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) 288-2900 or contact us online.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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) 288-2900 or send us an email through our online contact form.