DUI Lawyer Baltimore MD
An Aggressive DUI Lawyer Baltimore, MD Residents Trust
You can never fully prepare yourself for a DUI arrest, which is why it is good to know a DUI lawyer Baltimore, MD trusts. Fear, anger, and uncertainty may be difficult to manage while you wait on the side of the road. Police might be telling you that “you’re going to jail”, and this thought alone could be rather frightening. As you reflect on the situation, you might know that a suspension of your driver’s license, a criminal record, jail time, and probation are all real possibilities. The reality is that regardless of what is happening, a DUI arrest will have some type of consequence. So how can you keep the consequences to a minimum? Is it even possible? In truth, with the right DUI lawyer in Baltimore, MD on your side, your penalties or charges could be reduced or dropped. Time is not on your side. If you want to get out of this catastrophic situation as quickly as possible, you should call a DUI lawyer now to find out what options may be available.
If you’ve recently been charged with driving under the influence, you might be searching for the top DUI lawyer Baltimore, MD has to offer. At the Greenberg Law Offices, we know that these legal situations can be very complicated and stressful for the individual charged. When a client comes to our firm seeking counsel for a DUI, we strive to provide counsel that our clients can depend on.
DUI Arrests: What You Need To Know
It’s common for individuals to seek counsel from a trusted DUI lawyer in Baltimore, MD after a DUI arrest, solely because they have so many questions. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious charge and the consequences can have lasting impact.
A DUI conviction could affect your employment opportunities. A criminal record could potentially limit your ability to find employment that reflects your skill levels. Preserving future employment opportunities is a common reason to seek counsel from a DUI lawyer Baltimore, MD trusts.
Convictions for driving under the influence could have consequences that last for years. Missing out on job opportunities is only the beginning when it comes to a DUI conviction. In addition to a criminal record, a person convicted of DUI might also face jail time and a high fine. This could severely impact the individual, and the wellbeing of his or her family, for years to come.
It is possible for a DUI charge to be dismissed due to procedural or clerical errors. Searching for these mistakes is something that a skilled Baltimore, MD DUI lawyer would want to do right away. Small errors can have a big impact on the individual’s entire case. In some cases, one mistake might be important enough that the court can no longer pursue charges against someone. While this is not the case for every person’s legal situation, it is something that a skilled Baltimore, Maryland DUI lawyer will know to look for.
DUI charges aren’t limited to alcohol use. An individual can be convicted of a DUI charge if he or she consumes another controlled substance that affects their ability to drive. In fact, it is even possible for an individual to be charged with DUI if he or she legally consumes a prescription medication that affects driving ability.
Reduced charges can have a major impact. Even when a DUI lawyer Baltimore, MD provides cannot get the court to dismiss an individual’s case completely, it may still be possible to get the charges reduced.
Defenses for a DUI
In many DUI arrests, there is often more than meets the eye. For example, how you were pulled over and arrested by the police officer could provide you with a defense. A DUI lawyer will likely review all of the details of the arrest to determine whether or not any of your rights were violated. Common defenses that may be used by a qualified DUI lawyer include:
- Bad driving does not equate to a DUI
- Objective “signs” or “symptoms” of alcohol intoxication is not the same as a DUI
- Field sobriety tests are unable to give accurate measures of impairment
- Mouth alcohol can lead to false BAC readings
- A 15 minute observation period was not conducted (depending on state laws)
- There was a breach in the testing for alcohol
- You were mentally alert and not DUI
- You suffer from health conditions that cause false BAC readings (i.e. diabetes or a high protein diet)
- Police failed to follow the legal procedure
- You were not read your Miranda Rights
If any of the aforementioned are found to be true in your case, a DUI lawyer might ask the court for a reduction or dismissal of your charges.
When getting a DUI there are a variety of different penalties. It could depend on what state you live in, if there were any aggravating circumstances to elevate those penalties, or if this was your first, second, or third DUI offense. Below, a Baltimore, MD DUI lawyer will walk you through the different types of penalties that come with a driving under the influence charge.
1st Time DUI offense
If it’s your first DUI offense, most states will classify the charge as a misdemeanor. While they do take DUIs very seriously, if the judge deems that this is not going to become a pattern of behavior, then the minimum penalties will be given. This includes a fine ranging from a few hundred dollars to one thousand dollars, losing your license for 90 days, and potentially taking a driving course or some similar rehabilitation course.
2nd Time DUI offense
If you are pulled over and charged with a DUI a second time, the penalties will be more severe. Driving under the influence of drugs and / or alcohol can be extremely dangerous. You could injure yourself or others. And to make this mistake a second time – specifically within a five year period – is considered a repeat offender. A second-time offense can result in fines in the thousands of dollars, losing your license for up to a year, mandatory alcohol abuse classes, points on your license (which results in higher insurance rates) and spending some time in jail.
