Baltimore DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer
DUI Defense Attorneys Serving Maryland
A Baltimore DUI/DWI defense lawyer at The Bishop Law Group understands the pressure you are facing if you have been accused of drunk driving. A DUI/DWI charge can affect your criminal record, your license, your ability to drive to work, and even your freedom.
You should not take drunk driving charges in Maryland lightly. It is in your best interest to contact our office as soon as possible to discuss your rights and legal options with an experienced attorney.
Contact us today online or at (410) 390-3101. The Bishop Law Group serves clients throughout Maryland, including Baltimore, Ocean City, and other areas.
How Do You Beat a DUI In Maryland?
After an arrest for a drinking and driving violation, the most important thing you can do is contact an experienced DUI/DWI attorney as quickly as possible. By contacting a lawyer promptly, your attorney can begin looking at the evidence in your case right away and ensure that important deadlines are met.
For example, there are specific deadlines that must be met to request a hearing. Hearings must be requested within ten days after a DUI arrest if a driver wishes to obtain a temporary license extension until the date of the hearing.
A lawyer has a detailed knowledge of Maryland driving laws and knows how those laws apply specifically to your case. An experienced DUI attorney knows how to build a strong case on your behalf and how to effectively present your case in court.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for My First DUI or DWI?
In almost every case, it is in your best interest to obtain legal counsel when facing any DUI or DWI charge, even (and often especially) your first charge.
Below are five reasons why you may need an attorney for your first DUI or DWI in Maryland.
1. The Legal Process Is Complex
The criminal justice system was designed for a judge to mediate the arguments of attorneys on both sides of a case. When defendants decide to represent themselves, it often results in difficult and lengthy proceedings, held up by simple issues like “what do I do next”.
Choosing to represent yourself can make an already stressful experience even more stressful and troublesome. An attorney will handle every aspect of your case to ensure the process runs smoothly and your rights are protected at every turn.
2. A Public Defender May Not Give Your Case the Detailed Attention You Deserve
The United States Supreme Court has ruled that everyone deserves an attorney. However, this does not guarantee the quality of representation to which you are entitled.
Public defenders do not have the luxury of preparing for cases as thoroughly as private attorneys. Additionally, you have no control over choosing a public defender with experience or a proven record of success.
A Baltimore DUI/DWI defense lawyer at The Bishop Law Group will meticulously prepare your case and give your case the full attention it deserves. We take pride in our firm’s history of success and the difference we have made in the lives of our clients.
3. You May Miss Important Legal Defenses
If you do not hire an attorney to represent you, there are numerous DUI and DWI defenses you may overlook, such as:
- Lack of probable cause to stop your vehicle
- Improper breath testing
- Inaccurate accident reconstruction
- Improper field sobriety testing
5. A DUI Defense Attorney May Be Able To Keep a Conviction Off or Your Permanent Record
Judges in Maryland have the ability to award a Probation Before Judgement (PBJ). Essentially, this ensures that the DUI conviction will not go on your permanent record and prevents points from being assessed on your license. A DUI/DWI defense lawyer can advise you on how to try to get a PBJ on your case.
6. A DUI Lawyer May Be Able to Help You Keep Your License
After being arrested for a DUI in Maryland, keeping your license will be one of your top priorities. Not only do you need your license to get around, but losing your license could have a significant impact on your employment and your ability to earn a living.
An experienced DUI/DWI defense lawyer understands your rights and can fight diligently for your best interests. Even if it is your first DUI, your ability to drive could have a tremendous impact on your life.
How Much Does a DUI Cost in Maryland?
In addition to a license suspension and possible jail time, DUI convictions come with costly consequences.
The immediate cost of a DUI or DWI in Maryland can potentially reach thousands of dollars. This cost can rise significantly if a conviction affects your current and future employment. A Baltimore DUI/DWI defense lawyer may be able to help you avoid some of the expenses associated with a DUI or DWI.
Below are some of the costs you may incur after a DUI:
- Bail: The cost of bail – and your eligibility for it – depends on the specific details of your arrest in addition to your prior criminal record. Bail could cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, which is typically refundable. However, if you used the services of a bondsman, a nonrefundable fee may apply.
- Towing fees: Depending on the circumstances of your DUI, you may need to deal with towing fees. If your vehicle was towed after your arrest, you may be charged several hundred dollars to recover your car from a towing lot.
- Car insurance: A DUI or DWI can result in a significant increase in your car insurance rates. Not only will your premiums increase, but they will likely remain elevated for years after your offense. This can lead to thousands of dollars of increased insurance payments.
- Hearing with the Motor Vehicle Administration: Contesting your license suspension may be necessary if you want to retain your driving privileges. The cost of a hearing is more than a hundred dollars.
- Legal fees: The penalties of a DUI or DWI in Maryland are severe, and could potentially impact your freedom, your future, and your financial stability. You do not want to face these consequences alone. It is crucial to secure the counsel of a knowledgeable Maryland DUI defense attorney who can protect your rights and best interests throughout the difficult process. Attorneys’ fees vary, depending on the details of your case, but are usually a few thousand dollars.
- Court costs: Depending on your location, court costs can also vary but they usually total several hundred dollars.
