Facing a Traffic Violation or DUI in Rockville MD?
DUI lawyers in Rockville MD – including all traffic offenses
Bours & Lucero, LLC., offers services for traffic problems ranging from minor to serious offenses.
In Maryland new drivers are required to have a provisional license, and this license can be suspended under what MVA calls the “Graduated Licensing System” program, GLS for short. The first moving violation a provisional driver gets results in a referral to the driver improvement program. After that, suspensions of 30 days for a second moving violation, and 180 days for subsequent violation, can be imposed. It is important to contact our office on the first violation and consider contesting each violation to avoid proposed suspensions and other sanctions that will keep you from driving or raise your insurance rates.
Provisional drivers should almost always request a trial if a ticket received carries points. We can help defend charges, and also defend suspension of license sanctions, which are automatic unless an MVA hearing is requested.
Even minor moving violations affect younger drivers, and parents can pay a penalty if insurance rates are increased on teens who accumulate points. Insurance cancellation is possible if the younger driver is suspended. Getting expert advice and effective representation is essential.
Even if you were older and have a standard license, just paying a ticket may cost you thousands of dollars in increased insurance penalties you didn’t consider. Standard traffic violations require an immediate response and the favored action always is to obtain a trial and seek legal advice before paying a citation that can cost you penalties that you did not anticipate.
Contact our DUI & Traffic Law Attorneys
Fill out the form below or call (301) 340-7600 to arrange a consultation in Rockville, MD.
Alcohol Offenses – Drunk Driving – “Noah’s Law”
At the other end of the spectrum is what some have called “the most frequently committed criminal offense by non-criminals,” drinking and driving, or DUI. Maryland law on these offenses typically provides for BOTH license suspension and court sanctions, and all DUI offenses carry the possibility of jail and severe point consequences on your license.
There are four different types of alcohol or drug related charges under Maryland law. Although the names have changed over the years, “Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol” currently refers to the most serious type of drunk driving, where the defendant is extremely drunk or substantially affected by the consumption of alcohol. First offenders face up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000.00 and 12 points, if convicted. An alternative approach is a charge for “DUI per se” where the State has a reduced burden to prove substantial impairment but the defendant took a breath test of .08 or greater, which establishes that he or she was under the influence because of that test [per se] alone.
If you took a breath test there are a number of technical issues that can be applied to prevent the breath test from being admitted in court.
The lesser charge involving alcohol and driving is now called “Driving While Impaired by Alcohol,” and carries up to 60 days in jail, fines of up to $500.00, and 8 points. Obtaining a reduction of the more serious charge is a realistic option in many cases because judges are reluctant to acquit any alcohol offender completely. But if the evidence supports the more serious charge, you need an excellent trial lawyer to negotiate the lesser offense or obtain that verdict after trial.
Two other charges deal with driving while impaired by drugs, or drugs and alcohol in combination, the same penalty as driving impaired by alcohol alone, and driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance, same penalties as DUI. Drug related arrests often involve an extra police witness called a “Drug Recognition Expert,” and few lawyers have actually become involved in the type of in depth research and practice that is necessary to defend these cases successfully.
Our firm offers expert guidance by one of the preeminent attorneys in DUI defense, and solutions for both court and MVA issues. An early consultation is essential, as DUI license suspensions can occur quickly and automatically unless steps are taken to request an MVA hearing or enter programs that permit driving with an “ignition interlock” device.
Preparing for a good result in court also requires immediate attention to obtaining an alcohol evaluation, education or treatment. Every client and every case is different. We know that small things can make a big difference, but look to results, not volume discounts. Our fees are reasonable and are based on the facts of each case. Call us today to ensure you have DUI lawyers that are ready to go to bat for you. With over 60 combined years of legal experience, we’ve protected the rights of countless people, their friends, and family members. We’re ready to do the same for you.
Why do I need the best DUI Lawyers in Rockville, MD?
