Ellicott City DUI Attorney
Call an Ellicott City DUI lawyer today if you are looking for an experienced legal advocate to guide and protect you throughout the DUI defense process. Our DUI and DWI attorneys are standing by to assist clients in Howard County and throughout Maryland.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Maryland, you may be frightened and confused. This is to be expected–you are facing potential civil, administrative, and criminal penalties, in addition to various collateral consequences of which you may be unaware. The immediate and future legal ramifications can be confusing to understand, and the knowledge-gap between you and the prosecution is significant.
However, there are options available to you, and it is likely in your best interest to consult with and retain an Ellicott City DUI or DWI lawyer. You should look for an attorney with a wealth of experience in this area of law and with a solid record of representing clients facing charges in the particular jurisdiction. If you are facing alcohol- or drug-related driving charges, do not hesitate to contact an Ellicott City attorney with our firm for a free initial consultation to discuss the facts of your case.
Understanding the DUI Stop
Many DUI arrests follow a traffic stop for a seemingly minor violation, such as failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. This is because of the fact that a police officer only needs to demonstrate reasonable articulable suspicion in order to pull you over. This threshold is, by and large, very easy for law enforcement to meet. The more litigated element of DUI cases tends to be over the legality of what happened during the stop, not whether or not the stop was lawful in the first place.
Understand Your Rights
You need to understand that your DUI defense begins the minute an officer approaches your vehicle and asks for your identification. Most Ellicott City DUI attorneys recommend that you politely cooperate with police requests for identification, but that you decline to speak with them until you have consulted your attorney. Police will not read you your Miranda rights until and unless you are being arrested, as the warning only applies to custodial interrogations; nevertheless, your right to silence and right against self-incrimination both begin immediately.
Refusing Portable Breath Tests (PBTs) and Field Sobriety Tests
It is critical that you do not convey any incriminating information and, if possible, avoid divulging information that will allow a law enforcement officer to establish probable cause to make an arrest. If the police officer suspects you may be intoxicated, you may be asked to perform field sobriety tests or to take a roadside breathalyzer test. These tests are designed to demonstrate your intoxication, not to prove your sobriety. You are not obligated to consent to these tests – a critical piece of information that most individuals often lack when they have been stopped by the police. If pulled over while suspected of being under the influence of alcohol, you should contact an experienced Ellicott City DUI attorney immediately.
Refusing or Submitting to Chemical Tests
If you are arrested, you will be asked to consent to a blood alcohol analysis test at the police station. Refusal of this test, which comes after your arrest on suspicion of DUI, carries with it the automatic suspension of your driver’s license. Even a dismissal or an acquittal of your DUI charge will not negate the suspension for refusal to submit to chemical testing; however, the status of your driving privileges can be questioned during a Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) hearing, in which it is invaluable to have an attorney with intimate familiarity of administrative law. An Ellicott City DUI lawyer can advise you of your rights and obligations and help you make informed decisions about your case.
Contacting An Ellicott City DUI Lawyer
Ellicott City DUI cases are generally heard at the Howard County District Court, located at 3451 Courthouse Drive. With the help of a skilled Ellicott City DUI lawyer, you can fight your DUI charge and avoid or minimize any penalties or consequences associated with a criminal conviction. Contact the Ellicott City DUI attorneys at our firm to schedule a free evaluation of your case and to begin building a strategy for the preservation of your freedom, financial well-being, and driving privileges.