DUI Lawyer in Rockville, MD
There is nothing more intimidating for a Maryland driver than to see the blue lights flashing behind them and a police officer signaling for them to pull over. Even if you have done absolutely nothing wrong, the experience can be very intimidating. If the officer pulling you over suspects that you are under the influence, it is important to understand and remember what your rights are at that point. The following are some tips from a DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD that anyone who has been stopped by law enforcement should remember.
The Officer Asks If You Have Been Drinking
If you have only had a drink or two, you may feel it is okay to answer yes to this question. No matter what the circumstances are, a driver should never admit to law enforcement they have had any alcohol at all. This will be used against the driver during any criminal proceedings that may take place as a result of that “confession.” However, it is also important not to lie to an officer. If you are asked by an officer if you have been drinking, you should respond by asking if you are being charged with anything. If they ask again, you should state that you would rather not say.
The Officer Asks You to Take a Field Sobriety Test
As a Rockville, MD DUI lawyer can explain, field sobriety tests are often incorrect and a poor measure of whether a driver has been drinking. The tests require proper execution by the driver, which can be difficult even under the best of circumstances. For example, person who has not been drinking at all may have a difficult time standing on one leg without having a shaky balance, but that result can lead an officer to believe the person is drunk. And that is another issue – field sobriety tests depend on the officer’s judgment.
The only test you are required by law to submit to is a chemical test. Because of Maryland’s implied consent laws, refusal to take the test could mean a loss of license.
The Officer Asks to Search Your Vehicle
Law enforcement does not have the right to search your vehicle without your consent unless they have probable cause. This is why a driver should never consent to a search. If an officer believes there is some kind of incriminating evidence and you give your consent and they find that evidence, it can be used against you in a criminal case. However, if you do not provide consent and the officer searches anyways and find the evidence, that officer must prove to the court that they did, indeed, have probable cause to conduct the search. This is one of the many situations where a Rockville, MD DUI lawyer may be able to show through cross-examination of the officer that there was no probable cause and that evidence is then ruled inadmissible by the judge.
Fighting a DUI Charge
If you’re planning on fighting your DUI charges, a DUI lawyer in Rockville, Maryland can be a valuable ally. Most people may be aware of the fact that DUIs are expensive, but they usually underestimate how severely a DUI can disrupt their life, both financially and socially. Aside from the initial fine (which is usually several thousand dollars), those who have been charged with a DUI can expect much more difficulty for years or decades.
Aside from the financial impact, having a DUI on your record can make it much more challenging to find employment, earn security clearances, or even find housing. A qualified DUI lawyer can help you avoid years of hardship, so it’s best to get in contact with one as soon as possible. But what can a DUI lawyer do for you, and are their services really necessary?
What to Expect from a DUI Lawyer
At the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, we are committed to ensuring you have all the information you need to challenge your DUI charges. A DUI is an overwhelming process, and if it’s your first time dealing with one, you might feel lost already. However, we make a point to walk you through every step and to make sure you’re kept in the loop about what to expect next.
The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright strives to get your charges dismissed or reduced, and it takes plenty of legal legwork to give you the best chances of beating your DUI. You can expect personalized case management, which means a thorough investigation of your entire case – including collecting as many details as possible about your initial traffic stop, the police report, and every other procedure involved with your case.
- We give you a voice. A court is quick to dismiss the human behind every case, viewing you as nothing more than another police report in a large stack of other reports. We know that you have a future that is worth living, and we know that nobody should have the next years of their lives severely affected by a simple mistake or misunderstanding. We build your defense around you and make sure the court knows you’re more than just another file.
- We look for mistakes. Law enforcement is not a perfect organization, and an experienced DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD, should always be on the lookout for flaws in police procedure. If you were arrested for a DUI, there should have been adequate evidence proving that you were driving while intoxicated. If there is inadequate evidence, or gaps in proper procedure (such as an officer failing to read you your rights), there is a greater chance of getting your case dismissed altogether.
Don’t Wait to Get in Touch
You shouldn’t have to fight your DUI by yourself, and you shouldn’t let a DUI affect the rest of your life. A DUI is much more than a hefty fine – it’s possible jail time, a barrier to employment, and a roadblock to getting a home and moving on from a potentially troubling time in your life. A DUI lawyer can be a valuable friend throughout a challenging process, and with the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, you can expect to be well-informed and up to date on all aspects of your case.
Common DUI Myths
People are arrested every day in Maryland for driving drunk. Some of this may be due to the various myths surrounding alcohol and driving. Here are some common DUI misconceptions you should be aware of.
- The police must see you driving to arrest you for a DUI. This is not true. If you get behind the wheel and realize that you’re too drunk to drive, you might pull over somewhere to sleep it off. If a police officer sees you and determines that you are drunk, he or she can still arrest you.
- All DUI cases are the same. This is one of the most common myths about DUI charges. DUI cases can be very different from one another. For instance, a drunk driver will face harsher consequences if someone was hurt or killed. Likewise, a person with previous drunk driving convictions will have more severe penalties than someone who has just been arrested for drunk driving once.
- One DUI conviction is nothing to worry about. Some people assume that their first DUI is not a big deal. However, a DUI is nothing you should ever make light of. In Maryland, a first-time DUI can still lead to up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If you have been charged with your first DUI, you should hire a DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD.
- You have to answer a police officer’s questions during a DUI stop. You absolutely are not required to answer a police officer’s questions if you’re pulled over for a DUI. In fact, talking to the police officer isn’t recommended. He or she can use anything you say against you in court. Instead, politely say that you do not wish to say anything without a lawyer present.
- Drinking coffee will sober you up. Some people mistakenly believe that drinking a cup of coffee will help them sober up. However, drinking caffeine will do nothing to lower your blood alcohol content.
- A DUI can’t be beaten. Unfortunately, some people assume that they can’t beat a DUI charge and just plead guilty right away. However, with the help of a DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD, you may be able to get a positive outcome in your case. For example, your case may get thrown out if the breathalyzer wasn’t administered correctly or the breathalyzer was administered with faulty equipment.
Please call the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright today.