When to Contact an Attorney in a Somerset DUI Case
If you find yourself facing charges, be sure to contact a Somerset DUI lawyer as soon as possible. It is best to ask to speak with the attorney well before you make a decision about whether or not to take the breath test. Under the law, the breath test has to be provided within a two-hour time frame of the stop. So, there is a window of time where the defendant can ask and take the time to consult with an attorney before making a decision about whether or not to take the test.
During the Stop
During a Somerset DUI stop, the driver has the right to ask to consult with an attorney and speak with them before deciding whether or not to take the breath test. Often people being held either on the side of the road or at the police department will call, trying to determine if they should take a test. It is a difficult conversation to have with the client, because there is a police officer nearby who could be listening to everything that the client is saying on the telephone.
Therefore, the questions that a lawyer will ask the clients are going to be requesting yes or no answers, such as “Have you ever refused to take the test before? Do you believe that if you take the test, you are going to blow over the legal limit?” It is also important to ask the driver questions about whether or not they have a commercial driver’s license, because there are separate consequences for a client who has to have a CDL.
In that case, if the driver refuses to take the breath test, it will impact their ability to drive for work. Therefore, it is important to consider what all the potential consequences might be when deciding whether to take or refuse the test.
Bond Hearing Representation
Under Maryland law, a person arrested has the right to have an attorney present at their first interaction with the criminal justice system, which is when they are in front of a district court commissioner. That is the mechanism where the defendant’s information is taken into consideration and the commissioner makes a determination about the person’s ties to the local community and whether or not they are a flight risk.
The commissioner is able to access the person’s prior record, which oftentimes is taken into account when deciding whether or not the person should receive a bond. Sometimes it is the case that the commissioner grants a bond, but that bond is too high for the defendant to post. If their bond is an amount that they cannot post, they will be held in the detention center until the next available court date, when they would go in front of a judge for the bond review hearing. At that bond review hearing, they also have the right to have an attorney present.
How an Attorney Can Help
It is important to know when to contact an attorney in a Somerset DUI case. The best time is as soon as possible, ideally even before a breath test has been requested. This is because a Somerset DUI lawyer can guide you through the decision process, helping you determine the best course of action each step of the way.