Bel Air, Maryland DUI Lawyer
Don’t Let a DUI Ruin Your Day-to-Day Life
Every driver is capable of making the mistake of drinking alcohol before driving. Once pulled over by a highway patrol officer, they can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Although DUI charges are common across the United States, the consequences of a conviction are always severe, especially in states like Maryland that take harsh stances against drunk driving.
If you are convicted of a DUI in Maryland, you can be penalized by:
- Steep fines
- Loss of driving privileges
- Criminal record
Such major consequences should be met with strong legal representation by a professional defense lawyer. If you live in Bel Air, Maryland, choose our DUI attorneys of Portner & Shure, P.A. if you want to work with award-winning legal professionals. We are standing by to hear your call.
Contact us now! We look forward to helping you.
Maryland DUI Laws
When an individual is arrested for an alcohol-related driving offense, they can receive several citations, including a DUI or driving while impaired (DWI). To be convicted of a DUI, the prosecution must prove that an individual’s blood-alcohol level was .08 or more. A conviction can result in 1 year in jail and/or a fine of $1,000, as well as 12 points accessed against their license. A person charged with a second offense faces potential penalties of 2 years in jail, and/or a fine of $2,000.
To be convicted of a DWI, the prosecution only needs to prove that an individual was impaired by alcohol while driving. The driver’s alcohol level is practically irrelevant as long as the BAC report is above zero. Testimony by a police officer indicating that they smelled an odor of alcohol or that they say the driver swerving is technically sufficient enough to warrant a conviction. The potential penalties if convicted can include 60 days in jail and/or a fine of $500, as well as and 8 points accessed against their license. A person charged with a second offense faces potential penalties of 1 year in jail, and/or a fine of $500.
Administrative Penalties Against DUI Suspects
When a person receives a citation for an alcohol-related driving offense, their license is immediately confiscated by the arresting officer and they are then issued a temporary driver’s license. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration mails a notice to the person informing them that their license will be suspended within 45 days of the arrest. Depending on the facts of the arrest – i.e., a person’s blood-alcohol level and whether they provided a breathalyzer sample – they will have the choice of requesting a hearing for a restricted license or participating in the interlock program. If a person chooses not to elect a hearing or enroll in the interlock program, the Motor Vehicle Administration will suspend a person’s driver’s license for a period ranging from 6 months to 2 years.
The suspension period depends on factors such as:
- Driving history
- Blood alcohol level
- Whether they provided a breathalyzer sample
The penalties imposed by the Motor Vehicle Administration are completely separate from the potential penalties in the criminal case. This is because the Motor Vehicle Administration is part of the Executive Branch of the Maryland State Government while the penalties associated with the criminal case are imposed by a Court, which is part of the Judicial Branch of the Maryland State Government. Penalties from each system can slam a defendant at the same time!
Portner & Shure, P.A.’s Approach & Services
The Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the Office of the State’s Attorney for Harford County treat alcohol-related driving offenses as serious matters. People are often surprised at the sheer number of citations they receive when they are arrested for an alcohol-related driving offense. They might be tempted to take a bad plea deal just to get the situation over with.
The State of Maryland has the burden of proving an individual’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, though. Our Bel Air DUI attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. can evaluate all aspects of your DUI case, such as the facts surrounding the stop, whether there were reasonable grounds for a field sobriety test, and whether there was probable cause to support an arrest. In cases where the best option is a plea deal, we can work carefully to mitigate the potential penalties.
Call (855) 954-4141 or contact us online if you want to start your defense right away.