DUI & DWI Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Delaware and Maryland
Welcome to Whitehead Law, a firm dedicated to providing quality legal services in the areas of criminal defense, personal injury, and bankruptcy for clients throughout Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
We are prepared to help you overcome whatever legal challenge you face. Whether you are charged with a crime that threatens your freedom and reputation, are badly injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, or need debt relief under the Bankruptcy Code — we can help.
No matter what you’re up against, the team at Whitehead Law is committed to protecting your rights and achieving a favorable outcome in your case. With founder and lead attorney Andrew A. Whitehead at the helm, you can expect nothing less than high caliber legal representation and personalized attention. We genuinely care about our clients’ futures and take the time to develop customized solutions to fit individual client needs.
Take Advantage of a Former Prosecutor:
Reaching out to Whitehead Law for help with your case is the first step. Therefore, to schedule a consultation, call us at (302) 248-2000. At this time, we will listen to your concerns, answer your questions and present you with your legal options. We have offices in Georgetown, Delaware and Ocean Pines, Maryland and serve the following counties in both states:
Delaware counties: Sussex, Kent and New Castle
Maryland counties: Worcester, Wicomico, Somerset, Dorchester, Talbot, Caroline, Queen Anne’s and Kent
Criminal Defense: If you’re under investigation or were arrested and charged with a crime in Delaware or Maryland, it’s critical to involve a criminal defense attorney early in the process. In fact, a criminal conviction has the potential to jeopardize many aspects of your life. For example, your freedom, relationships, career, driving privileges, reputation and more are at stake.
Former Prosecutor Now Devoted to Defending the Rights of the Accused
Andrew Whitehead understands how high the stakes can get. He commits to mounting a vigorous defense on your behalf. He will use his experience as a former prosecutor to anticipate how the prosecution will build their case against you and will leverage his insider knowledge to identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
Mr. Whitehead has helped clients fight a wide range of criminal allegations, including but not limited to:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or drugs
- Open container of alcohol
- Driving without a license; driving on suspended or revoked license
- Speeding and other traffic citations
- Possession of Marijuana and other drug offenses
- Disorderly conduct/disturbing the peace
- Domestic violence
- Juvenile offenses
The Delaware Court System
Depending on the charges you face, your case could end up in one of several Delaware courts. Minor misdemeanors and traffic tickets take place in the Justice of the Peace Court. Most other misdemeanors and DUI cases occur in the Court of the Common Pleas. If you are charged with a felony, the Superior Court has jurisdiction over your case. The attorneys at Whitehead Law have experience in all the Delaware courts and can help you navigate the system with ease.
How to Protect Your Rights After an Arrest
A police officer can legally make an arrest if they observe a crime firsthand, have evidence of a crime, or obtained a search warrant from a judge.
General rules to follow after an arrest:
- Do not disrespect a police officer or resist arrest
- The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution protects you against self-incrimination. You have the right to remain silent and not answer questions
- Ask to speak to an attorney before you make ANY statements
- Do not sign a rights waiver indicating you are giving up your constitutional rights
If you are pulled over in your car:
- Show your license, registration, and proof of insurance when asked
- Keep your hands on the wheel and let the officer know you are going to reach for what he is asking for
- Sign a traffic ticket, if one is handed to you
- The Fourth Amendment protects personal privacy and illegal search and seizures. It is your constitutional right to refuse to have your person or vehicle searched. Simply say: “I do not consent to a search”. They may search you anyway. However, voice your opposition because it may be used against the officer later.
- Politely refuse any roadside field sobriety tests, they are not mandatory
If you are taken to a police station:
- Tell the police your name and other identification information but nothing else
- Exercise your right to remain silent
- If you are arrested for a DUI, you must consent to a blood, breath or urine test
- Call Whitehead Law (302) 248-2000
Benefits of Having a Criminal Defense Attorney
- Knowledge and familiarity of the local courts, proper legal procedures, court documents, and deadlines
- Can conduct an exhaustive investigation of your arrest including scrutinizing evidence and interviewing witnesses
- Ability to access a vast network of private investigators, medical practitioners, and other witnesses to testify on your behalf
- File pre-trial motions to suppress evidence illegally obtained; dismiss charges for insufficient evidence
- Negotiate favorable plea bargain or deal with prosecutor which could mean a reduction in charges or sentencing
A blood alcohol content of .08 percent or greater is a misdemeanor offense in Delaware and Maryland.
DUI laws in Sussex County, Kent County and New Castle County have become stricter in recent years, including extending mandatory ignition interlock devices to first-time offenders and increasing DUI checkpoints.
A Delaware DUI case involves two separate proceedings — you’ll first need to attend an administrative hearing at the Division of Motor Vehicles and second, you’ll need to answer to the charges in a criminal hearing in court.
Administrative Procedure: Take Immediate Action To Protect Your License
At the time of your DUI arrest, the police officer will take your driver’s license and issue you a 15-day temporary license.
You must schedule an administrative hearing at the DMV within 15 days of your arrest or your license will be suspended for a minimum of 3 months.
The hearing is meant to determine if the police officer had probable cause to believe you were driving under the influence and whether evidence exists to support that claim. The DUI attorneys at Whitehead Law can represent you at the hearing and will cross-examine the police officer to find inaccuracies in his or her account of what happened.
The good news is, in many cases the police officer does not show up to the DMV hearing. In fact, when this happens your license is returned to you that same day.
