Gaithersburg DUI Lawyer
Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI) can result in various criminal and administrative penalties. These penalties may include license suspension, fines, and jail time.
Since the consequences of a DUI or DWI conviction can be harsh, you may consider the merits of enlisting a Gaithersburg DUI lawyer to help you through this challenging situation.
A seasoned criminal defense lawyer could ensure that law enforcement officers and prosecutors respect your rights throughout your criminal proceedings. Legal counsel also may be able to negotiate a resolution to your case that can result in fewer or less stringent penalties, depending on your circumstances.
DUI Offenses in Gaithersburg
Maryland Trans. Code § 21-902 generally prohibits individuals from driving while under the influence of alcohol. Driving under the influence (DUI) per se occurs when individuals drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) measurement of .08 percent or higher. This section also makes it illegal for drivers to operate motor vehicles while impaired by:
- Combination of drugs or alcohol
- Controlled dangerous substances used illegally
This offense, or DWI, usually relies on evidence that the consumption of alcohol or drugs impaired the regular coordination of the drivers and their ability to drive. One indicator of DWI may be a BAC of .07 percent or more, but less than .08 percent. Transporting minors while under the influence of alcohol also is a separate offense that carries harsher penalties than for simple DUI or DWI.
DUI or DWI charges typically stem from a traffic stop that police officers make for a traffic violation. A traffic stop involves a reasonable suspicion on the part of law enforcement officials that the driver has committed or is about to commit a crime. A DUI lawyer in Gaithersburg may be able to examine the circumstances that led to the traffic stop and ensure that no violation of rights occurred that would justify the suppression of evidence.
Criminal Penalties for a DUI Conviction
A first conviction for DUI can result in up to one year of incarceration and a $1,000 fine. A second conviction that occurs within five years of the prior conviction carries the potential for up to two years of imprisonment and a $2,000 fine, and a third conviction can result in up to three years of incarceration and a $3,000 fine. A DUI conviction also places points on the driving record of individuals and may result in license suspension.
The penalties for a DWI conviction are less stringent. A first-time DWI conviction can result in a 60-day jail sentence and a fine of $500. Second and subsequent DWI convictions will result in progressively lengthier jail sentences and higher fines.
If the DWI or DUI occurred while the individuals were transporting a minor, the potential penalties are more significant. Individuals can serve up to two years in jail and pay a fine of $2,000 for a first offense. As the penalties for DUI and DWI can be severe, individuals may wish to contact a DUI attorney in Gaithersburg for legal advice and counsel.
Additional Collateral Consequences
A DUI arrest or conviction also has administrative penalties through the MVA. An initial DUI arrest results in the driver receiving a 45-day temporary license pending a hearing. Furthermore, a conviction for DUI adds 12 points to the driving record of individuals, which affects their insurance rates.
Typically, an administrative suspension for a first-time DUI in which drivers had a BAC of between .08 percent and .15 percent is 45 days. This suspension period doubles for a second or subsequent offense or if the BAC of the drivers is .15 percent or more. In some cases, drivers may be able to avoid a suspension by installing an ignition interlock device (IID).
Let a Gaithersburg DUI Attorney Assist You
Various factors can impact the outcome of your DUI or DWI charges. Prior history of DUI or DWI convictions, transporting a minor while under the influence, and involvement in accidents all can worsen the penalties that you receive for a DUI conviction. Working with a Gaithersburg DUI lawyer may be the most effective way to fight back against the charges that you are facing.
Defenses do exist in many DUI and DWI cases, from the suppression of evidence due to illegal traffic stops to the improper administration of breathalyzer tests to measure BAC. Whatever your situation may be, legal counsel may enable you to raise the defenses that are applicable in your case.