DUI and Traffic Lawyers Located in Westminster, MD
Our attorneys are well-versed in all areas of traffic law, with extensive experience representing defendants in DUI cases, other jailable traffic offenses such as driving on a suspended license and driving without insurance, and routine traffic citations such as speeding and negligent driving. The McFadden Law Offices, based in Westminster, MD, proudly represents individuals charged with DUI and other traffic violations in Carroll County and surrounding counties.
If you are arrested for a DUI, it is important that you secure a defense attorney as soon as possible, in order to protect your rights and your ability to drive. Any arrest for suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be embarrassing at best and life-altering at worst. You deserve the best representation in court and an attorney that carefully considers every fact presented by the State. Our attorneys have a strong background in DUI defense. Our experience has given us the ability to identify irregularities that could put the State’s case in doubt. With your reputation and your ability to drive at risk, why take anything for granted when it comes to your defense? Attorneys with the McFadden Law Offices provide representation in the District and Circuit Courts of Maryland, and at MVA hearings.
Many people aren’t aware that other serious traffic infractions, such as driving on a suspended or revoked license, or driving without insurance, can actually result in jail time, in addition to heavy fines. Convictions for these offenses can also lead to points on your license, leading to further suspensions and increased insurance costs. In some cases, our attorneys are able to get these charges dismissed, so that you can get back on the road. Contact us today to discuss your case.
Other minor traffic infractions, such as speeding and negligent driving, can result in points on your license, fines, and increased insurance rates. In many cases, it makes sense to hire a traffic lawyer that understands how to challenge a citation. Sit down for a free consultation and learn more about your options for challenging tickets. Our informative sessions may help you avoid a potential disaster and the steep fines that come with some infractions.
DUI BASICS AND IMPACTS ON YOUR LICENSE
When stopped by a police officer for suspicion of DUI, you may be subjected to field sobriety tests that include three separate components – the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test, the Walk and Turn test, and the One-Legged Stand test. All of these tests are designed to assist the officer in determining whether he or she has probable cause to arrest you for a DUI, and the results from them may potentially be used in a future criminal case against you for DUI. You are NOT required to perform any of these tests.
The officer might also request that you take a roadside breathalyzer test. Like the field sobriety tests, you are not required to take a roadside breathalyzer test. The courts have determined that roadside breathalyzers are not reliable enough to be admissible at trial, so even if you do opt to take a roadside breathalyzer, the results from it cannot be used against you at trial.
If the officer determines that there is probable cause to arrest you for a DUI, he or she will transport you back to the station for processing. While there, you should be read a form called the DR-15 Advice of Rights. This form explains the breathalyzer back at the station (separate from the roadside breathalyzer). For this breathalyzer test, there can be related MVA penalties depending on how you perform. These penalties include:
Alcohol Concentration of .08 – .14 = 180-day license suspension for first offense (eligible for work-restricted license)
Alcohol Concentration of .15 or above = 180-day license suspension for first offense (not eligible for work-restricted license)
You can refuse to take the breathalyzer at the station. However, this will result in a 270-day license suspension (not eligible for work-restricted license)
These suspensions can be challenged at an MVA hearing, and in some cases, you may be eligible for a work-restricted license that allows you to drive to and from work, and, usually, to and from any related alcohol or substance treatment. Rather than taking a license suspension, many people opt into the ignition interlock program, which, for a first offense, requires you to successfully complete one full year on the ignition interlock, sometimes referred to as a “blow-and-go.”
Once you are released from police custody, the officers should confiscate your license and issue you a temporary license, which is valid for 45 days. After that 45 days, unless you take action, your license will be automatically suspended and you will not be able to drive. There are strict time limitations when dealing with MVA-related issues, so contact our attorneys as soon as possible to discuss the various options you may have with regard to your license.
THE DUI CRIMINAL TRIAL
DUI convictions are never eligible to be expunged. That’s why having an experienced lawyer in your corner is essential for a DUI trial. Through continuing education in the area of DUI law, we keep up-to-date with the latest legal defenses and trial strategies. If the facts of the case justify it, we are more than willing to go to trial and fight for your rights, rather than simply accept a plea agreement. In some cases, however, a plea may be your best option. Either way, we will work diligently to achieve the best outcome possible for your case. Contact us today to discuss your case.
JAILABLE TRAFFIC OFFENSES
DUIs are not the only traffic infractions that can lead to jail time. Serious traffic offenses, such as driving on a suspended or revoked license, driving without a license, and driving without insurance can carry serious fines and jail time, in addition to points on your license. If you have been arrested or received a traffic citation for a traffic offense that says “Must Appear” on the ticket, you are required to go to court for that ticket. It is vital to have a lawyer familiar with the penalties and potential outcomes associated with those “Must Appear” offenses before you go in front of a judge. Don’t be blindsided by high fines, potential jail time, and more points on your license. Contact us today to discuss your case.
MINOR TRAFFIC CITATIONS
Even a minor traffic citation, such as speeding, negligent driving, and failure to yield, can lead to unforeseen consequences, so it is important that you hire a capable traffic lawyer. Although most minor traffic citations, allow you to simply pay a fine, choosing to pay the fine rather than going to court is considered a guilty plea, and any potential points associated with the ticket will be automatically added to your driving record. In addition to increased insurance rates, point accumulation can ultimately lead to a suspension of your license and your ability to drive.
Our attorneys can help you navigate through the court system and help prevent further negative consequences. For certain minor traffic citations, we can even go to court on your behalf, saving you from missing work or other personal obligations. Contact us to discuss your case.