What Could Cause Your DUI or DWI to be Dropped?
What are some possible defenses to a drunk driving charge? Depending on the state, any errors on behalf of the arresting officer or the state could cause the rest of the evidence to be thrown out by the Court.
That means, if an officer makes even a minor mistake, some or all of the remaining facts could be excluded from court and not considered by the trier of fact. Some common defenses used by lawyers are:
- Bad traffic stop – lack of reasonable articulable suspicion for stop
- Field tests not performed properly
- Field tests not enough evidence to prove impairment or under the influence
- Breath or test test are collected improperly
- The State cannot prove the defendant was driving the vehicle
- The driver was using the vehicle for shelter and not attempting to operate
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How Much Does a DUI Cost?
The costs of a DUI can be more than just the expense to hire a lawyer. A DUI or DWI arrest can cause your car to be towed and incur expenses for the storage fees from the tow company.
In addition, there are expenses related to substance abuse treatment and education. There are some health insurance companies that will pay for education and treatment. Some of the other expenses and costs of a DUI may include:
- Towing fees
- Vehicle storage fee
- Legal fees
- Alcohol education and treatment
- Court costs
- Fines imposed by the Court
- Car Insurance increase
- DDMP fees
- Probation fees
- Urinalysis fees and expenses
Obviously, if you caused an injury to someone else while driving under the influence, you may be on the hook for a large personal injury settlement. The costs for that situation will be infinitely higher.
How Much Does a DUI Lawyer Cost?
The cost of a DUI lawyer is usually influenced by the experience and success record of the attorney. The average cost of a DUI lawyer in Maryland is between $1500 and $2500 for a first offense.
That range can vary depending on the need for a MVA hearing or not. Other factors that can dictate the price of a DUI lawyer in Maryland are the facts of the arrest, the need for a trial, or the criminal/driving record of the client. Defense in civil court against the claims of a car accident lawyer will require a different defense than criminal court, and you will probably be billed accordingly.
Can a DUI or DWI Be Expunged in Maryland?
A DUI that results in a Probation Before Judgment or Guilty can never be expunged in Maryland, for instance. Other states often have different systems in place, but generally speaking, if you want a criminal record expunged, you will need to call a lawyer who specializes in expungement.
DUI and DWI penalties in Maryland
The DWI laws contain 6 separate sections and individuals can be charged with driving while impaired. Those include driving while impaired by alcohol, driving while impaired by alcohol while transporting minors, driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol, driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol while transporting minors, driving while impaired by controlled dangerous substance, and driving while impaired by controlled dangerous substance while transporting a minor. Very often, drunk drivers are automatically found at fault, generally speaking.
Will I receive points for a DUI conviction?
If a driver receives a PBJ, there will not be any points assessed to that driver’s record. However, if the driver is found guilty, points will be assessed to the driver’s record. If convicted and found guilty for driving under the influence, then 12 points may be assessed to the driver’s record. There are other various degrees that may be assessed for penalties related to controlled substances and various other circumstances.
Mandatory penalties for DUI in Maryland
In Maryland, if a person who is convicted of Transportation Article 21-902 within five years after a prior conviction is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty jail for not less than five days. If a person is convicted of a third or subsequent offense under 21-902(a) within 5 years then that person is subject to a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 days in jail. Mandatory penalties are mandatory, however, it is not uncommon for a judge in Maryland to overlook the mandatory penalties for a drunk driving conviction.
If you still have doubts or need help interpreting your police report after a car accident, meet with a couple of DUI and criminal defense lawyers and get a feeling for what they can offer you and help your defense. The short term cost of hiring a DUI lawyer is well worth the long term expenses you could face if you don’t get the best possible outcome for your matter (i.e. loss of license, increased insurance rates, jail, high fines, lengthy probation, etc).