Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges are serious offenses.
Our defense lawyers know a DUI conviction has a severe impact on a person’s ability to lead a normal life. These criminal charges can result in driver’s license suspension, heavy fines, jail time, higher car insurance premiums, and difficulty obtaining employment or education prospects. A Maryland state court may require you to pay for and attend alcohol education classes, and a DUI conviction categorizes you as a high-risk motorist.
Finding a trusted Maryland DUI lawyer to explain and protect your rights should be your first priority after DUI charges.
The Baltimore DUI lawyers at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC offer expert legal representation to Maryland drivers facing DWI, DUI, negligent driving, and other charges in Baltimore. Our firm’s attorneys are practiced in criminal defense for DUI/DWI charges.
Contacting us immediately after your drunk driving arrest can significantly increase your chances of avoiding the harshest punishments or a wrongful conviction.
How Can a Baltimore DUI Lawyer Help Me?
A Maryland DUI lawyer at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC has the skill and experience to win your case. We’ll examine the circumstances of your DUI traffic stop, your blood alcohol content test results, your past driving records, and the specifics of your DUI charge.
We offer consultations at our Baltimore, MD criminal defense and personal injury law firm to discuss your DUI charge. We don’t let any confidential or sensitive information leave this meeting. As a law office experienced in handling DUI defense cases, we know how severely a DUI charge can shatter your life.
Our attorneys will study the facts of your DUI or DWI case to identify any defense in your favor. We’ll look into any alternative options that could lessen DUI or DWI penalties and help you keep your driver’s license, reduce fines, or avoid a jail sentence.
What Are the Penalties for a DUI or DWI in Maryland?
The Maryland laws for DUI and DWI offenses are:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI): Blood alcohol content (BAC) test results of 0.08% or higher
- Driving While Impaired (DWI): BAC test results between 0.07% and 0.08%, or a lower reading if the driver is impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol
Under Maryland’s “Zero Tolerance” law for underage drinking, any driver under 21 who has a BAC test result of 0.02% or higher can be charged with a DUI offense.
Under Maryland state law, DUI and DWI penalties can range from driver’s license suspension to fines to jail time. All driving under the influence convictions must also be reported to the Maryland motor vehicle administration. Below is a brief outline of the penalties that frequently accompany an offense in Maryland.
First DUI Offense Penalties in Maryland
Motorists with a blood alcohol content (BAC) test reading of 0.08 or above can be charged with a DUI. And drivers who test below 0.08 but above 0.05 can also be charged with a DUI or DWI. Penalties include:
- Imprisonment up to one year
- A fine up to $1,000
- Twelve points on your driving record
- Driver’s license revoked for up to six months after the DUI conviction
Second DUI Offense Penalties in Maryland
Penalties for a second offense are stricter. Getting the help of a DUI lawyer is imperative if you are facing a repeat DUI charge in Baltimore. If you are convicted of a second DUI, penalties may include:
- Fines up to $2,000
- Two years in jail
- Suspended driver’s license for up to one year or more
- Jail time of up to three years and a fine of up to $3,000 if transporting a minor
A district court judge will usually order that you participate in a number of programs like the Maryland Drinking Driver Monitor Program (DDMP). An ignition interlock system will also likely be mandated.
Third DUI Offense Penalties in Maryland
A DUI lawyer is absolutely necessary if you are facing a third conviction. The more recently your other convictions occurred, the more severely Maryland courts may punish you. The circumstances of your previous DUI cases will be weighed heavily by the judge when sentencing. Consequences can include:
- Three years’ jail sentence
- Up to a $3,000 fine
- Twelve points on your license
- Revoked driver’s license
Other consequences affecting your reputation and livelihood will be applied if you are convicted. These may include mandatory incarceration periods, probation periods, the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID), alcohol and drug education and rehabilitation, insurance penalties, and more.
Consequences like these result in years of lost employment opportunities and education opportunities for convicted offenders. It cannot be understated how important it is to be represented by an experienced DUI lawyer if you face DUI charges in Maryland for a third time.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me Fight DUI Charges?