You’ve been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Despite how bleak the situation may seem, there is no need to panic. A DUI lawyer will be able to help you through the Maryland Court System in this seemingly hopeless situation. Here are just five of the innumerable reasons why you should hire one.
- Expert Background Knowledge in DUI Law: DUI law is an immensely complex area that features surprising variation on a state-by-state basis. Although you may be attracted towards hiring a standard criminal litigator, they do not have the particular expertise you require when facing such potentially severe consequences. You need someone with a robust education in the state of Maryland’s DUI laws. This distinct knowledge is essential to ensuring the best possible result for you in court.
- Intricate Understanding of DUI Proceedings: DUI lawyers understand how to triumphantly navigate the harsh and complex terrain that is DUI procedure. With background knowledge characterized by specific expertise, they know the actions to take to provide you with a with an easier path through the legal system. They understand which precise technical issues to reference to keep your breath test out of court. Their ability to craftily negotiate is paramount to ensuring a less severe sentencing in the face of serious charges.
- Background in Traffic and Motor Vehicle Law: Before a lawyer can even dabble in DUI cases, a strong background in traffic and motor vehicle law is essential. Without a thorough understanding of these two complementary areas, a lawyer would not be able to traverse DUI law successfully. DUI lawyers have this foundational knowledge and can apply this expertise to help craft a strong case specific to your situation.
- The Dynamic Nature of DUI Law: DUI law is a uniquely dynamic field. Constant changes make a complete understanding of the area arduous to maintain. If your lawyer provides an antiquated defense strategy, you will have an excruciatingly difficult time avoiding harsh sentencing. Luckily DUI lawyers keep meticulous track of these frequent alterations. This allows them to continually update their framework knowledge and legal tactics, making them a reliable fit to represent you.
- Potential to Prevent License Suspension: DUI lawyers recognize the importance of driving. Operating a motor vehicle becomes ingrained in almost every aspect of life. If charged with a DUI, license suspension may be swift and automatic. DUI lawyers understand the specific procedures to take so you can stay on the road. Whether it be ignition interlock device installation or an MVA hearing, they will be able to help you avoid losing such an essential component of your daily routine.
You now understand why hiring a DUI lawyer is imperative if you have been charged with a DUI. Bours & Lucero, LLC, offers one of the most accomplished and knowledgeable DUI defense attorneys in the Rockville, MD, area. Equipped with a legal arsenal much larger than the list above, they will be able to help you traverse this challenging case. For more information, feel free to call us at (301) 340-7600.
5 Tips on What to Do When Pulled Over for a DUI
Drunk driving kills 28 people in the U.S. every single day. That’s one person per every 51 minutes. Data from the CDC shows that, in 2015, drunk driving was responsible for about 10,000 deaths, one-third of the total traffic-related deaths. It’s easy to see why law enforcement is so hard on drunk drivers.
What should I do after being arrested for a DUI?
The first time someone gets arrested for a DUI can carry some massive consequences. Some things that may occur include:
Jail time: Each state has different laws on jail time, and it also depends on how heavily intoxicated the driver was and if they caused any damage. Most first-time DUIs get categorized as misdemeanors, but if they caused harm or injury to someone else, it could get classified as a felony.
Community service: In rare cases, the driver might’ve gotten off lucky and only had to do community service to make up for their crime. It’s not as bad as jail, but it’s still not an ideal situation. Many DUI lawyers may try and get their clients to do community service rather than serve jail time.
License suspension: Drunk drivers may have their driving privileges revoked. Once again, this depends significantly on where someone lives. For example, California residents will have their license revoked for half a year for their first DUI. There is always the option of applying for a restricted license which allows the person to drive to work, school, and any court-mandated programs.
Fines and other costs: Anyone convicted of a DUI is going to have to pay a lot of money. An initial fine might cost anywhere between $500 and $2000. Add that to court fees, DUI lawyer fees, license reinstatement fees, increased car insurance rates, towing and impoundment fee, and much more. The total cost of a DUI often ranges between $13,000 and $27,000.
