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DU Maryland

What You Need to Know About Police Mistakes and DUI and DWI Cases in Maryland

Posted by on Jul 12, 2017

Did you know that when a police officer makes a mistake in your DUI or DWI case in Maryland that you may be entitled to use this information to help fight or dismiss the charges? Sharing this information with an experienced Maryland DUI defense attorney promptly after this happens gives you the best possible chance to develop a defense strategy that keeps you from facing critical penalties.

When the police make mistakes and violate your rights, this often leads to a dismissal of the charges. Police have to inform you of your rights before taking a breath sample to determine if you are under the influence or impaired. You do have the right to decline any field sobriety test although administrative penalties may apply. Furthermore, a faulty test could become an important component of your criminal defense. Failing to administer field sobriety test in accordance with the guidelines from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could lead to an acquittal.

While breathalyzers are often used in the field to determine someone’s blood alcohol content, they are extremely prone to error whether it is mechanical or human. Furthermore, certain health conditions and medications could lead to false positives on a breathalyzer test and this alone should not be used to charge you or convict you of DUI. There also must be a reason in the first place for the police officer to investigate a drunk driving charge. If you were pulled over for a broken tail light for example, the officer must have a reason to administer a breath test or field sobriety.

A visual evidence of impairment or smelling alcohol in the vehicle, for example, are some of these causes. These are not the only kinds of mistakes that can be made by a Maryland police officer in the process of accusing you of a DUI or a DWI. More than likely, there are other mistakes that could have been made and walking through the scene of being pulled over by the police officer and talking with him or her with your attorney can assist you in identifying whether there are other issues present that could help to protect your rights.

accused of a misdemeanor in MD? Get help from a lawyer

Most Common Misdemeanor Charges in Maryland

Posted by on Jun 14, 2017

If you have recently been accused of breaking the law in Maryland, you may be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. Typically, a felony will carry much more serious penalties and could have a major influence on your future. However, a misdemeanor can also be troubling and should be something you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney about. Some of the most common violations charged at the misdemeanor level in the state of Maryland include:

¥ Public intoxication
¥ Assault
¥ Open container violation
¥ Disorderly conduct
Unfortunately, far too many people believe that because these are misdemeanors and do not carry the stiff penalties associated with felonies that it is fine to try and handle their defense on their own or work with a public defender. This could be a catastrophic mistake as a misdemeanor can still have a negative implication on your future. While these charges might at first glance seem like they are not as serious, it is imperative that you take action quickly by hiring a knowledgeable Bethesda criminal defense attorney. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can handle these charges on your own or that an experienced public defender can help you. Far too often, accused individuals realize the dangers of doing this after the fact. Not making the right choice early on could compromise your future.

In particular as it relates to a DUI you may have significant ramifications for your future and you need to at least consult with a Bethesda criminal defense attorney after you have been charged to identify appropriate defense strategies and to discuss the possible consequences for your future. Reaching out to a defense attorney as soon as possible after you have been accused is essential because the facts are still fresh in your mind and you will be able to develop a comprehensive defense strategy that protects your rights and gives you a clear expectation of what will happen as your case enters a criminal process. A knowledgeable lawyer can help to identify all possible avenues for resolution, so do not wait to get help. As soon as you have been charged, you need a lawyer’s insight.

Noah's Law in Maryland is important to know if you're accused of DUI or DWI

What You Need to Know About Noah’s Law in the State of Maryland

Posted by on May 12, 2017

Maryland was recently ranked as needing to do more in terms of highway safety, according to a study conducted by the advocates for highway and auto safety. Across the country, fatal vehicle accidents claimed the lives of more than 35,000 individuals in 2015 but in Maryland, nearly 6,000 people have been killed on roads throughout the state. The study classified Maryland with a yellow rating identifying that there are critical laws on the books but that there could be more. One of the most recent acts on the book is known as Noah’s Law named after Montgomery police officer, Noah Liotta.

Noah Liotta was struck by a drunk driver and the law makes it so that mandatory alcohol testing devices are attached to a car’s ignition after a DUI conviction. In the state of Maryland if your blood alcohol content is 0.15 or higher and you are convicted as a first-time offender, you will have a 180-day suspension of your license without the opportunity for conditional driving situations. The ignition interlock device will be automatically installed in this situation.

