Rockville DUI Attorney
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is illegal in every state and can carry stiff penalties. Also known as “driving while intoxicated” (DWI), even a first-time offender in a Maryland DUI case can find that they are facing consequences such as heavy fines, license suspension, and even jail time.
If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Maryland, there is a lot at stake. This single event can impact your future if you are forced to miss time from work, lose your driving privileges, or pay an outrageous fine. When you are in this situation, it is vital that you speak with an experienced Maryland DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Jonathan Fellner, Attorney at Law, has significant experience and proven results in defending clients accused of violating Maryland’s strict DUI laws.
DUI Charges in Maryland
While DUIs in Maryland are treated as misdemeanor offenses, it would be a mistake to underestimate the seriousness of these crimes. These are still criminal charges that are punishable by steep fines, probation, jail, driving privilege suspension, and other penalties that can impact your livelihood and family relationships for many years into the future.
A first-time DUI conviction alone carries penalties of up to one year in prison, $1,000 in fines, and 12 points on your driving record. When you are arrested and convicted of a second DUI, those penalties double to $2,000 in fines and up to two years in prison. Penalties increase for each subsequent DUI and conviction and there are even more consequences for Maryland DUI cases involving special circumstances.
Maryland DUI Arrests Involving Special Circumstances
An adult in Maryland is charged with DUI if their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is above the legal limit of .08%. This limit is different as are the DUI penalties for other classes of drivers. For example, Maryland has a “zero tolerance” policy for underage drinking and driving. If an officer even smells alcohol on the breath of an underage driver, that driver can be arrested for DUI. Drivers under 21 can not only face DUI charges and the loss of driving privileges, but also additional charges for underage drinking, and potential disciplinary penalties at a college or university if they are a student.
Anyone who drives for a living not only has more at stake with a DUI arrest, but faces tougher laws and penalties in Maryland as well. Commercial motor vehicle drivers, meaning those with a CDL, need only have a BAC of .04% or greater for a Maryland DUI arrest. One of these arrests will not only threaten a commercial driver’s source of income, but an arrest alone is enough for CDL license suspension if the charges aren’t addressed quickly.
Stiffer penalties can result or a misdemeanor DUI can quickly be elevated to felony status when there are certain dangerous conditions involved in the incident, often referred to aggravating factors. For example, if you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and caused life-threatening injury to another person, there will be additional charges and penalties. A fatality that results from an accident will bring felony charges and open you up to potential civil suits. If you are arrested for DUI with minor children in the car, the penalties could be doubled if you are convicted. A Maryland law known as “Noah’s Law” states that there will be stiffer penalties for a BAC of .15 or higher in DUI cases.
Driving While Impaired (DWI) in Maryland
A DWI charge may carry fewer penalties in Maryland than DUI, but the consequences of a conviction are still serious enough that you need to put forth an aggressive defense. DWI charges often result from cases of a person driving under the influence of marijuana or other drugs, even legal ones. However, a person with a BAC between .04% and 0.08% can still be charged with DWI if the officer believes that their ability to drive is impaired.
A first-time DWI conviction in Maryland can result in up to two months in jail and $500 in fines. You could also receive a suspended driver’s license and up to eight points against your driving record. Any of these penalties could result in financial hardship that includes lost jobs and skyrocketing auto insurance premiums.
As with DUI charges, you should speak with an experienced Maryland DWI defense attorney that will advise you of your rights and work diligently to shield you from some of these harmful consequences.
Protecting Your Maryland Driving Privileges
The immediate aftermath of a DUI arrest can be devastating for anyone who relies on their vehicle to get to work and take care of their family obligations. There’s a good chance that your car was impounded at the scene and you need some fast answers so that you know what to expect moving forward. If you are concerned about the automatic suspension of your driving privileges, your attorney can provide valuable assistance in this area.
Attorney Jonathan Fellner will help you get the answers you need and he will also clearly explain your options and represent your interests at a Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) Hearing. This is a hearing at which you can challenge the suspension of your driving privileges from your arrest so that you may continue to drive to work and school. There are time limits imposed for these administrative processes, so it’s essential that you speak with legal counsel about your case immediately after your arrest.
Get Help Now From a Qualified Maryland DUI Attorney
If you’ve been arrested for DUI or DWI on Maryland’s roads, it’s vital that you act quickly to protect your rights and liberty. Jonathan Fellner, Attorney at Law, has been successfully defending DUI cases throughout the area for more than 15 years. He not only has an intimate understanding of Maryland’s laws but also knows how to exploit possible mistakes made by the police to your advantage.
Being arrested for a DUI in Maryland is stressful enough without having to figure this out on your own. Jonathan Fellner understands how important your driving privilege and your freedom are and will aggressively protect your right to hold onto both. Contact our criminal law office now at ((301) 602-0835 for a free consultation to discuss your case strategy.