Columbia Driving While Impaired Lawyer
In Columbia, Maryland, you can be charged with a crime of impaired driving that can result in your license being taken away, even if you are not over the state’s legal limit of .08 percent blood alcohol concentration. DWI is a lesser charge to DUI, but even a first offense could result in imprisonment if you are convicted. You need to contact a Columbia, MD driving while impaired lawyer to help you fight or respond to charges proactively so you can try to avoid penalties and a permanent criminal record. Call and discuss your case with a Columbia criminal defense lawyer today.
How Can a DWI Lawyer in Columbia Help?
Defendants are often charged with DWI when a law enforcement officer believes a driver is impaired but the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) did not test at .08 or higher. Often, some or all of the evidence used in a DWI case is subjective evidence. Law enforcement officers or witnesses may testify the driver had consumed alcohol and/or was driving erratically.
A Columbia DWI lawyer understands the types of evidence prosecutors use in DWI cases and knows how to help defendants challenge the case against them. An attorney with experience on these types of claims may be able to help you get the charges dropped entirely even before trial or may be able to undermine the case against you so a not guilty verdict allows you to walk free with no penalties.
DWI cases can also be settled in many situations through pre-trial diversion or through a plea deal in which you face reduced charges. Your Columbia, MD driving while impaired attorney can explore these options on your behalf.
DWI Laws in Columbia
Maryland Transportation Code Section 21-902 defines the criminal offense of DWI, or Driving While Impaired. The same code section also defines a DUI, which stands for Driving Under the Influence.
A first conviction for DUI can result in 12 points on a driver’s license, a maximum penalty of a year in jail, and a fine up to $1,000. Penalties for DUI become progressively more serious if there is a past history of convictions for similar crimes.
DWI, on the other hand, has a lesser penalty and is a lesser offense than DUI. Under Code Section 27-101, conviction for a first DWI can result in eight points on a license; a maximum of 60 days imprisonment, and a maximum $500 fine making it important a Maryland DWI lawyer is consulted.
It is up to a prosecutor whether to charge a defendant with DUI or the lesser offense of DWI. However, if a defendant takes a breath, blood, or urine test and has a BAC of .08 percent or greater, the charges will likely be DUI charges and not DWI charges. This is because DUI Per Se rules indicate that a defendant is presumed to be unable to drive once his blood alcohol level has reached or exceeded this threshold.
Getting Help from a Columbia, MD Driving While Impaired Attorney
While DWI is not as serious as DUI, the penalties can still change your life. If you can avoid it, you don’t want to lose your license, spend time in jail, pay large fines, get points on your license, pay higher insurance costs, and have a criminal record.
A Columbia, MD driving while impaired lawyer can help you prepare your responses to charges so you can do everything you can to avoid these consequences or try to reduce the consequences that a DWI conviction can lead to. Call today to learn more.