If you refuse a breathalyzer test during a stop for suspected DUI, the penalties will increase automatically by suspending your license for 270 days with no modifications and/or you will have to have an ignition interlock device installed. Under this new law the penalties are harsher. It is imperative to understand your rights and responsibilities should you be pulled over for DUI in the state of Maryland. Identifying an attorney who can help you fight these charges is imperative as you may make mistakes early on in the process that could compromise your ability to successfully defend yourself.

The stakes are high if you’re accused of DUI or DWI in Maryland. If you take no action and assume that this is a minor matter, you could jeopardize your future. Don’t wait to get help. As soon as possible after you have been charged, you need to contact an experienced and dedicated lawyer. The right Maryland DUI defense attorney can help you identify a strategy to protect your rights.

DUI and DWI are unique charges in Maryland

What is the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI in the State of Maryland?

Posted by on May 12, 2017

It can be confusing to hear that there are both DWI and DUI charges in the state of Maryland. That is because not every state across the country will have separate DWI and DUI charges. People may use these terms interchangeably but this could generate confusion in the state of Maryland because Maryland is extremely unique in this way.

Each of these charges is distinct across Maryland and can lead to different penalties as well. Typically, a defendant who is arrested will be given a citation for both DUI and DWI.
Usually the state will pursue charges on a DWI if the offer did not obtain a breath result or if the breath result reads between 0.07 to 0.08. However, in the event that your breath result test is 0.08 or higher, the state will usually move forward with a DUI charge. A DWI represents driving while intoxicated and it’s considered somewhat less serious than a DUI. DWI is usually applied when you breath test under .08 but are still classified as impaired.
A DUI, however, is a more serious charge in the state of Maryland. Driving under the influence of alcohol is the charge typically applied if you have a blood alcohol level content of 0.08 or higher. A DWI has a max jail time of 2 months but a DUI carries up to one year in jail.

Your driver’s license suspension and your fine will also be higher with a DUI charge. This is one of the reasons that it is so important to identify an experienced DWI or DUI attorney in Maryland as soon as possible after you’ve been charged.

No matter how you’ve been charged, you have to protect your rights. The officer who has charged you might lead you to believe that complying and providing further information is in your best interests, but that’s rarely the case. You need someone who can help you figure out the next steps to take to defend yourself. There’s too much on the line to risk trying to handle your case on your own. You need to understand the charges and to identify a defense strategy.

Being arrested for possessing hallucinogens in Maryland is serious

What You Need to Know About Illegal Hallucinogen Charges in Maryland

Posted by on May 9, 2017

Common illegal hallucinogenic drugs include Psilocybin, also referred to as mushrooms, Peyote, MDMA or Mescaline. MDMA is the official chemical name of ecstasy, may also be referred to as “molly”. State drug enforcement officers in Maryland as well as the Drug Enforcement Agency have put a greater emphasis on making arrests for illegal hallucinogenic drugs such as ecstasy in recent years.

Simple possession of these drugs is a misdemeanor that can be punished with up to $25,000 in fines and up to four years in prison.
Marijuana can also be classified as a hallucinogen. However, the maximum sentence for possession of marijuana is much less at one year in jail. Due to ongoing lobbying at the state and national level, Maryland has unique and separate marijuana laws with less severe penalties that other illegal drugs.

Less than 30 substances are currently classified as illegal hallucinogens in the state of Maryland but new hallucinogens can be classified as illegal if there is a high potential for abuse and the substance itself is unsafe. Consulting with an experienced Bethesda, Maryland drug possession attorney as soon as possible after you’ve been accused may be the only way to protect yourself in the serious consequences of a conviction. In addition to arrest levels increasing for drugs like ecstasy, prescription oxycodone has also been a target by law enforcement officers across the state of Maryland.

Illegal hallucinogens can have a significant impact on your life should you be convicted of such a charge.

Consulting with an attorney as soon as possible after you’ve been arrested is the best way to recall all of the pertinent facts and to consult with someone who is advocating for your best interests. Remember that the police are trying to do everything in their power to gather evidence from you to determine the best way to prosecute your case and it is not recommended that you talk to them directly until you’ve had a chance to speak to your Bethesda, Maryland criminal defense lawyer. Small mistakes made early on in your case, such as choosing not to hire an experienced drug possession defense attorney, can lead to serious penalties for you.