Garrett County DUI Attorney
The Garrett County DUI lawyers at our firm get how difficult it can be to face DUI charges. That’s why we’re available as defenders and advocates for clients who want to fight DUI or DWI charges. Call today to see how we can help you.
If you have been stopped for a DUI in Garrett County, there’s a fair chance this represents your first run-in with the law. Maryland DUI defendants are often surprised by the serious criminal consequences they face if found guilty; ultimately, an individual’s livelihood, reputation, driving privileges, insurance costs, and even freedom are on the line in a DUI case. If you find yourself in this situation, contacting a Garrett County DUI attorney as soon as possible is the best way to ensure your rights are respected throughout the legal process.
DUI in Garrett County
If a driver is pulled over, a patrol officer may ask him or her to take a preliminary breath test that does not need to be accepted. The state of Maryland does not require that this test be completed and does not hold the person who refuses in contempt. This type of preliminary test cannot be used in a criminal court as direct evidence that the driver was impaired – but it can be used to justify the arrest of the driver under suspicion of DUI or DWI.
If the individual is arrested and taken to Garrett County police headquarters, he or she will be asked to submit to a chemical test. Unlike the roadside breathalyzer test, refusal to submit to this test carries severe penalties in the form of an automatic Maryland driver’s license suspension – regardless of whether or not the driver is eventually found guilty of DUI. A suspect does, however, have the right to issue a reasonable request for the presence of a Garrett County DUI attorney before the test is administered.
A Garrett County DUI lawyer needs to be called at this time. If the tests reveal an amount of alcohol that is over the legal limit, a preliminary hearing will be set for the criminal charges. The preliminary hearing is set within a few days, and the person charged with the DUI offense needs to attend this hearing or face a failure to appear charge.
DUI charges in Garrett County
A DUI matter is particularly complex because these types of charges involve two separate legal battles.
The initial arrest will be a drunk driving charge that involves certain criminal law procedures and hearings that take place at a criminal courthouse in the local county. Directions to a DUI hearing are listed on the arresting documents that are given to the offender at the time of the arrest. These documents will say what the charges are and where to go in order to attend the correct meetings. These meetings are important to attend since the judge needs to know how each defendant is pleading. Understanding the specific laws for each case is important, and the court officials will ask if the defendant understands certain details of the charges as well. Please visit our page on Garrett County Courthouses if you want more information.
A drunk driving charge can also affect the driver’s licensing privileges, and a separate hearing is held about these matters. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) holds an administrative hearing regarding every driver’s license that is being suspended or not renewed because of drunk driving charges. The defendant needs to attend this hearing in order to plead a certain way regarding the charges that have been alleged. Though this hearing is separate from any criminal proceedings, a Garrett County DUI lawyer can assist at this hearing as well.