Things to Know if Charged with a Baltimore DUI
If you have been charged with a Baltimore DUI, you are facing a legal situation that could have lasting implications. By educating yourself about what happens after a drunk driving arrest, you will be more prepared to face the legal process and make the best possible decisions. Here, we will explain what you need to know if you have been charged with driving under the influence in Baltimore.
What Happens After Your Baltimore DUI
Drunk driving in Baltimore is a crime, and when you are arrested you will go through the criminal process in Maryland.
If you refuse to take a breath test when you are arrested, that is admissible in court, and it can lead to an automatic 120-day license suspension.
In Maryland, a drunk driving charge also causes an administrative action, where you could lose your driving privileges. This is separate from your criminal court case, where you may be jailed or fined for DUI. Once you have been arrested for a Baltimore DUI, you have 10 days to request a Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings. If you have been arrested for drunk driving or DUI and you do not request the hearing, your license will be automatically suspended.
In Maryland, there is a difference between a DUI and a DWI. You will be charged with a Baltimore DUI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 or higher when you were arrested. If your BAC was .07, you will be arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI).
If you are convicted of DUI for the first time, your driver’s license will be suspended for at least 45 days, with up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail. For a second offense, it’s as much as a $2,000 fine and up to two years in jail. You will also get 12 points on your driver's license record.
If you are convicted of DWI, you will have your driver's license suspended for up to 60 days with up to a $500 fine and as much as two months in jail. You will also have eight points on your record.
If you have been arrested for a DUI or DWI and you had a passenger under the age of 18 in the car, you face extra charges and penalties.
A DUI arrest may also require you to have an ignition interlock system installed on your car. With this type of device, you have to blow into an alcohol sensor that is attached to the car’s ignition every time you start it. The car will only start if your BAC is lower than a pre-set limit, usually .02 to .04 BAC. You will have to pay for the device, but you may be able to claim a financial hardship if you can’t afford it.
Working With Baltimore DUI Lawyers
Whether this is your first arrest or you have been through the process before, you will need an experienced Baltimore DUI lawyer on your side. You will want to begin working with a Baltimore DUI lawyer as soon as possible—with only 10 days to request a Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration hearing, you don’t have a lot of time to waste.
Trial in Criminal Court
Your Baltimore DUI lawyer may make pretrial motions. In a DUI or DWI case, a common pretrial defense motion calls for the suppression of evidence. This often involves the suppression of physical evidence, such as the admissibility of BAC tests and other chemical tests.
As a defendant in a DUI in Baltimore case, you have the right to a jury trial. If you are found guilty, you can appeal the ruling.
Your Baltimore DUI is a very serious offense. Once you know what is involved, you will be in a better position to participate in your criminal defense case.