If, however, the officer does show up and the DMV rules against you, the following license suspensions will go into effect:
- 1st offense DUI – 3 months
- 2nd offense DUI within 5 years – 1 year
- 3rd offense DUI within 5 years – 18 months
If you refused to take a chemical or breath test at the time of your arrest, your license is automatically suspended for:
- 1st offense DUI – 1 year
- 2nd offense DUI within 5 years – 18 months
- 3rd offense DUI within 5 years – 24 months
The Delaware criminal court imposes harsh penalties, some of which may include:
- mandatory installation of ignition interlock device in your vehicle
- fines, court costs
- jail time
- alcohol education classes
- increased insurance premiums
Delaware First Offender DUI Program (FOP)
If you are a Delaware resident and charged with your first DUI, you may be eligible to participate in the First Offender DUI program or FOP in lieu of trial. For example, this program will require you to: serve probation for one year, pay a $250 fee, submit to a drug and alcohol evaluation, attend DUI courses and/or a rehabilitation program, or install an interlock device on your car. However, this program may or may not be a good idea depending on the facts surrounding your case. If you have a valid legal defense, the FOP program may not be necessary. Furthermore, the DUI attorneys at Whitehead Law can assess your case carefully to recommend the best strategy
How To Beat a DUI in Delaware
Don’t ever assume you can’t beat a DUI charge if you failed a breath test and plead guilty. In fact, there are several strategies that the DUI attorneys at Whitehead Law can effectively utilize, including:
- challenge the legality of the DUI checkpoint stop
- cast doubt on the validity of field sobriety tests
- challenge the BAC results from a breathylazer/breath test (equipment malfunction, improper calibration, user error, health conditions)
- challenge the results of blood test
- make a rising blood alcohol argument
Personal Injury Lawsuits:
Whitehead Law represents individuals injured as a consequence of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Whether you were in a car or truck collision, or slipped and fell at a grocery store — no case is too big or small to take on.
The Personal Injury Attorneys at Whitehead Law will guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim and will negotiate directly with the insurance company to obtain full and fair compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
It’s important to act quick quickly. Delaware and Maryland have tight deadlines for filing a personal injury claim.
Personal Injury Claims:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents/tractor trailer
- Slip and fall
Being seriously injured in an accident is one of the most traumatic experiences a person can endure, especially if the accident was preventable. In fact, if your injury is caused by someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you are entitled to pursue a personal injury claim against the at-fault party and their insurance company. In particular, you shouldn’t have to bear the financial burden of someone else’s wrongdoing.
Insurance companies are notorious for trying to take advantage of personal injury victims. As a for-profit business, their main goal is to pay you as little as possible. Furthermore, they know that you are at your most vulnerable after an accident, and may attempt to convince you to take a low ball settlement.
A skilled personal injury lawyer on your side means the difference between receiving a fair settlement and inadequate reimbursement. Not to mention, Andrew Whitehead has been standing up to insurance companies for years and knows how to gather evidence and testimony from doctors to prove the severity of your injury.
If a settlement is not reached, Mr. Whitehead will fiercely advocate for your right to compensation in court.
Overwhelming Debts? You can Declare Bankruptcy and Get a Fresh Start:
Are you drowning in debt? Do bill collectors call you non-stop demanding payment? Relief is possible. In fact, it can be yours sooner than you think. The Bankruptcy attorneys at Whitehead Law can review your financial situation and explain your debt relief options.
Filing for bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it shows that you’re being proactive about getting yourself back on track. A Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy can give you relief from credit card and medical debt, prevent foreclosure and repossession of a vehicle as well as stop creditor’s from harassing you.
In today’s economy, many Americans are struggling to make ends meet. Financial difficulties can stem from a job loss, divorce, illness, or just the day to day expenses of living. In fact, if bills are unmanageable, you may face wage garnishments, foreclosure, or automobile repossession. You may also be dealing with non-stop calls from bill collectors. Although your situation seems hopeless, there is a way to break free from your debt.
Whitehead Law helps individuals, couples and families in Delaware and Maryland get the fresh financial start they deserve.
You may be a good candidate for bankruptcy if:
- creditors are harassing you
- facing foreclosure or repossession
- having trouble paying your mortgage
- you rely on credit cards to pay for living expenses
- you have missed car payments
- your wages are garnished
Eliminate Debt Quickly with Chapter 7
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to wipe out all your unsecured debts from credit card bills, medical bills, payday loans, deficiencies on repossessed cars, etc. On the other hand, the only types of debt that cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy are student loans, certain taxes, child support and alimony. Furthermore, in most cases, you will be able to keep your home and car.
A Chapter 7 might be a good fit for you if the following apply:
- Earn less than the median income
- Do not have a steady flow of income
- Have very little non-exempt assets
- Owe a large amount of debt that cannot be repaid within a reasonable period of time
Protect Your Home From Foreclosure with Chapter 13
A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as a “reorganization” bankruptcy or a “wage earner’s plan. Moreover, Chapter 13 enables you to consolidate your debt into one monthly affordable plan, in which you repay your creditors over 3-5 years.
You can use Chapter 13 to:
- prevent a house foreclosure
- make up missed car or mortgage payments
- pay back taxes
- stop interest from accruing on your tax debt (local, Delaware state, or federal)
- keep valuable non-exempt property