Centreville DUI/DWI Defense Attorneys
Protecting your rights when you’re charged with drunk driving
Driving under the influence or driving while impaired are charges the state takes extremely seriously. These aren’t regular traffic infractions like running a red light or speeding. They’re criminal charges and, if you’re convicted, you could face penalties like monetary fines, loss of license, raised insurance premiums and jail time. Not to mention a permanent record and lasting effects on your personal and professional life.
We understand that you did not get behind the wheel with the intent to commit a crime. A drunk driving arrest, however, can be confusing, stressful and overwhelming. We know you may be concerned an arrest and conviction will follow you around for the rest of your life, and your concerns are valid. However, as experienced local DUI/DWI attorneys, we can help you fight these charges.
When the Centreville criminal defense lawyers at Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law take on your case, we put our skills to work, building a strategic defense to secure you the best possible outcome for your case. You can depend on us.
Important differences between DUI and DWI in Maryland
Centreville follows the same rules as Maryland when it comes to drunk driving. The law splits the charges into two categories – driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI).
When a driver has a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, they’re charged with a DUI. Note that the DUI level is stricter for commercial drivers, like truckers (0.04), and drivers under the age of 21 (0.02). If a driver has a BAC of 0.15 or higher, they face quite severe penalties, as do drunk drivers who cause accidents, and drunk drivers with children in their car.
In some cases, Maryland allows a charge of DWI. Some drivers may be considered impaired with a BAC lower than 0.08. Typically for a DWI, a driver’s BAC level will be somewhere between 0.04 to 0.79, along with the officer noting careless or odd driving behavior.
DUI and DWI arrests typically happen after accidents causing injuries or property damage. The penalties for a DUI/DWI conviction vary depending on the circumstances of your arrest, as well as your criminal history.
Penalties for DUI/DWI charges in Centreville, Maryland
If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, it’s crucial to understand the potential penalties you may be facing. A DUI conviction can affect your life in myriad ways, including losing your license, making it difficult to get a job, and leaving you with a permanent criminal record. We’ll dedicate our attorneys to getting the charges against you dropped or minimized – or work toward a full acquittal.
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration describes these penalties for DUI and DWI:
DUI carries the following penalties:
- First offense – Up to $1,000 fine and up to a year in jail. Twelve points on your driver’s license as well as possible loss of license for up to six months.
- Second offense – $2,000 fine and up to two years in jail (mandatory five days). Twelve points on your driver’s license as well as possible loss of license for up to one year.
- Two convictions within five years – Mandatory suspension period, followed by required participation in the Ignition Interlock Program (IIP).
- You may also be required to participate in an alcohol abuse program.
Although a lesser offense, DWI still carries heavy penalties.
- First offense – $500 fine and up to two months in jail. Eight points on your driver’s license as well as possible loss of license for six months. If you’re under 21 upon conviction, you’ll lose your license for a year.
- Second offense – $500 fine and up to one year in jail. Eight points on your driver’s license as well as possible loss of license for nine to 12 months. If you’re under 21 upon conviction, you’ll lose your license for two years.
Again, these penalties become significantly higher if there were minors in the vehicle at the time, or you caused an accident that resulted in injuries. Also, the courts look back five years when determining if a person is a repeat offender.
Keep in mind that Maryland is a state with an implied consent law. If you’re pulled over for DUI or DWI, by virtue of having a driver’s license, you consent to a chemical sobriety test (typically a breath test or Breathalyzer). If you choose not to cooperate, you’ll receive additional penalties, one of which is loss of license for at least 270 days.
The advantages of a Centreville DWI/DUI defense attorney
A DUI or DWI conviction can have serious implications on your future. It’s not a good idea to try to fight these charges alone. Our defense lawyers give you a better chance at success and to walk away with your reputation intact. When you hire us, we offer benefits only experienced attorneys can provide:
- DUI charges have two parts – administrative and criminal proceedings. We understand the proceedings for both and will ensure you’re ready and prepared for both.
- Our skilled DUI/DWI defense attorneys can help reduce the amount of time you’re tied up in court, allowing to continue life as usual so you can keep attending school or work.
- We work to get you an acquittal or dismissal, or put our negotiation skills to work, getting you a diversion or counseling program instead of losing your driving privileges.
- We also strive to avoid a negative impact on your driving record as well as your auto insurance premiums.
Centreville drunk driving defense attorneys representing your rights
A DUI conviction can put your entire future in jeopardy. If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI or DWI, our lawyers at Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law are ready to help. We understand the seriousness of a drunk driving conviction and we work aggressively to minimize or clear the charges against you. We’re ready to help. Call our office today at 410-271-1892 or fill our contact form to schedule a consultation.
And remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew.