Worcester DUI Lawyer
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious accusation. These people place not only themselves but also others in mortal danger. As a result, the Maryland laws that punish DUI are harsh. Even a first conviction could result in a lengthy jail sentence, heavy fines, and a loss of license.
As a Worcester DUI lawyer could explain, drunk driving charges are among the most commonly refuted allegations in Worcester’s criminal court. A well-practiced defense attorney could help clients to evaluate their options and to take the path forward that presents with the best chance of success.
What is Means to Drive Under the Influence
A DUI is a criminal offense in Maryland. Maryland Transportation Code Annotated §21-902 dictates that it is illegal for any person to drive or attempt to drive while under the influence of alcohol. To be under the influence of alcohol means that a person has a blood-alcohol content of at least .08 percent under Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §2-501.
Police have many ways to gather evidence that a person was driving under the influence. The most direct way is to force a driver to submit to a breath or blood test that measures blood-alcohol content. All drivers assume a duty to submit to these tests under reasonable suspicion of drunk driving. A failure to submit to a test is a separate criminal offense that carries heavy penalties.
Police may also rely upon their own observations to make an arrest for DUI. This could include asking a driver to submit to field sobriety tests or even simple observations about a person’s physical appearance. These can include glassy eyes, the smell of alcohol on the breath, or slurred speech. A DUI attorney in Worcester could help defendants to refute both scientific and observational evidence made by police officers that indicate intoxication.
DUI Conviction Consequences
A DUI conviction is a criminal offense. As stated by Md. Transportation Code Ann. §21-902, a first conviction could result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. A court may also order a defendant’s license to be suspended for a period of up to six months.
A person will lose their license upon arrest for DUI. Police are obligated to confiscate a person’s license and will issue a temporary 45-day license. Defendants have ten days to appeal this seizure. This involves a separate appeal at a motor vehicle hearing. A Worcester DUI lawyer could help defendants with the process.
Maryland law does provide for an alternative way for defendants to deal with a DUI accusation. If a defendant has no other criminal record and this is their first accusation of DUI, the court may offer attendance in a diversion program. This typically involves attending alcohol or drug education classes, submitting to drug testing, and being on probation. While costly, if a defendant completes the program, the court will dismiss the charge. An experienced attorney could help individuals determine if these programs are right for them.
How a Worcester DUI Attorney Could Help
An arrest for a DUI will complicate a person’s life. These are serious criminal charges where a conviction could result in a jail sentence and a loss of license. DUI charges in Worcester are very defensible with the help of an attorney. A Worcester DUI lawyer could help defendants to refute the charges before a jury.
Other defendants may wish to accept responsibility for their actions and submit to a diversion program. If completed, the programs will result in a complete dismissal of all charges. Contact an attorney today to evaluate your options and to work towards a resolution.