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Charles County DUI Attorney
Being charged for driving under the influence in Maryland can be an intimidating process, especially for those unfamiliar with the legal process. For this reason, it is important if you are charged that you consult with a Charles County DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case. An attorney will be able to look at the circumstances of your arrest and the facts of your case and evaluate the options at your disposal. Call today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case with a DUI lawyer in Maryland.
You have just been arrested and charged with a DUI. There are most likely many different thoughts running through your head at once. What is going to happen when people find out about this? Am I going to lose my job? What if my insurance premiums skyrocket and I can no longer afford to drive a car? These are all legitimate questions and concerns that can arise when a DUI arrest occurs. Luckily, a Charles County DUI Lawyer can help by providing support and guidance through your case.
Even when facing DUI charges, it’s important to keep in mind that you have options. The Charles County DUI attorneys at our firm can evaluate your case and explain those options. Call our law offices today and speak with our legal team to complete your free initial consultation, which is an important first step in any DUI case.
DUI Charges in Charles County
The Charles County DUI lawyers at our firm understand all of the consequences that may follow a conviction, and that is why they are committed to fighting for our clients in and out of court. By advocating aggressively for your rights in court and conducting a thorough investigation of all evidence involved with your case, your DUI attorney can represent your interests and can work to achieve the best legal outcome possible under the circumstances.
Maryland DUI Penalties
It is critical that you contact a qualified, experienced DUI attorney in Charles County as the penalties in Maryland can be significant. Maryland statutes, which cover Charles County, include the following penalties for DUI:
- First Offense – possible one year jail sentence; up to six month license suspension, fines of up to $1,000.
- First Offense with passenger under 16 – possible two year jail sentence; up to one year license suspension; fines of up to $2,000.
With each additional offense, the fines, jail time and license suspension periods increase. Therefore, even if this is your first offense, it is critical to contact a Charles County DUI attorney who understands the complex DUI laws in Maryland.
Benefits of An Experienced Charles County DUI Lawyer
Having an experienced Charles County DUI lawyer on your side can made a huge difference in your case. Our group of experienced attorneys will use their experience to provide guidance, legal explanations, and insight into your case. Our attorneys are courtroom-tested and know what it is like to argue in front of a judge, particularly in DUI cases. No case is unimportant, and the experience and professionalism our lawyers bring with them can show you that your case is a priority.
What a Charles County DUI Attorney Can Do For You
As everyone knows, the best way to be sure you are not charged with a DUI in Charles County or anywhere is to abstain from alcohol consumption if you plan to drive a vehicle. Maryland law requires certain criteria be met in order for a person to be charged with a DUI, and also provides specific rights to those who are suspected of DUI that may be overlooked. They include:
- Right to Remain Silent – The right to remain silent begins before you are even charged with DUI. Although it is important to remain polite to the officer, you do not have to tell them if you have been drinking or how much you have had to drink. Should the officer ask those questions, simply inform them that you prefer to speak to an attorney before answering.
- Field Sobriety and Preliminary Breath Tests – Drivers are not required to submit to field sobriety tests or a preliminary breath test at the scene of the traffic stop. Although the officer will probably arrest you if you refuse, your refusal eliminates evidence that could be used against you in court. Even though implied consent statutes in Maryland require a driver to submit to a formal breath or blood test, an attorney may challenge the accuracy of the device, as well as certification of either the operator or the testing equipment.
- Right to an Attorney – If you are arrested for DUI in Charles County, you have the right to an attorney as soon as you are arrested. Once you arrive at the station, you must be permitted to contact an attorney before being required to take a breath or blood test, or before answering any questions. If the officer fails to allow you to contact an attorney, the case could be dismissed.
- Inaccurate Testimony – People make mistakes and it is common knowledge that eyewitness testimony can be unreliable. Whether it is the testimony of a police officer or witness, there is the possibility that the statements they make can be dis-proven.
Unlawful Stop – In Maryland, the officer must have probable cause to believe that a traffic law has been violated or that other criminal violations are occurring before stopping a vehicle. If the officer cannot document reasonable suspicion, the stop is illegal.
These are just a few defenses a qualified DUI attorney will investigate to defend you against a DUI charge. For information on DUI penalties and the advantage of a DUI defense lawyer in the Commonwealth of Virginia, please visit our VA DUI page.
About Charles County, MD
Charles County is one of Maryland’s fastest growing counties, and its proximity to Washington DC allows many of the residents of the county to work and attend events in the nation’s capital. This means that many commuters working in Washington DC travel the roads between Charles County and the capital daily, some of which may enjoy a few drinks at happy hour at one of the many nightclubs, pubs, bars and restaurants along the heavily traveled roads in Charles County. In 2010, there were 376 DUI convictions of the 794 cases filed in Charles County, a conviction rate of almost 53 percent. These statistics speak to the seriousness with which Charles County takes drinking and driving offenses. And while hiring a lawyer isn’t the equivalent of a get-out-of-jail-free card, an experienced attorney is one of the best ways to ensure your rights as defendant are thoroughly protected. An experienced lawyer can work to make sure your DUI case ends with the best possible outcome.
For more statistics about DUI offenses in Maryland, see this comprehensive fact page by The Century Council.
Finding A DUI Attorney in Charles County
We understand how devastating a DUI case can turn out to be. Many people who do not think they need a lawyer to handle a criminal charge end up spending some time in jail because they have irreparably damaged their case by trying to handle matters on their own. This unfortunate scenario does not have to be what happens to you. By hiring an attorney with our firm, you are taking an affirmative, positive, and brave step in the direction that is going to help you get your life back on track legally. Call our law offices to conduct your free consultation today.
Charles County Courthouse
If you have been charged with a DUI in Charles County, your case will likely be held at the Charles County District Courthouse at the corner of Charles Street and Washington Avenue in La Plata, Maryland. Free parking is available behind the courthouse, but we suggest that you do not count on spaces being available. Leave your home early enough to search for other parking options before your court appointment if the lot is filled.
From Baltimore: Start off on the Baltimore Beltway 695. Take I-97 toward Annapolis. Merge onto US-50 West to Route 301 South. Continue until you reach La Plata. Take a left onto Charles Street and continue until you reach Washington Avenue. The courthouse is on the corner.
From the east: Take US-50 West to Route 301 South. Continue until you reach La Plata. Take a left onto Charles Street and continue until Washington Avenue. The courthouse is on the corner.
From the south: Start off on US Route 301 North into Maryland. Continue on Route 301 for roughly 12 miles until you get to La Plata. Take a right onto Charles Street and continue until you reach Washington Avenue. The courthouse is on the corner.