your Maryland DUI lawyer tells you to do and you follow their instructions, you increase your chances of not going to jail. That general rules does not apply if:

  • The DUI or DWI involved an accident
  • Prior DUI or DWI convictions or PBJ (probation before judgment)
  • You injure another person as a result of your driving
  • Excessive speeding before you are stopped for a DUI or DWI investigation
  • You are impolite or uncooperative with the police officer
  • Appear in Court unprepared
  • Don’t take steps to mitigate the DUI or DWI
  • Many other actions that can occur before, during and after the drunk driving arrest

DUI Jury Trial

Can you elect a jury trial if charged with DUI in Maryland? Yes, you are eligible for a jury trial if you’ve been charged with DUI in Maryland. A defendant has a right to a jury trial if any one of the charges they are facing carries a penalty of more than 90 days in jail. Since the maximum penalty for DUI is 1 year in jail, then you may elect a jury trial. A jury trial will not occur in the District Court, but instead the case will be forwarded to the Circuit Court.

DUI Consequences

The consequences for a DUI arrest and conviction in Maryland can be devastating. This is why it is some important to hire a Maryland DUI lawyer to defend your rights and protect your freedom. If you are looking for a Maryland DUI lawyer near me, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at 410.288.2900 today.

Maryland DUI and a CDL

What happens if you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and were driving a non-commercial motor vehicle when you were stopped for DUI in Maryland.  If you refuse to submit to the test, your CDL or privilege shall be disqualified for 1 year for a 1st offense or for life if your CDL or privilege has been previously disqualified for at least 1 year under Maryland Law, a federal law, or any other state’s law.

Baltimore DUI and Commercial Motor Vehicle

What happens if you are driving a commercial vehicle and arrested for DUI in Maryland. If you were operating a commercial motor vehicle your commercial driver’s license or privilege shall be disqualified for a period of:

  • 1 year for a 1st offense
  • 3 years for a 1st offense committed while transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded
  • Disqualified for life if your commercial driver’s license has been previously disqualified for at least 1 year and/or you have incurred 2 offenses of Maryland Transportation law, a federal law, or any substantially similar offense(s) under any other state’s law

If at the time of the DUI or DWI arrest

  • Your BAC is 0.04 or more, or
  • If you refuse to submit to a test

Miranda and a DUI Investigation

One of the most common questions we get is: “Why didn’t the police officer not read me my Miranda rights?” The answer is no, until you are: 1) arrested for DUI and 2) interrogated by the police.  During the investigation phase of a DUI, the police are not required to read you the Miranda warnings. Once the officer arrests the driver, which only happens after a majority of the field sobriety tests and questions are completed. If the officer does not advise the defendant of their Miranda rights after the arrest, this may be a point to argue at trial or during a motions hearing. The lack of Miranda warning does not make the DUI go away, it will only preclude certain statements made by the Defendant.

Expunge DUI in Baltimore?

Can you expunge a DUI in Maryland? The answer is typically no, you cannot file for an expungement in Maryland. There are some exceptions to this rule. If the charges are Nolle Prosequi or marked Stet by the State then they may expungement eligible. The timing for an expungement varies. You should speak with a Maryland DUI lawyer to determine if the case is ripe for expungement.

Featured Testimonial

“I was charged and need the best Maryland DUI lawyer I could find because I had prior convictions for the same thing years ago. I had used other lawyers in the past but never felt confident in the job they did. I met with Mr. Rice and was blown away by how he explained everything to me at the beginning. He didn’t sugar coat what could and would happen and he was prepared to try the case when we went to Court. He returned all of my phone calls leading up to court and he was ready when we showed up. He tried my case in front of the judge and we won, I was so happy. He argued that I could not be found guilty because the State was unable to prove that I had alcohol in my system when I was operating my car. I am so thankful I found Mr. Rice and will tell everyone that needs a DUI lawyer to call him immediately.”

Review by: TOMMY P.
Reviewing: Maryland DUI Attorney
Date published: 2016-08-15
Rating: ★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars
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