Facing DUI Charges

Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or while impaired by controlled substances is against the law in all 50 states, including Maryland. If you are arrested for DUI, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities under the law. A Rockville DUI lawyer can help you handle your case appropriately and can defend you against DUI or DWI charges. Call and schedule a consultation with an attorney in Rockville today to learn more.

Why Hire a Lawyer?

Contacting a lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest can help you to avoid making any mistakes that could hinder your DUI defense and can help the attorney find evidence of an illegal traffic stop, improperly conducted field sobriety test, or inadequately maintained or calibrated breath analysis equipment.

Some common DUI misconceptions include:

  • Sometimes, people think they have no option but to plead guilty in a DUI case, but even with a breathalyzer result indicating impairment per se, a driver does have opportunities to fight a DUI charge.
  • Many people do not realize until it is too late that they do not have to answer any questions if they are pulled over in a traffic stop. A driver only has to provide his or her identification.
  • Drivers do not have to tell law enforcement officers where they are going, where they have been, whether or not they have been drinking, or how many alcoholic drinks they might have had.

In cases where a dismissal or a “not guilty” verdict is not possible, a Rockville DUI attorney may be able to negotiate a plea agreement that ends in probation before judgment (PBJ) or other suitable alternatives that can minimize the impact of the charges.

Your lawyer can also represent you in MVA hearings, working to restore your driving privileges while you await the outcome of your case.

Understanding DUI Laws in Maryland

Maryland DUI laws are similar to those in many other states in that they prohibit a driver from operating a vehicle if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above 0.08 percent.  According to Maryland Transportation Code § 21-902, this is known as driving under the influence of alcohol per se. This means that regardless of whether or not a driver is obviously impaired, he or she is guilty of DUI if his or her BAC is 0.08 percent or greater. Other common DUI charges in Maryland include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI)
  • Driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI)
  • Driving while impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol that a person cannot safely operate a vehicle
  • Driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance (DUI-drug)

In DUI-Drug cases, a driver can be arrested even if he or she lawfully took medication as prescribed. If the prescription or combination of medications impaired the person’s ability to drive, he or she may be charged with driving under the influence of a controlled substance. However, there are viable defenses to this charge. Speak with a DUI attorney in Rockville to learn more.

Penalties for DUI in Maryland

The penalties for DUI vary depending upon the presence or absence of certain factors:

  • First or subsequent DUI
  • Transportation of a Minor
  • BAC
  • Involvement in an accident

In general, a first offense DUI carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, a DUI defense lawyer can work toward a dismissal of the charge or negotiate sentencing that can help you avoid criminal conviction.

Rockville DUI Defense

A DUI arrest can be scary, but it does not have to have a permanent impact on your life. By working with a Rockville DUI lawyer who practices regularly in Montgomery County courts, you can benefit from both local knowledge and years of legal experience. Call to schedule a free consultation with an attorney who can help.