DWI You Deserve the Strongest Defense Possible. 

DWI Defense Lawyer

20+ Years of Experience and a History of Winning Results

If you are facing DWI or DUI charges, it is important that you consult with me to discuss the steps required to fight for your freedom. I am a former Assistant State's Attorney who has served thousands of clients all across Salisbury and the surrounding areas. My former prosecutorial insight can be valuable not only in defending your DWI or DUI criminal charges, but also in helping protect your rights during your driver's license hearing with the MVA.

Arrested for drunk driving? Request your free consultation with our skilled Salisbury DWI attorney or call (410) 205-1684 today!

What is the Difference Between DUI and DWI?

Under Maryland law, driving while impaired (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are regarded as serious crimes that entail severe penalties. DUIs are considered more serious than DWIs are given to drivers whose blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08% or higher, while DWIs are given to those who are caught driving while impaired to some extent by drugs and/or alcohol.

Regardless of which crime you’re accused of, you may not only face criminal proceedings, but you will also need to take steps to protect your driving privileges with the Motor Vehicle Association (MVA) if convicted.

What Are the Consequences in Maryland for DWI & DUI Cases

In DWI and DUI cases, it is important that you understand the penalties you may be facing. I am dedicated to ensuring that you have a thorough understanding of the DWI & DUI processes, so you know what to expect during this uncertain time.

My team and I can work to investigate the circumstances surrounding your DWI arrest, gather evidence and put together a solid defense strategy. My goal is to get your charges dismissed or at least have the penalties reduced so you’re not left with hefty fines, jail time, or worse.

If convicted of a DWI, you may face the following penalties:

  • For a first offense:
    • Up to a $500 fine
    • Up to 2 months imprisonment
    • Eight (8) points will be assessed on your driving record
    • 6-month license suspension
    • If you are under 21, you will face a 1-year suspension
  • For a second DWI offense:
    • Up to a $500 fine
    • Up to 1-year imprisonment
    • Eight (8) points will be assessed on your driving record
    • License suspension of 9 to 12 months
    • If you are under 21, you will face a 2-year suspension

The penalties are substantially higher if you are transporting a minor at the time of the offense or for a third offense.You could also face further penalties if you were driving recklessly, speeding, have a prior DWI conviction, had an excessive BAC (blood alcohol content), had a minor child in your car, or refused a breathalyzer or blood test.

If you are convicted of a DUI:

  • For a first offense:
    • Up to a $1,000 fine
    • Up to one year in jail
    • Twelve (12) points will be assessed on your driving record
    • Your license may be revoked for up to six (6) months
  • For a second offense:
    • Up to a $2,000 fine
    • Up to 2 years imprisonment (with a mandatory minimum of 5 days)
    • Twelve (12) points will be assessed on your license
    • Your license may be revoked for up to one year
  • For two convictions within 5 years: A mandatory period of suspension will be followed by a minimum required period of participation in the Ignition Interlock Program. You may also be required to participate in an alcohol abuse assessment and program.

Stopped for a DWI or DUI? Know Your Rights.

The law is particularly keen on convicting those accused of drinking and driving because it endangers the life of the driver and the lives of others. Because the law is obligated to protect public safety, it punishes convicted DWI and DUI drivers very harshly. Even if you’re not legally drunk, you could still be pulled over and charged for these crimes.

Even if you are behind the wheel with only a fractional percentage of alcohol in your system, you can still find yourself in handcuffs. Fortunately, by maintaining an awareness of your rights during a DWI or DUI traffic stop, you can minimize your chances of being wrongfully accused and stay out of trouble.

When Can I Be Pulled Over?

You may only be pulled over if a law enforcement officer has reasonable suspicion to believe you were doing something wrong, known as probable cause. A police officer must be able to see some visible sign of wrongdoing before stopping you, such as a busted taillight, erratic driving, or expired registration tags on your license plate. Otherwise, they cannot legally pull you over.

Should I Speak to the Police Officer?

It is important that you remain calm and compliant with the officer, but other than providing your identifying information, you do not need to answer any questions they may ask. The officer will likely ask you a series of questions in order to determine if you have been drinking, such as your destination, where you were previously, or flat out asking if you had any alcoholic beverages. It is important that you do not answer these questions and that you exercise your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Since anything you say can be held against you in court, it is best to just keep quiet.

The police will be on the lookout for the following signs of intoxication:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Slurred or confused speech
  • Smell of alcohol on your breath
  • Uncoordinated, jerky movements

Should I Take a Handheld Breathalyzer Test?

If you have not been arrested, you are not required to consent to any sort of handheld breathalyzer or roadside sobriety test the officer may request. Like the questioning that likely precedes them, field sobriety tests are conducted only for the purpose of giving an officer probable cause to secure your arrest and only serve to hurt you in the long run. Do not consent to these tests, even if you think you may easily pass them.

Refusing the test may frustrate an officer and prompt them to threaten you. If you are threatened to take a field sobriety test, clearly state that you will perform them but do not provide your consent. This statement can be used later in court to suppress the results of these tests. The only time you will be required to take a breath test is if you have already been arrested. Chemical tests in Maryland are mandatory and can result in a long driver’s license suspension if refused. If you are arrested, it is highly recommended that you submit to a chemical test and get in touch with a skilled Salisbury DWI lawyer at your earliest convenience.

Can the Police Search My Car?

The police officer may ask to search your vehicle during this time, as they will be looking for open alcohol containers or drugs in order to pile more charges onto your situation. Police officers are not allowed to search your vehicle without your consent or a search warrant. Do not ever knowingly permit a law enforcement official to search your vehicle without a warrant.

For Drunk Driving Defense in Salisbury, Call (410) 205-1684

I work to protect your rights and defend you aggressively against serious accusations. I understand the severity of DWI and DUI charges and the consequences they can have on your life and future. As a former prosecutor, I know how to defend against the tactics that may likely be used against you in court. My successful track record over the past 20+ years resulted from my well-rounded defense strategies and ability to win cases. Allow me to apply these qualities to your case.

If you are facing DWI charges, contact our Salisbury DWI attorney online for your free case review or call (410) 205-1684 to get started!

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