Choosing the Right Maryland DUI Lawyer Can Help You Avoid Harsh Penalties
Maryland DUI lawyer Christopher J. Mutimer has the experience you need to get the best possible outcome when faced with potentially life-changing DUI charges.
You Need the Best DUI Lawyer in Maryland
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI or DWI) isn’t a meager traffic ticket — it’s a major crime. A criminal conviction for drunk driving can alter your life permanently. You might lose your job, your freedom, or your driving privileges. Each time you get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you run the risk of prison time, fines, and the devastating possibility of causing injury or death to those around you.
Those charged with DUI/DWI are often wondering whether these offenses are considered misdemeanors or felonies. Although a DUI/DWI conviction is a misdemeanor in Maryland, it carries the possibility of a jail sentence for the offender. While in case of a first offense, the competent attorney will probably keep the offender out of jail depending on the circumstances, with every subsequent DUI/DWI conviction, jail time becomes a more likely possibility.
These are not criminal charges to ignore. You need the best attorney possible to assist you through this challenging legal matter — you need Maryland DUI lawyers like Christopher J. Mutimer of Scrofano Law. A passionate advocate for the accused, Mr. Mutimer is committed to representing Maryland drivers in their time of greatest need, using his extensive skills and experience to consistently produce successful outcomes.
What Is the Difference Between an MD DUI and DWI?
If a police officer pulls someone over for suspicion of DUI/DWI, usually the first step he or she will do is ask the driver to perform several tests. These roadside tests are officially called Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. The police officer performing those tests has to conduct them properly, or the results will be invalid and won’t be considered as evidence of impairment.
In the State of Maryland, many drivers don’t know that field sobriety tests are voluntary, and the driver can refuse to do them. If you refuse to do these tests, the officer will probably arrest you and that can result in license suspension. On the other hand, field sobriety tests are used to provide probable cause for an officer to arrest the person for DUI/DWI and take them to the police station to do a breath test.
A DUI charge does not just describe driving after imbibing alcohol. You might need a DUI legal representative in MD if you have been stopped while driving under the influence of any controlled substances, or even over-the-counter medications. Lawyers are frequently asked whether a person can be charged with a DUI if he or she was taking prescriptions as directed by a physician. The response is yes if your driving is impacted. You can, in fact, be charged with a DUI.
A well-informed DUI attorney will be up-to-date on the most current adjustments to alcohol and drug laws and the repercussions of each. Because the charges for any criminal conviction rely on numerous elements, including previous convictions or arrests, you should hire counsel as quickly as you are accused. If you are facing a DUI charge, reach out to our office today and schedule a free consultation with our lawyer and start preparing your drunk driving defense.
What Is an MD DWI?
An MD DWI refers to a charge of driving while impaired. DWIs in Maryland are lesser offenses than DUIs and occur when a motorist’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is discovered to be between 0.07 and 0.08 percent.
Drivers charged with DWI typically pass a breath test with outcomes simply listed below the legal limitation, however display other indicators of disability. They often fail a field sobriety test or are found to be driving unpredictably. This level of disability is viewed as hazardous, which is why Maryland law states that those who are condemned will deal with criminal sanctions.
These motorists may deal with a possible 60 days in prison and a $500 fine for a first-time offense. Subsequent offenses will likely lead to a year in prison or another $500 fine. The Maryland Automobile Administration enters these cases on the motorist’s record. A DWI conviction will lead to an eight-point charge on your record, which is enough to result in a suspension of the driver’s license.
How Does a DUI in MD Differ From a DWI?
MD drunk driving (DUI) exists when a motorist is found to have actually driven with a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater. This level of 0.08 percent, is referred to as the state’s legal limit for alcohol. Any blood alcohol content equivalent or higher than this is seen as a major alcohol offense and can result in:
- Prison time
- Suspension of driver’s license
For first-time DUIs, the possible penalty is up to one year in jail and a fine of approximately $1,000. Those who have gotten two DUIs can anticipate as much as two years in prison and a $2,000 fine, while a third-time culprit can anticipate a possible three years behind bars and a $3,000 fine.
In addition to criminal charges, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) slaps DUI transgressors with a severe 12-point charge. This results in a cancellation of the motorist’s license for a specific amount of time.
