If you have been charged with DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) or a DWI (driving while intoxicated) your first step should be to contact a criminal defense attorney in Annapolis. Maryland drunk driving laws are complex, and DUI is a crime that carries stiff penaltiesâand potentially jail time. While a defense lawyer can help you determine your best legal course of action, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the law with this brief introduction to Maryland DUI and DWI laws.
How Much Do You Have to Drink to Be Charged?
Anyone under 21 years old can be charged with a DUI or DWI if their blood alcohol level is .02% or greater. Drivers of legal drinking age can be charged with DWI if their blood alcohol content is between .04% and .08%. A DUI can be charged for drivers over .08%. Commercial drivers are held to a stricter standard, and may be charged for drunk driving if their chemical tests indicate a BAC at or over .04%.
Will I Go to Jail if I am Convicted?
Possibly. In Maryland, even first-time DWI offenders can face up to two months in jail, and a first DUI offense can carry a sentence of up to one year. After a second DWI conviction, drivers may spend a year in jail, while a second DUI can put you behind bars for up to two years. Added on to a criminal record and thousands of dollars in fines, it is easy to see why hiring a criminal lawyer is essential.
What Are the Legal Consequences if I Refuse a Breathalyzer?
Law firms generally advise their clients to take a chemical test when asked. After being pulled over, a police officer will generally first conduct a field sobriety test. The office may then ask you to submit to a breath or blood test to determine how much alcohol is in your system. Because Maryland operates under implied consent law, refusing to take a chemical test results in an automatic license suspension.
Even if you consider yourself a safe driver, accidents can happen anytime youâre on the road. If you find yourself in an auto accident, itâs best to remain calm even though itâs a stressful situation. Remember not to admit fault or apologize, regardless of whether you think you caused the accident. After checking yourself and the other vehicle for any injuries, get the other driverâs information, including his or her name, phone number, and insurance info. Take pictures of the accident scene before you move your cars in case you need proof of what happened. Be sure to contact an accident lawyer in Annapolis who will fight for your rights and help you get what you deserve after a car crash. Take a look at this infographic to learn more about what you should and shouldnât do after a car accident. Share with your friends and family, and stay safe on the road.
If you have been injured by a defective product, you will want to speak to a personal injury lawyer serving Annapolis to determine whether you have a case. Unlike other types of personal injuries, you may not have to prove that the designer or manufacturer of the product was negligent in order to bring a product liability case. Defective product cases may fall into the category of strict liability, which means that all you have to do is present proof that you were injured and proof that the product was defective. In order to win the case, the designer or manufacturer will need to establish that there was no defect in the product that led to your injury. To learn about the different types of product liability, watch this informative video.
Domestic violence, or any violent crime against a spouse, child, or significant other, is a serious criminal offense. Unfortunately, criminal defense attorneys near Annapolis are all too familiar with cases in which a defendant is falsely accused of domestic violence. If you have been charged with this criminal offense, you need a defense lawyer who is experienced in handling these tough cases. Here is how you should proceed after being charged:
Contact an Attorney
Many people who are falsely accused of crimes believe that the other party can be reasoned with. Sadly, even if the wrongful accuser can be persuaded to tell the truth, a district attorney can prosecute the case with or without the alleged victimâs testimony. Only an attorney can make sure your rights are protected throughout the process. Your first step after being charged with domestic violence should always be to contact a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with the laws and courts of your state.
Consult with Family Members
After being falsely accused, it is vital to speak to family members. While you may initially feel embarrassed to discuss personal details of your relationship, your significant other has most likely already begun to spread falsehoods about you. If your friends and family hear from her and you do not defend yourself, they may end up as witnesses for the prosecution. By keeping your loved ones informed about your side of the story, they will be more likely to believe you and offer their support.
Protect Your Valuables
Finally, make sure to secure all your valuable items, including cell phones and computers and their passwords. A false accuser can may log into your email account or access your phone to send threatening messages to herself, which she can later submit as evidence to the court of your abuse. Accusers can also resort to stealing car titles, birth certificates, or driverâs licenses just to make your life more difficult and distract you from your criminal case. Make sure you have all copies of keys to your home, garage door, vehicle, and mailbox.