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 finds 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.
Tips for Choosing the Right DUI Lawyer
A DUI charge is a serious matter that can have lasting effects on your life and your finances. It’s important to protect your rights by choosing a DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD, that you can trust. What should you look for in a DUI attorney?
Avoid Attorneys That Are in a Hurry To Submit a Guilty Plea
A guilty plea should always be your very last line of defense. The damage this type of record can have on your life means that your attorney should fight hard for you.
That’s one reason Daniel J. Wright has an excellent reputation. He focuses on your needs and puts in the time to gather evidence and defend you against these charges.
Avoid attorneys that look at your case for five minutes and recommend that you declare yourself guilty. Often, they’re just trying to charge you money without doing any work.
Choose a Lawyer With Extensive Experience in DUI Cases
Any time you have to defend your name, your business or your freedom against DUI accusations, you want a DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD, with experience. Successfully arguing your case often requires significant investigation and legal knowledge. Don’t hire a “regular” lawyer for this type of high-stakes court case. You may think you’re saving money, but it can end up costing you far more than you imagine.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions at any point during your case. This advice applies to the initial consultation and later on as things progress.
A good attorney should never act irritated by questions. After all, this is your case; your DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD, is there to offer guidance and advice. The final decision is always yours.
At the Offices of Daniel J. Wright, we answer your questions clearly and professionally. We show our clients the pros and cons of different options available, as well as the risks. Once you make a decision, we fight 100% for your interests.
Get Specific Details
Another warning sign to watch out for are attorneys that gloss things over. Every DUI case is different, so you need specific answers to questions such as “How much is my case worth?” and “How much do you charge for your services?”
This doesn’t mean you should make your decision based on fees alone. The cheapest option is rarely the right one. That said, a trustworthy DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD, should lay out what you can expect in terms of costs, with no hidden fees in the fine print.
Frequently Asked Questions About a DUI Charge
Few events in life are as stressful as being charged with a DUI. There’s so much information to sort through before planning your next steps. You’ll want to be well informed while you move through the legal process. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about a DUI charge and its consequences.
Is a DUI the Same Charge as a DWI?
No, they are different. Blood alcohol content determines the difference between a DUI and a DWI. If your blood alcohol content measures under 0.08%, a DWI charge is issued. To be charged with a DUI, blood alcohol content must be over 0.08%. A DUI carries harsher penalties, so hiring a knowledgeable DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD is important.
What Is the Penalty for Your First DUI?
12 points could be added to your driving record for your first DUI offense, and it’s possible that you will lose your driver’s license for up to six months. You will also be ordered to pay a fine of no more than $1,000. There may be a penalty of up to one year in jail. The repercussions of a DUI can negatively impact your life in so many ways, including driver’s license suspension, fines, and even jail time. The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright can help you achieve an optimal outcome.
What Is the Point System, and Does It Affect My License?
Each state has a point system to keep track of the violations drivers commit. When you break a traffic law, points are added to your driving record. High point totals may result in a suspended license. If you exceed the state’s point limit, you could lose your driver’s license. A DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD can attempt to have your charges reduced to lessen the number of points added to your driving record.
Will My Car Insurance Company Cancel My Insurance?
You will not necessarily lose your car insurance after a DUI, but your rates will likely increase substantially. Car insurance companies generally look at the past three to five years of your driving history to determine your rate. Following a DUI, your rate might be higher for a few years. Keeping your driving record clean is crucial to lowering your insurance payments.
Is Jail Time an Automatic Sentence for a DUI in Maryland?
There is no mandatory sentence requiring jail time for a DUI in Maryland. First-time offenders are not likely to be sentenced to jail, but it is a sentencing option. If you have more than one offense on your driving record, your chance of serving time in jail increases.
