A DUI is a serious traffic offense that can result in various negative consequences. There are two stages to every DUI case: (1) administrative, which can result in fines, points, and/or suspension or revocation of your driver’s license and (2) criminal, which can result in criminal penalties, such as fines, jail time, and/or a period of probation. We can help you with both stages to work towards getting the best results for your circumstances.
During the administrative stage, you have the choice to elect to have a hearing at the Office of Administrative Hearings, where you can contest the administrative penalties that the MVA is seeking to impose against you. The time for making this request is on the back of your temporary driver’s license that was issued when you were charged with a DUI and released from police custody, and you must include a payment when sending your request for a hearing. Whether to choose to request a hearing is sometimes a complicated decision, and an attorney can help you weigh your options.
If you choose to go to a hearing, we will fight on your behalf to try to either avoid the administrative penalties altogether or to get a lesser sanction. For example, under some circumstances, we could persuade the judge to issue you a restricted license instead of imposing an outright suspension, which could allow you to drive to your job, school, medical appointments, or treatment programs. The hearing is presided over by an Administrative Law Judge, it is governed by a separate set of rules, and the issues that can be raised during it are limited, so it is important to hire an attorney who is familiar with this legal environment.
In addition to the administrative hearing, you face criminal penalties. At the outset of your case, we can explain to you what you are facing and what steps you could take to put yourself in the best position. We will work to uncover errors made by the police. For example, the traffic stop may have been illegal or the breath test improperly conducted. If necessary, we will litigate these issues at trial.
With respect to both stages, you need to act quickly. There are usually things you can do that may convince the judge to be more lenient regarding punishment and that may positively affect your life. For example, it may be in your best interest to enroll in a drug or alcohol treatment problem. If so, this should be done as soon as possible. The best course of action varies from case to case and client to client, and our attorneys will assess what is best for your situation.
Please contact us immediately if you have been charged with a DUI (or DWI) in Maryland—we will zealously defend you and help you get through this stressful time in your life.