What to Expect From a DUI in Maryland
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense that places your life and the lives of others in jeopardy. Since drunk driving compromises public health and safety, it is treated very harshly under Maryland laws. It’s imperative to get in touch with a DUI lawyer in La Plata as soon as possible. You’ll need an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend your legal rights and represent your best interests in court.
Taking a Chemical Test
After you’ve been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, the police officer will ask you to submit to a chemical test to check your blood alcohol content (BAC). In Maryland, you can be charged with DUI for having a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. Even if your BAC is lower than this, you can still be charged with DUI if you’re under the age of 21 or if you’re a commercial driver. Your criminal defense attorney is likely to advise you to take the chemical test. Refusal to take the test does not necessarily improve the outcome of your case and it will result in automatic penalties, such as a 120-day suspension of your license.
Consulting a Lawyer
After a DUI arrest, you should cooperate with the police officers. Provide your full name and similar information; however, do not answer any questions about the alleged incident. Instead, exercise your right to contact a DUI law firm. When you retain the services of a criminal defense lawyer, he or she will thoroughly investigate the alleged incident and the arrest to develop strategies for your defense.
Understanding the Penalties
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer offers your best chance of a dismissed case, an acquittal, or a favorable plea deal. Otherwise, you’re facing severe penalties upon conviction. A DUI conviction is punishable by up to a year behind bars in Maryland, along with up to $1,000 in fines. Additionally, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of six months. If you have prior DUI convictions, these penalties become even more severe.