DUI Defense Lawyer and DWI Attorney in Maryland and D.C.
DUI Defense Lawyer and DWI Attorney of the Maryland and D.C.
DUI charges carry substantial penalites of jail, up to a year for a first offense, large fines, Twelve (12) points, supervised probation, loss of driving privileges, and even revocation of the license. Your car insurance can be dropped, putting you in the high risk pool which only provides minimum coverage at astronomical expense. These are but some of what you will be facing.
Here are some things that you should know.
What Are the Police Looking For In Your Driving?
Law enforcement officers are trained to spot certain driving behaviors that could indicate that the person behind the wheel is intoxicated.
These behaviors include but are not limited to:
- Lane straddling
- Wide turning radius
- Almost striking an object or vehicle
- Speeding or driving well below the posted speed limit
- Stopping without cause in a traffic lane
- Following another vehicle too closely
- Braking erratically
- Signaling inconsistently with driving actions
- Slow response to traffic signals
- Accelerating or decelerating rapidly
- Not using headlights
Any of the above actions give a law enforcement officer probable cause to pull you over.
The 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution allows citizens to be safe from “unreasonable search and seizure,” and states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
If you were observed driving with any of the above behaviors, a law enforcement officer would have probable cause to pull you over in Annapolis Md of Anne Arundel County, as well as any other county in Maryland and in D.C.
What Are Police Looking For After You’ve Been Pulled Over in Annapolis Md of Anne Arundel County, or any other county?
Once you are pulled over, law enforcement officers are trained to look for a variety of indicators that may suggest you are intoxicated.
These indicators include but are not limited to:
- Odor of alcohol on breath
- Flushed face
- Red, watery, glassy and/or bloodshot eyes
- Slurred speech
- Fumbling with wallet when retrieving your license
- Failure to comprehend the officer’s questions
- Combative, argumentative, jovial or other “inappropriate” attitude
- Staggering when exiting vehicle
- Swaying/instability on feet
- Leaning on car for support
- Soiled, rumpled, disorderly clothing
- Stumbling while walking
- Disorientation regarding time and place
- Inability to follow directions
If the officer observes any of these indicators or otherwise believes that you are intoxicated, he or she may ask you to step out of the vehicle for further questioning and/or sobriety testing.
You are not required to answer potentially incriminating questions. Politely invoke your right to an attorney and your right to remain silent.
How to Act After Being Pulled Over
Being pulled over and questioned about driving while intoxicated can be a frightening experience. Especially so when you have no idea what to do.
Some police officers record or video tape the arrest, testing and/or booking process. This video footage can and will be used in court. How you behave after being pulled over can either be used by your attorney in your favor, or it can be used by the prosecution against you.
Always be on your best behavior after being pulled over in Annapolis Md, Anne Arundel County, and any other county. Be polite and respectful to the police officer who is questioning you. You do not have to be rude or angry when invoking your rights to decline certain testing or requesting to speak to an attorney.
The following are some tips on how to act when being pulled over to decrease the chance that you will be arrested:
- Answer the officer’s questions simply and respectfully, usually with a “yes” or “no” answer, but only give your name and identifying information, not anything that could be used against you like what you had to drink, where, when, etc. Remeber, to invoke your rights to remain silent and to have an attorney
- Do not use profanity, do not be belligerent, be polite at all times
Field Sobriety Testing in Annapolis Md of Anne Arundel County and all other counties
Field sobriety testing, also known as “roadside sobriety tests,” are physical tests that a law enforcement officer can use to help conclude if you are intoxicated.
However, field sobriety tests are completely voluntary. You do not have to agree to perform any of these tests.
You can politely let the officer know that you are aware that field sobriety tests are voluntary, and that you respectfully decline to submit to them.
If you perform these tests, you may be arrested anyway. They are not objective tests, and the officer will use the results against you in court.
Types of Field Sobriety Tests
Although officers use a wide range of field sobriety tests, there are only three that are approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and are considered “standard” field sobriety tests.
These consist of a battery of three tests:
Heel-to-Toe (or “Walk & Turn”)
During this test, the police officer will ask you to imagine a straight line and take nine heel-to-toe steps directly on the line. The officer is watching to see whether you stay on your imaginary line, or if you stumble, fall, or waver. You will then be asked to turn on your heel and come back, taking nine more heel-to-toe steps back towards the officer.
During this test, the law enforcement officer will ask you to stand on one foot and lift your other foot approximately six inches off the ground, with your toe pointed. The officer will then ask you to count to 30 by one-thousands. The officer is watching to see whether you are able to maintain perfect balance or if you lose track of your counting.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
The term “nystagmus” is a medical term for a distinctive eye oscillation. When a person drinks alcohol in excess in Annapolis Md of Anne Arundel County and is intoxicated, their eyes may shake or appear to vibrate when looking horizontally. The HGN test is a relatively recent development in DUI investigation.
The officer attempts to estimate the angle at which the eye begins to jerk — if this occurs sooner than 45 degrees, it theoretically indicates a blood-alcohol concentration over .05%. The smoothness of the eye’s tracking an object is also a factor, as is the type of jerking when the eye is as far to the side as it can go. Although this test is not accepted by the medical community, it continues to be widely used by law enforcement.
There are two breath tests available. One is a preliminary breath test which the officer utilizes at the scene of the traffic stop. You should refuse to take that test as there is no sanction to do so.
The more formal breath test, which is at the station, does carry sanctions against your driving privilege if you take it and register the legal limit for impairment, or if you refuse it. You have the right to ask an attorney what to do before making that decision. Politely invoke that right. The officer is required to afford you the opportunity to call a lawyer.
Contact Attorney John Adams Today
It is imperative that once arrested for a DUI or DWI, you hire an experienced DUI lawyer DWI attorney immediately. Time limits may apply. Do not delay.
Contact former prosecutor, John Adams, for a high-powered, relentless criminal defense lawyer to fight aggressively for you in the face of DUI or DWI charges
While few things are more frightening than being criminally charged for driving under the influence of alcohol, you do have rights under Maryland law.
Attorney John Adams can help protect your rights and increase the chances that the charges against you will be dismissed or reduced by utilizing a creative and strong defense.