The points you’ve received on your Maryland driving record will be considered “current” for two years from the date of the violation. During that time, the points will be visible to your employers and the insurance company.
In the State of Maryland, if a driver accumulates a certain number of points (in this case, between 8 and 11) on his or her driving record, that can lead to license suspension. However, after receiving 12 or more points, a driver faces revocation of their driving privileges for two years. License revocation means that the driver will have to reapply as if he or she never had their driver’s license before.
How a DUI Lawyer Maryland Can Help You Avoid Criminal Charges
Many times, MD DUI or DWI charges are dropped in court due to the state’s violation of formalities, such as not calibrating the devices utilized, not administering a proper field sobriety test, or unlawfully pulling a driver over without any reasonable suspicion. Other times, the charges can be reduced to minimize the harsh penalties of a DUI conviction.
In some cases, a DUI/DWI offense can be treated more seriously, such as if a driver drove at 20 mph (or more) over the speed limit, had a juvenile younger than 14 in the car at the time, or had more than one reported drunk driving offense. In case vehicular manslaughter occurs in a DUI/DWI case, a DUI/DWI charge may be boosted from a misdemeanor to a felony charge.
As your experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney, Christopher J. Mutimer will examine the details of your DUI case in their totality and, from those facts, craft a customized DUI defense strategy to ensure the best possible result for your case.
Expunging a DUI Conviction
If you have been convicted of a drunk driving offense in Maryland, you may be wondering if it can be expunged off your criminal record. Whether it was a DWI conviction or a DUI conviction, it is not possible to wipe it off your record.
Although a record of the prior DUI remains, it can’t be counted against you constantly. Under Maryland law, a prior conviction for DUI can be used to enhance penalties for a subsequent offense if it occurs within five years.
What Happens If Someone Is Killed?
Typically, a driver who causes the death of another individual while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or while driving impaired will face felony charges. In addition, these crimes carry severe consequences such as license revocation or suspension, jail or prison time, and fines.
If the driver committed homicide by vehicle while being under the influence, he or she would face DUI penalties that include up to 5 years in prison along with a maximum of $5,000 in fines. If convicted for a second time for the same crime, the offender is looking at maximum penalties of up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Homicide by vehicle when driving while impaired is also a felony that carries criminal penalties of up to 3 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines for a first offense. The maximum penalty for a second conviction is up to 5 years in prison with a maximum of $10,000 in fines.
DUI cases that involve death or serious bodily injury become felony cases in the Circuit Court. If that occurs, it’s even more critical to have an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer on your side who has successfully handled DUI trials and criminal defense cases.
What Is Probation Before Judgment?
Probation before judgment (PBJ) is possible for some first-time DUI offenders. However, there are certain conditions, and eligible defendants will avoid some of the negative consequences of a DUI conviction.
Skillful Maryland DUI attorneys usually know prosecutors and can negotiate PBJ for their clients. So first-hand experience and familiarity with the local court system by defense attorneys can be helpful when trying to mitigate the possible damage associated with DUI convictions and charges.
Maryland DUI lawyer Christopher J. Mutimer and his legal acumen and intimate understanding of the criminal justice system make him an invaluable asset to anybody charged with a DUI in Maryland. Let him put his skills to work to help you get your life back on track before it’s too late. Our Maryland DUI lawyers can also help if you have been charged with a DUI in nearby DC or Virginia.
Contact an Experienced Maryland DUI Lawyer Today
Being arrested for driving under the influence or driving while impaired can be a frightening experience. What begins as a night out with friends can end with you in handcuffs and your vehicle taken. It’s a demanding circumstance, but you do not need to go through it alone. DUI lawyer Christopher J. Mutimer and the Scrofano Law team are here to protect your rights, freedom, and future.
With our firm on your side, you can rest assured knowing that you have a dynamic team of legal experts ready to defend your future at every turn. At Scrofano Law, we are not here to judge you or your actions — we are here to protect your rights and do whatever it takes to get your Maryland DUI charges dropped or reduced. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, where we will inform you of your rights and discuss your options.
If you have been charged with any of these Washington, DC drunk driving offenses or any other DC crime, contact Attorney Christopher J. Mutimer by calling 202-946-5783 or by filling out an online contact form. Credit Cards Accepted
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