- Ignition interlock: Repeat offenders and those with high blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) may be required to install ignition interlock systems in their vehicles before being issued restricted licenses. These systems usually cost more than a hundred dollars to install and carry recurring fees for every month of the installation.
The Baltimore DUI/DWI defense lawyers at The Bishop Law Group know how stressful it can be to face an impaired driving charge in Maryland. We fight aggressively to defend the rights of our clients and work tirelessly to obtain positive results.
What Is the Legal Blood Alcohol Content Limit in Maryland
There are two types of drinking and driving offenses in Maryland.
The most serious offense is called driving while under the influence (DUI). A driver is considered to be under the influence of alcohol if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater. Maryland law calls a BAC of .08 or above “under the influence per se.”
The other type of drinking and driving offense in Maryland is called driving while impaired (DWI). A driver is considered to be impaired by alcohol if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration of .07.
It is also a crime to drive while impaired by any combination of drugs and/or alcohol that prevents you from driving safely – even if the drugs are legal.
What Is the Penalty for a First DUI Conviction in Maryland?
For a first DUI conviction, Maryland laws (§21-902(b), §21-902(c), and §21-902,1) subject motorists to potentially up to one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. Twelve points will be assessed on your driving record and your license may be revoked for up to six months.
What Is the Penalty for a Second DUI Conviction in Maryland?
Motorists who are convicted a second time for driving under the influence face up to two years in jail (with a mandatory minimum of five days) and a $2,000 fine. Twelve points will be assessed on your license and your license may be revoked for up to one year.
What Is the Penalty in Maryland for Two DUI Convictions In Less Than Five Years?
A motorist who receives two DUI convictions within the span of five years could face a license suspension and mandatory participation in the Ignition Interlock Program. A motorist in this situation may also be ordered to participate in an alcohol abuse program.
What Is the Penalty for Driving Under the Influence with Minors in the Vehicle
Under Maryland law, motorists who are convicted of driving while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs while transporting a minor face up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines for a first offense.
A second offense of transporting a minor while impaired by drugs or alcohol carries the possibility of up to a year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines. Third and subsequent offenses may carry up to four years imprisonment and up to $4,000 in fines.
These fines can be expensive. A DUI/DWI defense lawyer may be able to help.
What Is the Penalty for a First DWI Conviction in Maryland?
A motorist may face up to two months in jail and up to $500 in fines for a first DWI offense, in addition to a 6-month license suspension and eight points assessed on his or her driving record. Drivers under the age of 21 face a one-year license suspension.
What Is the Penalty for a Second DWI Conviction in Maryland?
After a second DWI conviction, motorists in Maryland may face up to one year in jail and a $500 fine. A license suspension may be imposed for 9 to 12 months and eight points will be assessed on his or her driving record. Drivers under the age of 21 face a two-year license suspension.
Driving After Arrest for Violation of DUI or DWI
Under Maryland law, individuals who have been arrested for DUI or DWI may not drive a motor vehicle within 12 hours after the arrest.
DUI or DWI for Underage Driver
A person convicted of a DUI or DWI under the age of 21 automatically faces a license suspension of up to one year.
Driving While Impaired by Controlled Dangerous Substance
Motorists may not drive or attempt to drive a vehicle while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance under Maryland law. Additionally, a motorist may not violate this law while transporting a minor.
Driving While Impaired by Drugs or Drugs and Alcohol
Maryland law prohibits motorists from driving or attempting to drive while impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol.
What Happens If an Out-of-State Driver Gets a DUI in Maryland
Drivers from other states who are convicted of driving while impaired in Maryland face the same penalties as Marylanders. However, out-of-towners could face additional penalties in their home states in the form of license suspensions or mandatory ignition interlock program participation.
If you were charged with a DUI in Maryland and don’t live in the state, call The Bishop Law Group for an initial consultation over the phone. Our DUI/DWI defense lawyers can help protect your rights.
Ignition Interlock Program After a DUI or DWI
When appropriate under Maryland law, Ignition Interlock devices are installed in vehicles to prevent drivers from operating their vehicles while impaired by alcohol. Drivers must blow into the devices before starting their vehicles. The vehicle will not start if the driver’s breath alcohol level exceeds the maximum level set on the device.
Point Accumulation After an Impaired Driving Offense
Drinking and driving violations will be posted to the driving records of those convicted and points will be assessed.
Drivers who have accumulated between 8 and 11 points within a two-year period will have their drivers’ licenses suspended. For accumulations of 12 points or more, licenses are revoked.
Are You Required to Take the Breath Test?
Unless your DUI arrest is associated with an accident that resulted in injury or death, you are not required to submit to a breathalyzer test if you are stopped for a DUI in Maryland. However, refusing a breathalyzer test will result in an automatic driver’s license suspension of 270 days. If you are pulled over a second time and refuse again, your driving privileges will be suspended for one year.
A DUI conviction can affect nearly every aspect of your life. You face significant fines, lost driving privileges, and jail time. If you are facing a DUI charge in Maryland, you need to choose a Baltimore DUI/DWI defense lawyer you can trust to protect your rights, your record, and your future. The Bishop Law Group can help.
Contact The Bishop Law Group today online or at (410) 390-3101. Our firm proudly serves clients throughout Maryland, including Baltimore, Ocean City, and other areas.