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Right to Consult with Counsel


In Maryland a person who is asked to blow into an Intoxilyzer at the police station has a right to speak to an attorney before deciding whether or not to blow into the machine, as long as it does not interfere with the timely taking of the test. This means that when the police ask a driver to blow into the Intoxilyzer, it is almost always a good idea to ask to speak with a Maryland DUI attorney first. If the police officer denies that request and a suspect blows into the machine, the test result could be suppressed in court and the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) is prohibited from taking a person’s driver’s license. If the police officer denies the request to speak to counsel and a person subsequently refuses to take the Intoxilyzer test, then the MVA may not suspend that person’s license.

The right to speak to counsel before deciding whether or not to take a breath test means that a person should be allowed to consult with counsel privately. Privacy means outside of the police’s earshot, so that a person can have a free and frank discussion with their DUI attorney before deciding whether or not to submit to the requested breath test. If an officer does not provide the suspected DUI driver with privacy, this can act as a denial of the right to confer with counsel and can result in the breath test being suppressed at court or the case being thrown out at the MVA hearing. A 2014 ruling by Maryland’s highest court may cast some doubt on that right in certain situations. You can read more about that here.

Those suspected of or charged with DUi-related offenses have other rights as well. Police are required to follow certain criteria for the evidence presented against you to be found admissable in court. Some of these issues may include, but are not necessarily limited to:

Maryland DUI lawyer Ed Tayter on how to find a good DUI lawyer:

“I think you need to talk to them- talk to the individual lawyer. I think you need to spend at least an hour sitting down and talking to anyone who you are hiring to represent you in a DUI case. And, after you talk to that person, ask them about their qualifications, ask them about the nature of their practice, ask them about their familiarity with the court where your case is being heard. Those are all things should go into your decision. But, I don’t think it’s something you can do over the phone. I think it really is something where you need to sit down and talk to your lawyer.”