A DUI conviction can come with a high price tag. A Baltimore DUI lawyer can help you build a DUI defense strategy that considers the actual circumstances of your case in relation to the penalties being proposed.
Your DUI lawyer will protect your rights, making sure the justice system adheres to all legal and ethical standards in the handling of your case.
Our expertise in Maryland DUI and DWI cases allows us to immediately notice any error or breach of duty committed by law enforcement. If a procedural violation occurred at any point, we will be aware of its impact on your DUI case. An error or violation may be enough to have your case dismissed.
If your case cannot be dismissed, it is our goal as your Baltimore DUI lawyers to reduce the impact of a conviction on your life and your future to the highest degree possible. We will look into options such as reduced charges and probation before judgment (PBJ).
What Is Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) in a DUI Case?
Probation before judgment (PBJ) is the option for a person facing criminal charges to be placed on probation before a judgment is entered. This is a benefit that is usually only offered to first-time offenders, but there are exceptions.
In Maryland, PBJs are only offered for certain crimes, but they are allowed for cases involving DUI-DWI charges. This can be of great advantage to someone charged with drunk driving. If you successfully follow the terms of the PBJ for the probationary period, you will be granted the benefits that come with not receiving a DUI conviction.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for a DUI in Baltimore County?
All individuals facing a criminal charge have the right to an attorney who can represent them in Baltimore County District Court. This is an essential right that you must be granted if you are arrested on an intoxicated driving charge.
You need someone you can trust to protect you. If you hire a good Baltimore DUI lawyer, you won’t be taken advantage of in any way over the course of the legal proceedings.
Get Powerful Representation After DUI Charges in Maryland
The DUI attorneys from our law offices have extensive experience handling criminal law cases in the Maryland court system. We can offer a free consultation to those in:
- Baltimore City
- Baltimore County
- Glen Burnie
- Montgomery County
- Harford County
- Howard County
- Prince George’s County
- Anne Arundel County
Our Maryland DUI attorneys are ready to defend you in a Maryland district court or circuit court. We offer legal advocacy to protect our clients from lifelong adverse consequences stemming from a Baltimore DUI case.
Defenses That May Be Used Against a Baltimore DUI Charge
Without a deep understanding of the laws that apply to DUI cases in Baltimore County and Maryland, it’s impossible to identify the violations, errors, or mistakes that may be present in the way your case was handled. We’ll analyze the records of your traffic stop and arrest to pinpoint any gaps that may be used in your criminal defense.
Based on the answers to questions like the ones below, your Baltimore DUI lawyer may employ one or more technical defense strategies to help you defend your rights in a Maryland DUI/DWI case.
Who Was in Control of the Vehicle?
A court must determine whether the accused was in “actual physical control” of the vehicle. Courts in Maryland generally look to the six factors established in the Atkinson case:
- Whether or not the vehicle’s engine is running, or the ignition on
- Where and in what position the person is found in the vehicle
- Whether the person is awake or asleep
- Where the vehicle’s ignition key is located
- Whether the vehicle’s headlights are on
- Whether the vehicle is located in the roadway or is legally parked
One of these factors alone is not sufficient to make a judgment regarding whether the defendant was in actual physical control of the vehicle—all factors must be given consideration. Your Baltimore DUI lawyer may be able to craft a defense proving that you were not in actual physical control of the vehicle at the time you were arrested on drunk or drugged driving charges.
Other Questions Your Baltimore DUI Lawyers Will Ask
- Did a police officer make an unlawful stop?
- Were field sobriety tests administered lawfully and equipment properly maintained?
- Was the breathalyzer certified?
- Did police have legal grounds to ask you to perform a test?
- Were you read your Miranda rights at the time of your arrest?
- Did police commit any other errors during your arrest or at the police station?
Call the DUI Lawyers Who Fight for the People of Baltimore
After a DUI or DWI charge in Baltimore, MD, you know your first step should be to build an attorney-client relationship with a lawyer you can trust. We at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC offer the representation you need. We are members of the Maryland State Bar Association and have built a reputation as top defense lawyers in our state.
Don’t wait. Contact us today to discuss your case with a top Baltimore DUI lawyer.