Ellicott City DUI Defense Attorneys

We protect your rights when you’re charged with drunk driving

It doesn’t matter whether you’re pulled over on the highway or just a block from home, a DUI/DWI charge is a much more serious offense than something like running a red light. It’s a criminal charge that can result in fines, loss of license, high insurance premiums – and jail time. It can also affect future employment opportunities.

Nobody ever thinks a drunk driving arrest will happen to them. But when it does, it can be stressful, frightening and overwhelming. You may worry your arrest will follow you for the rest of your life. However, it’s important to remember that an arrest doesn’t equal a conviction, and you have the right to fight the charges against you.

If you’re dealing with a DUI/DWI arrest and charge, we can help. The Ellicott City DUI defense lawyers at Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law have vast experience in this area of law, and can put our knowledge to work for you, building the strongest case possible to get you the best possible result. We’re compassionate, results-oriented and reliable.

The difference between DUI and DWI in Maryland

In Ellicott City and throughout the state, there are two ways to charge drunk driving under the law – driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI).

A DUI is when a driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher. The DUI standard is stricter for commercial drivers (0.04) and drivers under the age of 21 (0.02). A person with a BAC of 0.15 or higher faces greater penalties, as well as drunk drivers who cause accidents or have children in their vehicle.

Some drivers can be considered impaired with a BAC lower than 0.08. In cases like these, Maryland allows a DWI, where a driver’s BAC level is typically from 0.04 to 0.79 – and the officer also observes careless or questionable driving. DWI charges often result after an accident that causes injuries or property damage.

Penalties for Maryland DUI/DWI charges

It’s important to understand the potential penalties you may be facing when charged with DUI or DWI. We can explain these to you in detail, and when you work with us, our job is to build a strategy to have these charges dropped or lessened.

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration lists the following penalties for impaired driving:

DUI is the more serious charge, carrying the following penalties:

  • First offense – up to one year of jail time, up to $1,000 in fines/penalties, and a six-month minimum license suspension.
  • Second offense — up to two years of jail time, up to $2,000 in fines/penalties, a one-year minimum license suspension, and an ignition interlock device in your car.
  • Third offense – up to three years of jail time, up to $3,000 in fines/penalties, an 18-month minimum license suspension, and an ignition interlock device in your car.

Even though it’s a lesser offense, DWI still carries heavy consequences:

  • First offense – up to two months of jail time, up to $500 in fines/penalties, and a six-month minimum license suspension.
  • Second offense – up to one year of jail time, up to $500 in fines/penalties, a one-year minimum license suspension, and an ignition interlock device in your car.
  • Third offense – up to three years of jail time, up to $3,000 in fines/penalties, an 18-month minimum license suspension, and an ignition interlock device in your car.

To determine whether or not a DUI/DWI is a repeat offense, the courts will look back five years at any previous convictions.

It’s also important to remember that Maryland is one of many states that have an implied consent law. This means that if you’re pulled over for suspicion of DUI, you agree to take a breath test. If you choose not to cooperate and refuse to take the breath test, you subject yourself to additional penalties, one of which is suspension of your license for at least 270 days.

The benefits of an Ellicott City DUI defense attorney

Because of the implications of a DUI or DWI conviction on your future, don’t try to fight these charges alone. With the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer, you have a much better chance at a favorable outcome for your case. Some of these advantages include:

  • Detailed investigation of your case. We specialize in DUI cases, which means we go through your case with a fine-tooth comb to find valuable evidence. For example, we may find proof that the arresting officer acted unreasonably or unlawfully. Or perhaps your lab test and results were administered or handled improperly. Our attorneys work to ensure you aren’t unfairly convicted.
  • Avoiding a permanent criminal record. A DUI or DWI conviction can negatively impact your professional life for years. In fact, it’s a misdemeanor crime that stays on your record for five years or more. That means one mistake will follow you for a very long time, making it difficult to get a job or even have reliable transportation. Your attorney works hard to ensure a more favorable outcome.
  • Preventing loss of your driver’s license. Our Ellicott City DUI defense lawyers can help prevent your license from being suspended when you’re arrested for drunk driving. We’ll use all the evidence at our disposal to attempt to reduce your penalties – and even if you are convicted, we work to our utmost to help you keep your driver’s license.

Our aggressive Ellicott City DUI/DWI defense attorneys are on your side

Here at Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, we understand that a DUI conviction can change your entire life. Our experience with the Ellicott City and Maryland legal system provides us special insight – giving you the best chance for success for your case. Our drunk driving defense lawyers are ready to help. Call our office today at 410-777-8103 or fill our contact form to schedule a consultation.

And remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew.