Are you a resident of Bethesda, Maryland facing a DUI or DWI charge? Are you facing some other criminal charges and don’t know where to turn? Do you need help from top-rated Bethesda DUI Lawyers who can aggressively protect your rights and build a strong defense on your behalf?
The skilled defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC, can help you. You have rights, and you can fight the charges against you, but it’s important to have experienced lawyers on your side who truly understand Maryland laws. While the prospect of facing a DUI or another criminal charge head-on may seem overwhelming and even frightening, the sooner you call, the sooner our legal team can start protecting your rights.
The following information will be helpful to our intoxicated driving defense lawyer during your free case evaluation:
- What you were doing prior to your arrest.
- How much alcohol you consumed prior to your arrest.
- The results of your breath test.
- Whether there were any witnesses present during your breath or blood test.
- Whether or not the officer provided your Miranda rights before interrogation.
You should take a DUI arrest very seriously, as you are facing severe consequences. Do not hesitate to contact Alpert Schreyer for a free case evaluation.
DUI Charges in Maryland
Anyone old enough to drive should thoroughly understand drinking and driving laws in Maryland. The law prohibits anyone from driving while they are under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or while they are impaired by alcohol (DWI). Authorities can presume that a driver is under the influence if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is over a certain limit. This limit varies for different classifications of drivers, as follows:
- 08 percent = Legal limit for most adult drivers for DUI charges
- 07 percent = Legal limit for most adult drivers for DWI charges
- 04 percent = Legal limit for commercial drivers
- 02 percent = Legal limit for underage drivers
Different people metabolize alcohol in different ways, and though you may feel fine, your BAC still may be above the legal limit.
If police officers suspect impairment, they can administer a roadside breathalyzer test that measures your BAC. Officers can also conduct a blood test following an arrest for proof of a suspect’s BAC. If your BAC reads over the legal limit, prosecutors will presume that you were under the influence and will likely charge you with DUI or DWI.
However, authorities can still arrest you and issue charges for DWI even if your BAC is below the legal limit or undetermined. If officers claim they observed signs of intoxication – such as bloodshot eyes, the odor of alcohol, or slurred speech, among others – it may be enough to convict you of DUI. In addition, prosecutors may use your performance on field sobriety tests as evidence of your impairment.
No matter what type of evidence a prosecutor uses, a conviction for DUI in Maryland can have serious consequences. Some maximum penalties include:
- First offense = License revocation for six months, $1,000 fine, and up to one year in jail
- Second offense = License revocation for 12 months, $2,000 fine, and up to two years in jail
- Third offense = License revocation for 18 months, $3,000 fine, and up to three years in jail
Additional consequences that may not be court-ordered can include:
- Having an ignition interlock device on your car once you receive your license back
- Losing a job that requires a valid driver’s license and future employment restrictions
- Possible deportation for non-citizens and travel restrictions for U.S. citizens to certain countries
- Substantially increased insurance rates
- Child custody issues
- Possible restrictions on firearm possession
- Difficulties with higher education and professional license opportunities
- Many other inconveniences and financial losses
Because of the many potential and far-reaching consequences of a DUI conviction, you should have the right DUI defense attorney on your side ready to fight against your charges. You may be able to avoid a conviction for drunk driving, and it’s important that you have this information for your drunk driving defense attorney:
- What you were doing prior to your arrest
- How much alcohol you consumed prior to your arrest
- The results of your breath test
- Whether there were any witnesses present during your breath or blood test
- Whether or not the officer provided your Miranda rights before interrogation
Your attorney can use this information and more to determine the best strategy for your defense. Strategies may include fighting the charges outright, looking into options such as DUI Court, reducing your charges or sentence in a plea agreement, and more.
If you do not have a defense attorney to represent you, a prosecutor may try to convince you that a conviction is inevitable and that pleading guilty is your only decision. This is not the case. A skilled defense lawyer will advise you of all of your options, as well as the implications of each option. You should never plead guilty to any offense – including a DUI – without first discussing your case with a DUI defense law firm and fully understanding your rights and defense options.
DUI and DWI charges are very serious, and you can’t afford to delay taking action. Contact Alpert Schreyer, LLC, today for a free case evaluation.
DUI vs. DWI: What’s the Difference?
DUI and DWI are related charges, but they are not exactly the same crime, and they don’t carry exactly the same penalties.
A person may face a DUI charge if his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.08 percent or higher at the time of the arrest. Driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher is illegal in Maryland (and all 50 states) even if the driver doesn’t feel impaired or show signs of impairment when it comes to driving safely.
Because proving a DUI often depends on the blood alcohol concentration reading, an accurate BAC reading that reflects the driver’s actual blood alcohol levels at the time of the arrest is crucial in most cases. Officers may test BAC with either a breath or blood sample. Both methods are prone to error if they are not carried out using accurately-calibrated equipment and proper scientific procedures. As an official ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer Scientist and a a Certified NHTSA Field Sobriety Test Instructor, Andrew Alpert knows these procedures and what to look for.
A DWI charge may be brought if the driver’s BAC was 0.07, or if the driver’s BAC was below this limit but the driver was clearly impaired. To test for impairment, police officers generally use a combination of observing the person’s driving and conducting field sobriety tests. Field sobriety tests must be carried out properly to provide any accuracy, and a police officer must carefully make and record their observations.
Penalties for DUI and DWI
The penalties for DUI and DWI also differ from one another. For a first-time drunk driving conviction, a person may face the following:
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Six months without a driver’s license
- 12 driver’s license points
- Installation of ignitional interlock device for 6 months
- Other penalties, including probation, community service, or mandated alcohol treatment
A first DWI carries penalties including the below:
- Up to 60 days in jail
- Up to $500 in fines
- Sixty days without a driver’s license
- 8 driver’s license points
- Other penalties, including probation, community service, or mandated alcohol treatment
Penalties for DUI or DWI become more severe if a particular conviction is not the person’s first DUI/DWI conviction or if the individual was transporting a minor. Whether or not you are facing your first drunk driving charge, having a skilled Bethesda DUI/DWI defense attorney on your side can help ensure that the best course of action is taken for your particular situation.
For a free case evaluation, contact us today.
Facing criminal charges of any kind can feel overwhelming. Police and prosecutors build their case against you while you scramble to determine what happened, why you’ve been charged with a crime, and what you can do to answer the accusations you face. Protecting yourself should be your first priority when facing criminal charges.
Every person who faces a criminal charge is not guilty. However, every person who faces criminal charges has the right to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect his or her legal rights in court.
At Alpert Schreyer, our dedicated criminal defense attorneys have years of experience building aggressive defenses against criminal charges throughout Maryland. We strive to protect the legal rights of each client we represent and to win the best possible outcome in each case we handle.
Do Not Wait to Call Our Bethesda DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you’re facing charges involving DUI, guns and gun laws, drug charges, or other criminal charges, police and prosecutors are building their case against you while you are reading this. We understand that not all people who are charged with a crime are necessarily guilty and you must have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney by your side to protect your legal rights.
The dedicated criminal defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer, LLC, have many years of experience building aggressive defenses against criminal charges throughout Maryland, and we will fight to protect the legal rights of clients we represent and achieve the best possible outcome in each case.
The clock is ticking. Contact us today or call (866) 444-6363 for a confidential consultation with our experienced Bethesda DUI Lawyers.
Alpert Schreyer, LLC
4915 Auburn Avenue, Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20814
For directions to our Bethesda Maryland office click here