3rd Time DUI offense
Getting a DUI a third time shows the court that this is a pattern of behavior and the severity of the punishment will reflect accordingly. Fines start at $3,000 for a third DUI offense. You can almost guarantee that you will face jail time and depending upon the judge and your state could be from 10 days up to three years in jail or prison. You will lose your license for up to 18 months, get points on your license, and are required to attend alcohol and substance abuse classes.
With each additional charge, the judge can impose stricter and stricter penalties. And if these charges happen within a short period of time or while you are still in the process of doing your time for another charge, the judge will most likely impose the maximum penalties.
With any DUI offense, there are penalties that extend beyond the punishments of the court. For example, if you have a record of a DUI you will not be able to get a job that requires a commercial drivers license. Your insurance rates will also increase based on the severity of your DUI charge and you could lose your policy altogether as you are now viewed as “high risk”.
It’s important to understand the penalties you could be facing if you are arrested for a DUI. Driving under the influence is taken very seriously by the courts and therefore you should take very seriously the next time you think about getting behind the wheel of a car after you’ve been drinking.
Myths About Breath Tests and Field Sobriety Tests
If you are pulled over and an officer suspects you of being under the influence of alcohol, the officer may perform tests to determine whether you are intoxicated. There are usually two types of tests, field sobriety tests and breath tests. You may undergo either or both. Test results may be used as evidence against you in court. However, they are not infallible. A DUI lawyer in Baltimore, MD, from Greenberg Law Offices may be able to help you challenge the results of the tests. Here are some things people believe about the assessments that are either untrue or misleading.
The Field Sobriety Tests You See on Television Are the Ones You Will Take
In crime dramas, police officers often ask drivers to touch their fingers to their nose or recite the alphabet backward. While officers are allowed to make assessments of these sorts, they may not be inclined to do so because they have not been tested for effectiveness or accuracy.
Breath Tests Are Always Electronic
The breath tests that most officers use to test for intoxication are electronic. These types of tests are relatively more accurate. However, there is also a manual type of drug test that involves crystals in a tube that change color when exposed to alcohol on your breath. They start out yellow, and the alcohol produces bands of green. These tests are inexpensive and helpful for self-assessment, but you should call a DUI lawyer in Baltimore, MD, if a police officer ever makes you take a manual breath test.
Field Sobriety Test Results Are Inadmissible in Court
There are three standardized field sobriety tests: the one-leg stand test, the walk-and-turn test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. These assessments have been scientifically researched and clinically tested for accuracy. They are usually admissible in court, although it may be possible to challenge the results. There is also no rule against officers performing nonstandard assessments, but those may be easier to challenge.
You Can Refuse a Breath Test
Breath tests are not considered optional. The law presumes that, by obtaining a driver’s license, you have given implied consent to any testing deemed necessary to determine whether you are intoxicated. As a DUI lawyer in Baltimore, MD, can tell you, if you refuse a breath test, you will face consequences as a result. However, the consequences may be less serious than if you were to take the test and have the failed results admitted in court.
Breath Tests Work for Drugs Other Than Alcohol
Breath tests only detect alcohol. If you are suspected of using other drugs, an officer might take a blood, urine, or hair sample to test for them. Field sobriety tests might indicate impaired ability regardless of the substance used.
Breath Tests and Field Sobriety Tests are 100% Accurate
A DUI lawyer in Baltimore, MD, can confirm that none of these tests are completely accurate. Altogether, field sobriety tests are close to 100% accurate, but any single assessment is 65% to 77% accurate by itself. As for breath tests, many factors can affect their accuracy. Personal care products containing alcohol can produce false positives, and the machines may give inaccurate results if they need software updates or new batteries. Greenberg Law Offices may be able to determine the accuracy of the results, challenging them if necessary.
Important Preliminary Information
Ask your DUI lawyer in Baltimore, MD to help you, or schedule your own, DMV hearing within the allotted time set by the state (usually 10 days) to protect your driver’s license.
- If this is your first offense, and no one was injured, you will generally not be sentenced to jail.
- First time offenders could face a license suspension.
- Some states require mandatory ignition interlock devices to be installed.
- You may be fined.
- You could be sentenced to home detention.
- Alcohol education classes and/or rehabilitation may be required.
- You will likely receive points on your license.
- You may be sentenced to probation and community service.
- Insurance rate increase is likely.
- A permanent or expunged criminal record is common.
Depending on the circumstances in your life, such as your career, schooling, family, activities, etc., the aforementioned might seem “not so bad” or “terrible”. By hiring a DUI lawyer serving Baltimore, MD, your charges could be reduced to lesser charges that may result in penalties that are significantly different and could include:
- Reduced fines.
- No interlock ignition device.
- No home detention.
- Less alcohol education or rehabilitation.
- No jail time.
- Reduction in license suspension (or none at all).