A DUI charge can feel overwhelming and disrupt your life both at home and at work. Find an experienced DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD, who can answer questions specific to your case, develop your legal strategy and walk you through your next steps. The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright will provide you with all the information you need to navigate the challenges of the legal process.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Your DUI Case
Getting arrested for a DUI can definitely be a stressful ordeal. What you do after your arrest can have a big impact on your case. Here are some common mistakes you should avoid in your DUI case.
- Assuming you can’t beat the DUI charge. If you know that you were under the influence of alcohol when the police officer pulled you over, you might assume that you have no choice but to plead guilty. However, that isn’t necessarily true. It’s important to allow your DUI lawyer to investigate the circumstances of your case and see if you qualify for a dismissal. For example, if your lawyer determines the arresting officer didn’t have a legal reason to pull you over in the first place, the judge may throw out your case.
- Not requesting an MVA hearing. Following a DUI arrest, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended. However, you do have the option of requesting an MVA hearing and presenting an argument to have your license reinstated. Too many people accused of drunk driving forget to request this hearing and have to go without a license for a long time.
- Thinking any lawyer can represent you. Just because your tax or estate attorney offers to take your DUI case, does not mean that he or she is the right person for the job. DUI laws are very complex and vary from state to state, so it’s important to work with a lawyer who specializes in defending people with DUI charges.
- Not being honest with your lawyer. One of the worst things you can do is fail to be completely truthful with your DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD. Your lawyer can’t help you to the best of his or her ability if you are not honest. You should not feel ashamed to tell your lawyer anything. For example, if you have been arrested for a DUI in the past, inform your lawyer immediately.
- Talking to the police about your case. The police may request to speak to you about your DUI case. You’re under no obligation to provide the police with any information. In fact, you should refrain from doing so. The police are only talking to you to obtain information to use against you in court. If the police ask to talk to you, politely decline.
Was My Traffic Stop Valid?
A DUI has the potential to affect your life for years and years, so it’s important to contact a DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD to minimize the impact. At the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, we know you’re more than another statistic, and you have a future worth protecting. Read on to learn more about the validity of a traffic stop, and how it may affect the charges you’re facing.
You may have heard the term “probable cause” thrown around in police procedurals, but what does it actually mean? At its most basic, probable cause means the officer involved in your case suspected that a crime was taking place. Probable cause can be a little tricky to navigate, because it’s up to the police officer to explain why they pulled you over, and they only need the flimsiest excuse to ruin your night – and your life.
Under the Fourth Amendment, Americans are free from unwarranted search and seizure. This means that a cop can’t pull you over just because they felt like it. However, if a police officer claims they saw you swerving or running a stop sign, it gives them probable cause to pull you over unless you (and your lawyer) can prove otherwise.
It’s important to remember that probable cause doesn’t apply in DUI checkpoints. However, in other situations, it can make or break a DUI case. If an officer has no evidence that you were in the process of committing a crime that warranted pulling you over in the first place, it’s possible to argue they had no right to arrest you and issue a DUI.
When you consider probable cause, you need to understand that it all comes down to whether there was an observable crime that warranted police intervention. From there, you and your Rockville, MD DUI lawyer can decide whether the traffic stop was valid – and whether the charges you face make sense in the eyes of the law. Of course, in terms of DUI, there are always other factors to consider, and every case is different…
For most people, a DUI is bad enough. However, DUIs can be a whole lot worse, especially if the police claim you were driving recklessly. An aggravated DUI is like a DUI on steroids: It means the driver involved was acting recklessly and possibly even caused serious harm to others while they were behind the wheel.
Aggravated DUIs are serious. They usually mean additional charges on top of the DUI, and more severe punishments. When you’re charged with an aggravated DUI, it’s usually because of reckless driving on top of your DUI, but it can also extend to simply having a child in your car while you were intoxicated. Were you intoxicated and involved in an accident? Did you have another DUI within the last ten years? These all contribute to aggravated DUI charges as well.
If you’re facing an aggravated DUI charge, you need to act immediately. Reach out to a DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD today, and see how the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright can help you restore your future.
