Being Accused of Driving Under The Influence (DUI)
Being charged with a DUI is a serious matter and one that warrants talking to a lawyer immediately. When you’re pulled over in Delaware for suspected DUI (also referred to as a DWI in Maryland), it’s imperative that you understand your rights so you that you can protect yourself. However, even when you know your rights, hiring the right DUI defense lawyer in Delaware can help you navigate the complex legal system to help minimize the consequences.
Contrary to popular belief, a DUI is serious, and the stakes are even higher when it’s your second or third time facing Driving Under The Influence charges, and you need a Delaware DUI attorney who can help you identify the best way to defend yourself. Without experienced legal representation, you might make mistakes early on in the case that could compromise your ability to move on with your life after this incident.
Being Arrested for DUI in Delaware
When any officer hands you a citation or ticket for a DUI in Delaware, you need to take it seriously. The officer most likely asked for your license and provided you with a summons and order of revocation. The notice will identify the suspension of your driving privileges within a 15 day period for at least 90 days or a full 24 months based on your charges in the state of Delaware.
You need to retain a Delaware DUI defense attorney right away and to ask for a Delaware DUI Administrative Motor Vehicle Hearing within the first fifteen days, or you will lose your driving privileges or even your license automatically. To your license back after going through that process, you would have to go through an alcohol rehabilitation class. An experienced DUI Lawyer can help guide you through the process.
Since the steps you take immediately after being charged can have a significant impact on your DUI case, don’t make any statements to the police or sign anything until you have had the chance retain and talk to a DUI attorney. It may not be in your best interests, for example, to plead guilty. Your lawyer can tell you more about the best way to proceed based on the facts of your case.
If you are arrested and then convicted of a DUI charge in the state of Delaware, the next steps you take are vital as they could make or break your case. If you do not appreciate the seriousness of your case, you could be looking at serious consequences; a DUI is a not a minor traffic violation.
DUI Offenses in Delaware
For a first offense DUI, you could spend up to six months in jail. For a second offense, that increases to up to 18 months. For third and fourth offenses, you could be spending a few years in a Delaware prison.
Your fines for a Delaware DUI conviction are:
- Up to $1500 for a first offense
- Up to $2500 for a second offense
- Up to $5,000 for a third offense
- Up to $7,000 for a fourth offense
The length of a DUI license suspension in Delaware will also depend on the specifics of your DUI conviction:
- Up to 24 months for a first offense
- Up to 30 months for a second offense
- Up to 36 months for a third offense
- Up to 60 months for a fourth offense
As you can see, penalties and consequences for a DUI in the state of Delaware are serious, and you should always respond to any accusations of DUI by hiring an experienced Delaware DUI Defense Attorney.
Being Arrested for DUI in Maryland
In Maryland, driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI) are serious criminal charges that should immediately prompt you
to call a Maryland DUI lawyer. DUI charges can lead to probation, suspended driving privileges, jail, and fines in the state of Maryland. The latter can impact your financial situation as well as your future, but an experienced Maryland DUI defense attorney can help you determine the most appropriate way to craft a compelling DUI defense.
A DUI in Maryland comes with both administrative and criminal consequences. If you do not take the step to request a hearing with the MVA within a ten-day period after your arrest, your license suspension stays in effect until your DUI trial.
Having an attorney that specializes in DUI defense to assist you with the criminal and administrative aspects of your case is important so that you know what to expect at each stage. Talking to anyone other than your Maryland DUI defense lawyer after your arrest could be a mistake as you might give more information than is necessary to the officers or fail to understand the full implications of what you are saying or doing. It’s important that you instead retain Maryland DUI attorney and make no statements to the police until you have had the chance to talk to your lawyer.
Maryland Impaired Driving Laws (DWI)
Drivers charged with impaired driving (DWI) in the state of Maryland face criminal penalties and license and administrative sanctions if the driver is found guilty of an impaired driving offense.
In 2016, new changes took place for Maryland’s drugged and drunk driving laws that expanded the ignition interlock program and increased penalties under the rule known as Noah’s Law. These changes dramatically affected those charged with DWI offenses.
What You Need to Know About Alcohol Test Refusals and Failures in the state of Maryland
If an officer stops you and asks for a portable breath test in Maryland, you need to know your rights; this may be the only way to avoid serious issues. If you refuse the test, immediate consequences apply.
The officer will also take your Maryland driver’s license and may give you a 45-day temporary license as a result of your DWI offense. If you are a commercial driver’s license holder at the time of the stop or are operating a commercial vehicle, you may have your CDL status disqualified immediately under Maryland law.
