La Plata & Waldorf DUI Defense Lawyer
Often, people ask about the best DUI defense strategies. The answer is the best DUI defense for each case depends on the facts of that case. It is a matter of finding the facts that will help you.
DUI defense is a complex area of criminal law, and there is no “secret” to beating a drunk driving charge. As recently as 2016, Maryland lawmakers increased the potential penalties for a DUI conviction, so it’s especially important for criminal defense attorneys to stay on top of their game, which is what we do at The Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A. Our attorneys are among the most successful La Plata & Waldorf DUI defense lawyers, combining experience, knowledge, and creativity to craft effective DUI defense strategies.
Often, the greatest help in successfully defending a drunk driving charge comes from the client him or herself. But you must first understand your rights when it comes to dealing with law enforcement.
Before a trial is ever held, a DUI charge can be challenged on constitutional, legal, or administrative grounds. A successful challenge can result in the state’s evidence being thrown out by the court, making it impossible for the prosecution to continue its case. The primary ways to fight DUI charges are to:
- Challenge the stop
- Challenge the field sobriety tests
- Challenge the breathalyzer results
- Suppress your statements made at the time of arrest
Police officers are notorious for stopping vehicles on a “hunch” the driver has been drinking or is impaired by alcohol. Once they have the driver pulled over, their investigative methods are often crude and inaccurate. It’s even the case that many police officers making DUI arrests have limited training on the effects of alcohol on the body. Additionally, the machines law enforcement officers use to test breath, blood, and urine for alcohol are subject to error. Even though these machines must meet strict government regulations for their results to be admissible in court, they are often improperly maintained.
A police officer must read you your rights when you are under arrest or if you are no longer free to leave. A common problem that arises in DUI arrests occurs when it is clear you are no longer free to leave, but law enforcement fails to read you your rights while continuing to ask you questions about your activities prior to being stopped. This practice is illegal, and any incriminating statements gained by a police officer during this time can, and should, be thrown out by a judge.
DUI / DWI FAQs
With a legal practice focused exclusively on criminal defense in La Plata, Waldorf, and Charles County, Maryland, the Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A. is frequently asked questions about the law regarding driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI). Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we encounter. If you have other questions, or if you need legal advice and representation in a DUI/DWI matter, contact the Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A.
What is the legal limit for DUI?
If a test of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or more, than you can be arrested for DUI, regardless of whether your driving was impaired or not. However, the police must have legal justification for their initial stop and request for you to take a breath test.
What is the difference between DUI and DWI?
If a breathalyzer or other test reveals your BAC to be less than .08%, you can be arrested for Driving While Impaired (DWI). A DWI can have serious consequences, although the penalties are less severe than a DUI conviction.
Can I refuse to take a breathalyzer?
By obtaining a driver’s license, you have given your implied consent to submit to a chemical test for alcohol (breath test) or drugs (blood test) in your bloodstream. If you refuse to take a test, your license will be suspended for 120 days if this is your first refusal, or for one year if it is your second refusal. By comparison, a failed test (.08%) results in an MVA license suspension of 45 days for a first offense or 90 days for a subsequent offense.
What happens to my license if I am convicted of DUI/DWI?
Your license may be suspended for a minimum of six months for a first offense, a minimum of one year for a second offense, at least 18 months for a third offense and a minimum of two years for a fourth offense. For DWI, your license may be suspended up to six months for a first offense, up to nine months for a second or third offense, and up to two years for a fourth offense.
What are the consequences of a DUI conviction?
For a first offense DUI, you can be sentenced to up to one year in jail and assessed a fine of up to $1,000. For a DWI, you can be sentenced to up to two months in jail and up to $500 in fines. These penalties increase for a second or subsequent offense, or if you are transporting a minor at the time of your arrest.
Simply put, the prosecution needs all its evidence to prevent a judge from dismissing a DUI charge for lack of evidence or to present a strong case to a jury. If there is any missing link, you have a strong DUI defense.
If you have been charged with drunk driving in Charles County, let The Law Office of Hammad S. Matin, P.A. develop a strong DUI defense for you. In many cases, we can get DUI charges thrown out or dismissed entirely, and if a dismissal isn’t possible, we can often negotiate a deal to a lesser charge. Call our La Plata & Waldorf DUI defense lawyers today to schedule a free initial consultation.