Canton is a lively Baltimore neighborhood that sits in the southeastern part of the city, about two miles east of downtown. O’Donnell Square, which lies within Canton, is home to several bars and restaurants and other attractions, many of which are frequented by people from all around Baltimore. With this in mind, it is probably not surprising to learn that DUI arrests occur in the Canton area on a regular basis.
If you have been accused drunk driving in Canton or the surrounding areas, retain legal counsel as soon as you can. DUI defense lawyer Randolph Rice is a former prosecutor who knows how to identify weaknesses in the state’s case against you and is committed to obtaining the best result in every case he takes. To schedule a free case evaluation with Mr. Rice, call our office today at (410) 288-2900 or send us an email through our online contact form.
Maryland law authorizes judges to impose extremely serious penalties on people who are convicted of drunk driving, even for first-time offenses. As you may expect, these penalties become much harsher for each subsequent offense. In addition, certain factors are “aggravating,” which can result in far harsher penalties. Aggravating factors can include a particularly high blood alcohol content (BAC), having children in the car while you are driving drunk, or causing an accident that results in injuries to other people. Typically, the penalties that you will face if you are convicted of a DUI will include some combination of:
While these penalties listed above are certainly serious, the collateral consequences of a DUI conviction can often be more severe and longer-lasting than those imposed by the court. Any criminal conviction will typically become part of your criminal record, which can damage many aspects of your future. Potential extra-legal consequences that are often associated with a DUI conviction include:
Legal or procedural defenses are often available in DUI cases, even if you feel that the case against you is open and shut. The state must still prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, and lawyer may suppress certain critical evidence or create sufficient doubt in the evidence against you to result in an acquittal. Common defenses raised in Maryland DUI cases include:
Challenging the legality of the initial stop – The police are required to have reasonable suspicion that a crime is being (or recently has been) committed to conduct traffic stops. If you can show that they did not have reasonable suspicion, any evidence gathered during the stop can get suppressed—including evidence indicating that you were intoxicated at the time that you were driving.
Introducing evidence that call the results of chemical testing into question – For evidence to be admissible, it must be reliable. So, for instance, if you can show that the breathalyzer test in your case was improperly calibrated, that your blood sample was not properly stored, or that the officer who conducted sobriety testing on you was not sufficiently trained to do so, the court could throw out any evidence gathered against you.
Arguing that any observed signs of intoxication were actually caused by a medical condition – Certain medical conditions, including allergies or diabetes, also cause many signs of intoxication—including bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and confusion—for which police look. If you suffer from a condition whose symptoms police could confuse with alcohol intoxication, you could cast doubt on the state’s assertion that you were driving drunk.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Maryland, it is extremely important that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible. In many cases, the representation of a lawyer can have a significant impact on the way the case is resolved—and may even result in the charges against you being dropped in their entirety. To schedule a free consultation with a DUI defense lawyer in Canton, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today at (410) 288-2900 or send us an email through our online contact form.