A reduction in charges can actually save you money and hassle in the long run. In fact, sometimes after all legal fees have been paid, a person charged with a DUI will find themselves ahead and better able to move forward in life than they would have had they not hired a DUI lawyer in Baltimore, MD.
3 Fast Facts On DUIs in Maryland
Drinking and driving is a matter that the law takes very seriously. As such, being convicted of Driving Under the Influence carries a range of potential consequences. With so much at stake, you might be surprised at just how common DUIs are. In Maryland alone, tens of thousands of people are arrested each year for suspected drunk driving. Knowing the law can help you stay out of trouble. Otherwise, you may find yourself calling a DUI lawyer in Baltimore MD.
The Legal Limit
In Maryland, a driver is considered unfit to drive once their Blood Alcohol Content level reaches 0.08 percent. It is important to remember that alcohol affects everyone differently. Larger people and people who drink regularly may not feel impaired at 0.08 BAC. In the eyes of the law, this does not matter. It is important to keep how much alcohol you have consumed in mind before driving or even call an Uber or a friend instead.
First Offenders Can Face Jail Time
Greenberg Law Offices meets with hundreds of clients each year seeking a DUI lawyer in Baltimore MD. During their consultations, clients are often shocked to learn that the penalties for first-time DUI offenders can be quite severe. In the state of Maryland, a first-offense DUI can carry a maximum jail sentence of a year. It also carries a fine of up to 1,000 dollars. The severity of these penalties makes consulting with a lawyer very important. Having a great lawyer on your side can negotiate more favorable sentencing terms like reduced jail time, or probation.
Repeat Offenders Are Common
Before their first DUI arrest, drunk drivers have likely driven drunk dozens of times. It is not a matter of if they get caught but when. This is why avoiding drunk driving altogether is so important. This also matters because repeat offenders face increasingly serious penalties and sentences for subsequent DUI convictions.
Greenberg Law Offices has decades of experience in litigating DUI cases. They know the law and the ins and outs of the court system. Additionally, they have developed and nurtured relationships with the prosecutor’s office over the years. This puts them in a position to bargain and negotiate to resolve your case in a way that is favorable to you. Drunk driving should absolutely be avoided. Still, if you ever have the misfortune of being charged with a DUI, calling the Greenberg Law Offices should be the first move you make.
Contact a DUI Lawyer Baltimore MD Residents Rely On
If you’re facing a DUI charge, it’s important to know that there’s a local law firm you can turn to for trusted legal counsel. At the Greenberg Law Offices, we understand just how stressful these charges can be — not only for the individual arrested, but also for their families. A DUI conviction can mean severe lifelong consequences that hurt the individual’s employment opportunities and enjoyment of daily life.
At the Greenberg Law Offices, we believe that it is our job to provide excellent counsel to our clients who are facing DUI charges — no matter who they are. For more information about our firm, or to schedule a free case evaluation with a top DUI lawyer Baltimore, MD trusts, contact the Greenberg Law Offices today at 410-539-5250 or 410-844-4854.
Common Misconceptions About DUI Cases
Many people get arrested for drunk driving every year in Maryland. However, DUI charges are still widely misunderstood. Here are some common misconceptions about DUI cases.
- Your BAC has to be at least 0.08 to get charged with a DUI. This is one of the most common myths about DUI cases. The truth is that a police officer can still arrest you even if your BAC is below 0.08. For example, if an officer observes you swerving all over the road or slurring your words, he or she may still decide to charge you with a DUI.
- A DUI isn’t a big deal. Some people falsely believe that DUIs are minor offenses and don’t have to be taken seriously. The truth is that a DUI can carry heavy penalties, such as hefty fines and jail time. A DUI conviction may also remain on your criminal record, which can make it more difficult to secure employment and rent an apartment. That’s why it’s critical to have an experienced DUI lawyer in Baltimore, MD represent you.
- Any lawyer can defend a DUI charge. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Just because a divorce or tax lawyer agrees to take a DUI case, doesn’t mean that he or she is the right person for the job. DUI laws are complex, so you want to work with a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases. He or she will be more likely to achieve a favorable outcome for you.
- Police must see you driving to arrest you for a DUI. Another common assumption people have is that a police officer has to see them behind the wheel to arrest them for drunk driving. This just isn’t true. For instance, if a police officer sees you step out of your vehicle and act drunk, he or she may assume that you were driving drunk and arrest you.
- Drinking coffee can help you sober up faster. Some people think that drinking coffee after consuming alcoholic beverages will make them sober enough to drive. Although you might feel more alert after drinking coffee, it won’t lower your BAC. It takes time for alcohol to completely leave your system.
- You have to answer all the police officer’s questions. If you’re pulled over for suspicion of drinking and driving, you have the right to remain silent. You just have to give the police your driver’s license, insurance card and registration.