Some Important Things to Know About DUI/DWI Cases in Maryland
Field or roadside sobriety tests are not required and there is no sanction or penalty for refusing to perform them. This includes the preliminary breath test administered roadside.
If you refused or failed (.08 or higher) a breath or blood test for alcohol, your Maryland license or privilege (non-residents) to drive in Maryland will automatically be suspended after 45 days unless you request an administrative hearing within ten days of your arrest.
You are required to produce your driver's license and registration upon request, and you are required to get out of your vehicle when the officer requests. But you are not required to answer any questions. Nor should you give consent to search your vehicle, especially if others have access to it.
DUI cases can be won with the assistance of experienced defense counsel. You never win when you plead guilty.
Even if your case cannot be won, there are steps you can take before you go to court that are likely to lessen the impact of a guilty verdict. With every session of the Maryland Legislature, new laws are passed that increase DUI penalties and sanctions. These changes make it more difficult to successfully defend DUI charges. Experienced and conscientious defense lawyers are continually looking for ways to protect your rights and interests, and to make sure you receive a fair trial.
When looking for a lawyer, expect to get what you pay for. If the quoted fee seems low, it's likely the level of service will be as well. And don't be shy to ask what is covered in the quoted fee. Does it include one or more administrative hearings? What if the case is postponed? What if the case is transferred to the Circuit Court? Will there be additional costs or fees?
Don't hesitate to ask questions when interviewing a lawyer. If she/he doesn't welcome your questions, find someone who will.