Results-Driven Criminal Defense & DUI Attorneys Serving Maryland
Traffic Stops

Traffic Stops in Maryland

Understand Your Rights Regarding Traffic Stops

Contrary to what some Maryland drivers may believe, a police officer need not suspect that you have been drinking and driving in order to pull your vehicle over. On the contrary, a police officer can pull you over for violating any traffic law or regulation. These types of stops are known as pretextual stops.

Some of the reasons why a police officer may pull you over include:

  • Speeding
  • Tail light out
  • Headlight out
  • Restricted visibility (e.g., excessive window tinting)
  • Expired registration tags on your vehicle
  • Erratic driving (e.g., weaving in and out of traffic)

In order to pull you over, the officer merely needs to have a reasonable suspicion that you have done something wrong. Although the police officer may technically be pulling you over for a relatively minor civil infraction or violation, the officer may actually have an ulterior motive. In other words, the officer may be pulling you over in order to determine whether or not you are under the influence of alcohol.

Have questions about traffic stops? Call Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC at (301) 321-7277. We can assist you from any of our offices in Bowie, Frederick, Lexington Park, Prince Frederick, and Waldorf.

What Happens During a DUI/DWI Traffic Stop

During a DUI traffic stop in Maryland, several things will typically occur. First, the officer will ask for your driver’s license and registration. Some officers are very forward with drivers and may come right out and ask whether or not you have been drinking.

During this stage of the process, it is important that you remain calm, that you be respectful, and that you comply with the police officer’s instructions. At this stage, mouthing off to the officer or being disrespectful to him or her will only make an already bad situation much worse.

If you have in fact been drinking, it is important to keep in mind that it is not mandatory that you provide answers to any of the officer’s questions. You can politely refuse to answer the officer’s questions at this juncture by asserting your Fifth Amendment rights.

You do not want to answer the officer’s questions because anything that you say at this stage can be used against you later on in the process. Your best bet at this point is to simply remain quiet and refrain from answering the officer’s questions.

Taking a Breathalyzer or Field Sobriety Test Pre-Arrest

The officer may insist that you perform field sobriety tests. These tests are used to establish whether you are driving while impaired or under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Whether you take these tests is your decision and is dependent on your particular circumstances. You should know that neither field sobriety tests nor breathalyzers are always reliable, and each test must be completed in a manner consistent with a set of tight restrictions. If not, the DUI arrest can be contested in court.

If the test results show that you were driving your vehicle while intoxicated, that evidence can only hurt you later on at trial. Therefore, you should not take these tests under any circumstances – even if you think that you could pass them.

In many cases, if you refuse to take one of these tests pre-arrest, the officer may become frustrated or even angry. If the officer insists that you take one or more of these tests, you should clearly state that although you agree to perform the test, you are not providing your legal consent. Your statement to that effect may later be used in court to suppress any evidence obtained during these tests.

Taking a Breath or Chemical Test Post-Arrest

If you have already been arrested, however, the rules change. You are required to take a breath test if the police officer has already arrested you. Moreover, in Maryland, chemical tests are mandatory. If you refuse to take a chemical test, the State can suspend your driver’s license. Fortunately, in many cases, an attorney can take steps to prevent the suspension of your driver’s license from taking effect, allowing you to get to work or school.

Call Alpert Schreyer Poe Today for a Free Case Evaluation

Saying or doing the wrong thing during a DUI/DWI traffic stop can have severe negative impacts on your case. Our Maryland DUI defense attorneys may be able to help minimize the legal consequences of a DWI arrest or conviction.

To schedule a free case evaluation, please call us today at (301) 321-7277 or contact us online.

Client testimonials

The Opinions that Matter Most
  • To anyone finding themselves in need of THE BEST trial attorney money can hire I strongly recommend Andrew Alpert and if the need ever arises in my life again he WILL be my first call.

    - P.W.
  • Hiring Mr. Alpert was the deciding factor in getting my DUI charges dropped and getting my life and career back on track.

    - Former Client
  • Andy got my case done and away with, like it never happened on the criminal side. He was honest and upfront as to what he could affect and what he could not.

    - Germain

wHY hIRE oUR fIRM?

The Alpert Schreyer Poe Advantage
  • Our legal team boasts over 70 years of combined experience defending the rights of the accused.
  • Our attorneys are former prosecutors who know how to recognize mistakes made by law enforcement.
  • We have an established reputations as one of Maryland's top-rated DUI defense firms.
  • Our attorneys are committed to taking the time to clearly communicate & understand your case.
  • We have the resources to investigate cases, provide expert witnesses in court & advocate for you.
  • We promise to fight for you with the intensity, drive & skill necessary to produce results.
CALL US TO get YOUR FREE CONSULTATION! 

Our committed staff is standing by to review your free consultation request. If you have to leave a message, we will contact you within 24 hours.

  • Avvo Client's Choice Award 2018
  • Avvo Client's Choice Award 2019
  • Avvo Client's Choice Award 2019
  • Avvo Client's Choice Award - 2018 - Andrew David Alpert
  • Proud Fellows - American Bar Association
  • 2018 Lawyers of Distinction
  • AV Preeminent Rating - 2018
  • Lawyer Premium Andrew Alpert
  • Expert Network - Distinguished Lawyer
  • NCDD Faculty
  • DC Super Lawyers
  • ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • America's Top 100 Attorneys
  • AIDUIA 10 Best
  • AV Preeminent Rating
  • Avvo 10/10 Superb Rated
  • Founding Member of the DUI Defense Lawyer Assocaition
  • Maryland SuperLawyers
  • Million Dollar Advocates