Education: Drivers often must take classes to help them prevent drug or alcohol problems as well as traffic school classes to help re-educate them about safe driving.
A DUI is something that nobody wants. Drunk driving is never a smart option. Unfortunately, there are about 1,500,000 drunk drivers arrested every year. One driver out of every 80 gets arrested for a DUI.
The easiest way for anyone to avoid getting a DUI is merely not to drink and drive. People can effortlessly call a taxi, Uber, or Lyft to get them home since the costs of doing so are minor to the costs of getting a DUI. ‘
But what happens if you make a few bad decisions and you get pulled over?
Here are a few tips:
Be polite and act normal. Drivers should always find a safe place to pull over and be as respectful to the officer as possible. Police officers are far more forgiving towards drivers who treat them respectfully as opposed to those who treat them scornfully. Give them your license, registration, and insurance and step out of the car when asked.
Know their rights. Police officers aren’t required to read drivers their Miranda rights, but that doesn’t mean that drivers can’t invoke those rights. Officers often ask self-incriminating questions such as “How much have you been drinking tonight?” Any DUI lawyer will say that drivers are not obligated to answer these questions and should politely decline.
Drivers might also be subject to field sobriety tests such as standing on one leg, walking in a straight line, or moving their eyes in a specific direction. They are incredibly subjective and don’t test for the driver’s alcohol levels, but instead look for signs of physical impairment.
Drivers can always explain to the officer that such tests aren’t required and politely decline to take any of them. However, this might give the officer more reason to arrest them.
The other common type of test is the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test where the driver is required to blow into a handheld breathalyzer device. The PAS is mostly used to determine if the officer has any probable cause to arrest the suspect, and handheld breathalyzers can be wildly inaccurate. Refusing to take the PAS can result in having one’s license revoked, but then again, being found guilty will have the same result. Drivers will have to submit a test at some point at the station, but they can always decline to take the preliminary one.
Take a chemical test. One way or another, drivers will have to get tested. The first option is a breath test. Most DUI lawyers recommend taking this test because it’s easy to dispute its validity in court. Refusing this test can result in a license suspension since implied consent laws require one to take a breath test when asked by an officer as a prerequisite to obtaining a license. Additionally, the prosecutor could always use this against the defendant by telling the jury that the defendant refused to take a breath test.
The other option is to take a blood test which is usually more accurate and can be retested by independent labs. The court ruled in 2016 that states may not criminalize the refusal of taking a blood test unless the officers have a warrant or need to administer it due to exigent circumstances where obtaining a breath test is impossible.
Write down everything that happened. Memory is a fleeting thing, and the more one can remember of a situation, the better they can be equipped to deal with it. Those arrested for a DUI should quickly write down everything they remember such as how much they were drinking, how long it had been since their last drink, what happened before driving, when and where the driver pulled over, how the officer behaved, what tests they took, and so on. Record every little detail no matter how insignificant they may seem. For example, a driver who was wearing high heels or tight clothing would naturally have a harder time standing on one foot or walking in a straight line. The more information one has, the more a DUI lawyer can use such information to their advantage.
Contact a DUI lawyer. A DUI lawyer is anyone’s last line of defense against the court, so choosing the right one is essential. Defendants might want to ask potential DUI lawyers questions such as how many cases they’ve handled, how many cases went to a jury trial, and so forth. It’s important to find a reputable DUI lawyer who knows the law up and down and can accurately represent the defendant in court.
Of course, the best way to avoid a DUI is not to drink and drive. There are too many countless alternatives to drinking and driving such as Uber & Lyft, please use them. Those who do plan to drink and drive in the same afternoon should monitor how much they drink and make sure they eat food and drink water as possible to absorb the alcohol. If you end up in trouble and find yourself in a not-so-great situation, make sure to contact our DUI attorneys for legal guidance.