Second DUI Offense in Howard County
A first-time DUI charge can be very upsetting. Sadly, the second one is often just as alarming and can come with even greater penalties. With the absence of first-time leniency and the potential for increased penalties, a second drunk driving conviction in Howard County is devastating. Do you currently face the possibility of such a conviction? If so, seek out someone who can clarify your legal options. Call the experienced Howard County DUI attorneys at our firm for more information about how we can help you deal with the situation at hand.
Your Rights At a DUI Stop
Typically, we begin helping clients by telling them their rights. Most of the people we serve don’t realize that they aren’t required to respond to police inquiries. For example, if officers ask how much you have had to drink or where you were going, it is often because they are starting to build a case against you. This investigation begins the moment they see your car pass theirs. We often tell clients that their “right to remain silent” is one of the biggest assets they have. We’ve seen many cases in which anxious people say the wrong words to officers. The result? A second charge that has the potential to negatively affect your lives in a number of ways.
Encounters with police can be intimidating. If you had a similar experience with law enforcement regarding a drunk driving offense, our attorneys can help. We can ask why you were pulled over or dissect how the arrest and field sobriety testing was completed. Regardless of the legal methods, we make sure to protect your rights.
Penalties for A Second DUI Conviction
We also assist clients by familiarizing them with the consequences for second DUI convictions in Howard County. It’s possible that a second DUI can result in a maximum of two years in jail, up to $2,000 in fines, or the loss of driving privileges. If there was at least one minor in the vehicle at the time of the alleged offense, then the driver faces up to three years in jail and/or a fines up to $3,000, per Section 27-101-(g)(1)(ii).
These punishments can have a negative effect on your finances, career, and freedom. Although avoiding incarceration is possible, a second DUI conviction in Howard County can still threaten to destroy your reputation within your community and your professional standing.
Where are Howard County DUI Cases Typically Heard?
There is one district court in Howard County that hears the majority of DUI cases. Occasionally an individual may request to have the case heard in the circuit court by asking for a trial by jury. If that happens then the case will be transferred to the circuit court. There’s just one circuit court location in Howard County as well. The two court houses are about a mile apart. The district court is closer to Route 40 on Rogers Ave and the circuit court is another mile away from Route 40 on Rogers Ave.
Consulting With a Howard County 2nd Time DUI Lawyer
All DUI-related charges come with serious repercussions, but those facing a second offense are more likely to experience the most severe penalties allowed. Law enforcement agencies and the Maryland court system have adopted strict enforcement policies related to DUI laws in an effort to reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes, injuries, and deaths that occur each year. This is a noble endeavor, as it is rooted in the desire to achieve safer roads. That concern, however, can trigger catastrophic fall-out for accused drivers. Such catastrophe is not, however, a certainty.
An aggressive DUI attorney can work to find any flaws in the prosecution’s case, including potential violations of your rights in the initial traffic stop and/or mishandling of delicate and crucial evidence – such as the results of any sobriety tests or chemical tests conducted. Call our legal team today to learn more about your defense options.