Alcohol License Restriction in Maryland
When you have a license restriction for alcohol in Maryland, you can never operate a vehicle with any blood alcohol content. Furthermore, if you have a previous driving offense associated with impaired driving, your Maryland license may also have a restriction for alcohol on it placed there by the courts. This limitation may also be put on your license if you refuse to allow the test when an officer suspects that you were driving under the influence. If you refuse the test for any level of alcohol or if you tested positive for any level of alcohol, you might have additional consequences.
Convictions for a DUI or DWI in Maryland
Being convicted of an impaired driving offense in Maryland carries both licensed sanctions and criminal penalties. In the event that you are convicted of driving under the influence (DWI) or a DUI:
- You’ll face up to $1000 in fines and a year in jail for a first offense.
- You’ll face up to $2000 in fines and up to two years in prison for a second offense and 12 points will be assessed on your license.
- For at least two convictions during the same five-year period, a mandatory suspension period will be followed by a minimum period of participation in the ignition interlock program.
- You may also be required to participate in an alcohol abuse program and assessment.
Fines and Points for Maryland DWI
Facing a driving while impaired conviction in the state of Maryland means that you could be facing up to a $500 fine and up to two months of imprisonment, additionally, eight points will also be assessed on your Maryland driver’s license, and you will be facing a six-month license suspension. For a second DWI offense, you may be looking at up to one year in prison and up to $500 in fines, with the addition of eight points on your driver’s license.
What You Need to Know About Underage Drinking in Maryland
If you are younger than 21 and are found to have purchased, consumed or possessed alcohol, you’ll be facing a fine of up to $500 for your first offense and up to $1000 for your second offense.
Any individual under the age of 21 who possesses a fake ID may be looking at up to 2 months in prison and fine of $500 in addition to 12 points on their driving record. Those individuals who violate their alcohol restriction while under age 21, must enter the ignition interlock program or face license suspension.
What happens if you’re caught Making and Selling Fake IDs
If you are caught making or selling fake IDs in the state of Maryland, you could be looking at fines of up to $2000 and as much as two years in prison for every fake ID sold, and you could face prosecution for violating Homeland Security and Federal laws. If you knowingly provide alcohol to a minor and you are over the age of 21, you will be facing up to $2500 in fines for your first violation and up to $5000 for your second or further violation. Ignition Interlock devices are small devices that are installed in your vehicle, preventing you from operating the vehicle. Attempting to circumvent your ignition interlock device can also come with other advance penalties.
What to Do When You Have Been Pulled Over After Drinking and Driving in Delaware or Maryland
When you have been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, there is no doubt that you will be nervous and confused about your rights. You may be concerned about what will happen next and the best way to protect yourself as well as how much trouble you may be facing. There are a couple of important things you can do to protect your rights and minimize your chances of having to deal with DUI charges.
You have the right to remain silent
First of all, exercise your right to remain silent. There is no doubt that the police officer will try to ask you questions associated with your activities and how much you’ve had to drink. You might think that the officer is doing his or her best to understand this situation, but they may be fishing for information to use against you in court.
Your replies to any of these questions can be used to build a case against you, and it will turn into a “he said she said” situation. It is best to tell the officer that you do not wish to participate in answering any of their questions until you have had the opportunity to talk directly with your lawyer.
It is important to stay polite during this experience, however, and give them any factual information such as your name and hand over your driver’s license. The officer may request that you step outside of your vehicle to perform a field sobriety test. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself if you have after an arrest for drinking and driving is to consult with a DWI or DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
Your attorney can help you determine the best way to protect yourself and prepare for a future case. No one wants to be facing drunk driving charges, but thankfully there are things you can do to minimize the potential consequences. By understanding your rights the moment you’re pulled over and contacting a Maryland DUI attorney sooner rather than later can make all of the difference.
There are many different possible defenses in a DUI case, but there’s no doubt that you feel things are in a blur as a result of being arrested and charged. Since you may not understand all your options, it’s better to schedule a consultation with Maryland DUI defense lawyer as soon as possible to walk through the facts of the case while they are still fresh in your mind. Doing so gives your attorney the opportunity to craft a defense strategy in line with your specific needs.
You may be able to fight a DUI case by arguing:
- Lack of proof beyond a reasonable doubt
- Lack of probable cause to arrest
- Compelled field sobriety tests
- Discovery violations
- No reasonable suspicion to stop you in the first place
It’s not the end of the world
Don’t let a DUI turn your world upside down. Instead, get help from an attorney as soon as you are charged, this is the only way to protect your interests and ensure that you have all the information you need to make decisions about how to proceed.
Being accused of DUI or DWI is a frustrating and often overwhelming process, but a lawyer dedicated to the best outcome for you can be extremely helpful. The right lawyer can make a big difference in the outcome of your case, so when your rights matter, it’s time to call in a Delaware or Maryland DUI defense attorney who is committed to fighting for you