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Criminal Defense FAQs

What to Do If You’re Arrested

What does “driving under the influence per se.” mean?

Per se means that you tested higher than 0.08% BAC. In this instance, the state doesn’t need to show that the alcohol affected your driving ability, only that you tested above the allowable limit.

Whether it’s for petty theft or assault, getting arrested can be a scary experience. You may wonder if you will have to spend time in jail and how this charge may affect you in the future. The steps you take immediately after getting arrest can have a big impact on your case. The criminal attorneys at the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright suggest following these tips if you’re arrested:

  • Remain Calm
    As difficult as it might be, it’s important for you to stay calm after you get arrested. If you panic, you might accidentally say or do the wrong thing. The police may also observe your behavior after the arrest and include it in their report. If they said you looked nervous, it could be used against you.
  • Don’t Say Anything to the Police
    Even if you are innocent of the crime you’re arrested for, you shouldn’t talk to the police. There isn’t anything you can gain from speaking to the police. In fact, you could accidentally incriminate yourself. The police use certain tactics to convince defendants to confess to crimes. If the police ask you about your case, politely tell them that you can’t talk to them without a lawyer.
  • Talk to a Lawyer
    Getting charged with a crime is a serious matter and it is not something you want to navigate on your own. It is critical to talk to an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options. During your initial consultation, your lawyer may review the details of your case and walk you through all the possible defenses you may be able to use.A criminal lawyer may also provide protection from the police. He or she won’t allow the police to ask you any inappropriate questions that could jeopardize your case.
  • Don’t Talk About Your Case With Others
    When you are dealing with something as stressful as a criminal charge, it is tempting to talk about your feeling with a close family member or friend. However, it isn’t a good idea to discuss the details of your case with anyone except your lawyer. If your friends or family members are subpoenaed, they will have no choice but to tell the court what you told them.
  • Take Care of Yourself
    It is easy to be upset and stressed about a criminal charge, but worrying all the time won’t do you any good. It is important to take good care of yourself by eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly and getting plenty of rest. When you feel overwhelmed, try doing a stress-reducing activity, like yoga or meditation.

Dealing with a criminal charge certainly isn’t easy, but following these tips can ease some of your stress. At the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, we understand how stressful it is to deal with something like this and are here to help. A dedicated criminal defense attorney Rockville, MD looks to from our office may talk to you about your case and advise you on the best way to proceed.

Is it normal to receive three (3) tickets for drunk driving when you’re stopped?

Yes, Officers normally charge a violation (write you a ticket) of the (1) per se statute, (2) the classic DUI, and (3) the lesser offense of driving while impaired. This will be in addition to any speeding, red light, or lane change violation. In the end, however, only one DUI/DWI charge will be sentenced (if you are convicted).

Am I required to perform “field sobriety tests” by the side of the road after being stopped (one-leg stand, walk-and-turn, etc.)?

No, but of course if you don’t you will likely be required to go to the station for a breathalyzer test.

What are the penalties for DUI?

  • For a first offense, a possible penalty of $1,000 and/or one year in jail.
  • For a second offense, a possible penalty of $2,000 and/or two years in jail.
  • For a third or subsequent offense, $3,000 and/or three years imprisonment.
  • In practice, the maximum penalties are rarely imposed; however, a number of factors enter into a judge’s
  • determination of a sentence so you should always consult with an attorney before pleading in any way to a
  • DUI charge. Even if you “feel” you are guilty because you had some drinks, you should seek an attorney’s guidance on how to handle the legal aspects of a court case.

What happens to my driver’s license after a DUI/DWI offense?

In addition to the court proceeding, an administrative proceeding at the MVA is usually started as well in order to suspend or revoke a driver’s license who is suspected of driving under the influence. Be advised that there are very short time deadlines (in some cases 10 days after the arrest) in which a hearing must be requested in order to protect your rights. If you have been arrested for DUI or DWI, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible so that your rights (and driving privileges) aren’t lost.

What is a “peace order”?

A peace order is an order issued by a judge or commissioner that typically will require the person named as a respondent in the order to stay away from the complaining party, or not to harass, stalk, threaten or assault the other party.

What is a family “protective order”?

A family protective order is similar to a peace order, but applies to people who are relatives or have been living together for 90 days within 1 year before the filing of the petition. The powers of a judge in a family petition are broader, and can include granting financial relief to a petitioner, as well as temporary custody of children.

Can a criminal arrest record be expunged from the public records?

Maryland law provides a number of circumstances in which criminal arrest records can be expunged, or removed, from public inspection. These include, among other things, if a defendant is acquitted, if charges are dropped (nolle prosequi) or dismissed, or if a person is arrested but no charges are ever filed. In some circumstances a person who has received a probation before judgment and three years have passed since the granting of the probation may also file.

Rockville Criminal Defense FAQs

At the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, as experienced criminal defense lawyers, we understand the complexities and anxieties that come with facing criminal charges. Our team, of top Rockville, MD criminal defense lawyers, is dedicated to providing clear and comprehensive guidance to those in need. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we encounter:

What Should I Do First If I’m Arrested?

If you’re arrested, it’s crucial to remain calm and exercise your right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in court. Politely refuse to discuss any details of the alleged crime until you have legal representation. Contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Remember, having a lawyer present during any questioning is a fundamental right and can significantly impact the outcome of your case.

How Can A Criminal Defense Lawyer Help Me?

A criminal defense lawyer plays a pivotal role in navigating the legal system, protecting your rights, and advocating on your behalf. They can examine the charges and evidence against you, identify procedural errors or rights violations, negotiate plea deals, and represent you in court. Their experience and understanding of local laws and court procedures are invaluable in formulating a strong defense strategy tailored to your specific case.

What Are The Possible Consequences Of A Criminal Charge?

As a Rockville criminal defense lawyer will explain, the consequences of a criminal charge can vary widely depending on the nature and severity of the offense. They may include fines, community service, probation, or incarceration. Beyond legal penalties, a criminal conviction can impact employment, housing, and educational opportunities. It’s important to understand the potential consequences and work closely with your defense lawyer to minimize them.

Can Charges Be Dropped Or Reduced?

Yes, charges can sometimes be dropped or reduced. This may occur if there’s insufficient evidence, if evidence was obtained unlawfully, or if there are other legal or procedural issues. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors and argue for a reduction or dismissal of charges, especially in cases where a defendant has no prior criminal history or there are mitigating circumstances.

How Long Will The Legal Process Take?

The duration of the legal process in criminal cases can vary greatly. Factors include the complexity of the case, the court’s schedule, the amount of evidence, and whether the case goes to trial. Some cases may be resolved quickly, while others may take several months or even years. Continuous communication with your lawyer will provide you with updates and realistic timelines for your specific situation.

Understanding Your Rights During The Legal Process

Knowing your rights is vital when facing criminal charges. The law states that you have the right to remain silent, to avoid self-incrimination, and the right to an attorney. If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. It’s also your right to be informed of the charges against you and to have a fair and speedy trial by an impartial jury. Understanding these rights can profoundly affect the outcome of your case. Our team can ensure that your rights are upheld and that you’re informed every step of the way.

Compassionate Legal Guidance

At the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, we are committed to standing by your side throughout this challenging time. Our Rockville criminal defense lawyer understands the stakes and are here to offer the support you need. If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Together, we can navigate the legal system and work towards the best possible outcome for your case.

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