Friday, February 5, 2016

Maryland DUI Attorney: Before You Plead Guilty to DUI -- Three Things You Need to Know

            1.       Does the State actually have the evidence they need to convict you?

Every DUI charge is different, and the circumstances around your case may provide you with a real defense.   An attorney is extremely valuable in helping you assess the State’s proof.  Consider this common set of facts:  You have one beer at a bar and drive home.  Someone witnesses you swipe a parked vehicle and then walk a little off balance into your home.  You didn’t realize you hit the car, so you go inside and have a few drinks while you unwind for the day.  45 minutes later, the police are at your door.  You fail the field sobriety tests and blow a 0.10.  The police charge you with DUI.
              It may seem counterintuitive, but arguing to the State that you had several drinks after you drove home can actually help you.  The State has to prove that you were intoxicated when you drove the car.  The gap in time between when you drove and when the police took your BAC may be long enough to exclude that evidence.

2.       Being proactive before your trial will make a difference at sentencing.

If it becomes clear that a guilty plea is in your best interest, there is a lot you can do prior to
your hearing date to improve your outcome at sentencing.  Entering a treatment program is a great way to show the judge that you are taking responsibility for your actions.  It’s important that you be honest with the treatment evaluators about the circumstances of your DUI case and whether you have any prior DUI’s.  A judge may not look so kindly on your completion of a weekend treatment program when it’s your third DUI and you didn’t tell the evaluators about the severity of the issue. 

3.       Be prepared for the consequences.

Judges take DUI cases very seriously.  While jail time is uncommon for first time offenders,
supervised probation is a standard consequence and is frequently accompanied by conditions.  Such conditions may include monitoring through the drinking and driving monitor program (DDMP), attending AA meetings, totally abstaining from alcohol, or completing an extended treatment program.  Conditions of probation frequently carry their own fees in addition to the fines imposed by the court.  Mentally preparing yourself for these consequences can help to lessen the blow when you face sentencing.  You should also prepare your pocketbook, because the court’s fines are usually due on the date of sentencing.

            If you or a family member has been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland and would like a free legal consultation or if you would like more information on DUI or DWI please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 and schedule an appointment at our office in Rockville or throughout Maryland, or visit us on the web at 

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