A DUI Defense Attorney Can Fight For You
You should always try to fight a DUI charge because so many things can go wrong when an officer arrests and charges an individual with driving under the influence of alcohol. Many substances can interfere with DUI breathalyzer machines that can cause these machines to produce abnormally high readings.
Also, blood testing is not a fool proof method of acquiring information about a driver’s blood alcohol concentration. A skilled DUI defense attorney can re-test a blood samlpe at an independent laboratory not associated with the state or the district attorney’s office. Sometimes the independent lab will produce a different reading of the blood alcohol concentration. If a sample was contaminated this can influence the outcome of a DUI case.
All police officers administering field sobriety tests must follow a strict set of procedures in DUI investigations. Many officers make mistakes while gathering evidence and performing investigations. A skilled DUI defense attorney can use these mistakes to weaken the state’s case and help reduce the charges or possibly have the case dismissed.
Your DUI defense attorney will visit the location where you were pulled over and arrested. Also, a DUI defense attorney will examine the arresting officers’ training and educational background. Blood samples and other evidence associated with field sobriety tests will be examined. DUI defense is technical and a skilled attorney will be thorough and relentless when working on your DUI case.
Retaining a DUI defense attorney is an important step in your case. You do not want to proceed with your case with trained legal counsel by your side. If you attempt to represent yourself you will frustrate the judge and cause many problems for the other legal professionals prosecuting your case.
If you retain a skilled DUI defense attorney your legal rights will be protected and honored. Do not allow the state to use faulty evidence to convict you of a misdemeanor.
Three Reasons To Hire a DUI Lawyer
You’ve been arrested and charged with driving under the influence, or DUI. You may be thinking that you can handle things on your own, that you don’t need a lawyer’s help. You couldn’t be more wrong. There are many things a lawyer can help you with after your arrest. Here are four of them.
Get Your Case Dismissed
As a DUI lawyer in Rockville MD, Daniel J. Wright may be able to get your case dismissed entirely. He might be able to find evidence that your arrest was unwarranted, such as the breathalyzer being incorrectly calibrated or the police officer having no probable cause for pulling you over. Armed with that knowledge, he can fight for you in court to get all the charges against you dropped.
Keep Your License and Maintain Your Driving Privileges
There are two types of driver’s license suspension at work in DUI cases. The first is an administrative suspension, which happens when the police officer arrests you. You have a limited amount of time to request a hearing at the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to try to keep your license until your case is resolved. A DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD, can fight for you at the administrative hearing.
The second type of driver’s license suspension happens after you’ve been found guilty of DUI. Your lawyer can advocate for you to keep your license, at the very least to get to work and back, perhaps with an ignition interlock device — a breathalyzer attached to your ignition so your car won’t start unless you’re sober.
Have Your Charges Reduced To Avoid Penalties Like the Ignition Interlock
Another option a DUI lawyer in Rockville, MD, such as Daniel J. Wright, can pursue is getting your charges reduced, so you can avoid license suspension, ignition interlock device, a fine of up to $1,000 and possible jail time altogether. One example would be having the charges reduced to reckless driving, which carries no license suspension, no ignition interlock device, no jail time and half the fine of a DUI. You want a lawyer’s help with this, since he knows the prosecuting attorneys, the judges and the best way to negotiate your charges being reduced.
Whether it’s your first DUI arrest or your fifth, you want to have a lawyer in your corner, fighting for you to keep your license and stay out of jail. A DUI attorney knows the havoc a DUI conviction can wreak on your life, from losing your job to spending time in jail. Let an attorney help you avoid those consequences.
Contact The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright in Rockville, Maryland
Contact the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright today to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your DUI case and how the law applies to those facts. Retaining a DUI defense attorney will help you protect yourself and your legal righs. Call our office at (310) 655-8130 today to learn more about the legal services we offer.