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Baltimore DUI/DWI Attorney

DWI Lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland

DUI/DWI cases are some of the most litigated cases in the State of Maryland. A jail sentence, fines, and loss of your license are very real possibilities. Obtaining the right attorney quickly is of the utmost importance in defending a charge of Driving While Intoxicated or Driving Under the Influence. After prosecuting countless DUI/DWI cases, the attorneys at Albers & Associates, understand how to handle DUI/DWI cases and can provide you with the strongest possible defense.

If you do not act quickly, you may lose your driving privileges, depending on the circumstances of your case. Most people would agree that losing your license can be a devastating event for you and your family.  The inability to drive can affect every aspect of your daily life and can have a serious impact on your family and your employment. At Albers & Associates, we will fight these charges aggressively. Our goal is to seek dismissal of the charges against you and to mitigate the effects of your DUI/DWI arrest. Contact our firm for a consultation with an experienced DWI attorney.

Consequences of a DUI conviction

For a first DUI (Driving under the influence of alcohol) offense, a person can face the following consequences:

  • $1,000 fine
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Twelve (12) points
  • Possibility of a license revocation for up to six (6) months

For a second DUI offense, a person convicted can face the following consequences:

  • $2,000 fine
  • Up to two years imprisonment (with a mandatory minimum of five days)
  • Twelve (12) points
  • Possibility of a license revocation for up to one year

For two convictions of a DUI within five years, a person can face the following consequences:

  • Mandatory license suspension
  • Participation in the Ignition Interlock Program
  • Possible participation in an alcohol abuse assessment and program

Penalties for a DWI (Driving while Impaired by Alcohol) conviction

For a first DWI conviction, a person can be subject to the following consequences:

  • $500 fine
  • up to two months in jail
  • Eight (8) points
  • Possibility of a 6-month license suspension

For a second DWI conviction, a person can be subject to the following penalties:

  • $500 fine
  • up to one year in jail
  • Eight (8) points
  • Possibility of a 9 to 12 months license suspension

Point accumulations

If you are convicted of a DWI/DUI offense, the points assessed to your license can have a serious impact. If you get 8-11 points within a 2-year period, your license could be suspended. If you accumulate more than 12 points within 2 years, your license could be revoked. This will obviously have far-reaching consequences, including not being able to drive to and from work. This is a serious matter and our firm will work to help you keep your license by fighting the charges or convince the court that you should be eligible to opt into the Ignition Interlock Program.

Two types of proceedings: administrative and criminal

Maryland is a bit different than other states when it comes to drunk driving consequences. If you have been charged with a DWI or a DUI, you face two different proceedings. One proceeding is in front of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. This will address your driving privileges. Depending on the facts of the case and your history, you could face a license suspension or revocation. In addition, the MVA will assign points to your license. The other proceeding is a criminal one in which you will be facing a judge in criminal court. This proceeding will address fines and the possibility of imprisonment. When dealing with this complicated system, it is important to have quality representation.

Getting Charged with a DUI in Baltimore City Court

The Baltimore City Circuit Court is the primary trial court for Baltimore City, Maryland. It handles a wide range of criminal and civil cases, including DUI (Driving Under the Influence) cases. Here's how the Baltimore City Circuit Court typically handles DUI cases:

  1. Arraignment: After being arrested for a DUI, the first appearance in court is usually the arraignment. During this hearing, you'll be formally informed of the charges against you, advised of your rights, and asked to enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, or no contest). If you plead not guilty, further court dates will be scheduled for pre-trial hearings and, if necessary, a trial.
  2. Pre-trial Hearings: Before the trial, there may be one or more pre-trial hearings where your attorney and the prosecutor discuss the case, file motions, and negotiate potential plea deals. These hearings provide an opportunity for both sides to gather evidence, assess the strength of the case, and potentially reach a resolution without going to trial.
  3. Trial: If the case goes to trial, it will be heard by a judge or a jury, depending on your preference and the nature of the charges. During the trial, the prosecution will present evidence, including testimony from law enforcement officers, results of breathalyzer or blood tests, and any other relevant evidence. Your attorney will have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses, present evidence, and make arguments on your behalf.
  4. Sentencing: If you're found guilty either by pleading guilty or being convicted at trial, the court will schedule a sentencing hearing. During this hearing, the judge will consider factors such as your prior criminal record, the circumstances of the offense, and any mitigating or aggravating factors. Sentences for DUI convictions in Baltimore City Circuit Court typically include fines, license suspension, alcohol education or treatment programs, probation, and possibly jail time, especially for repeat offenders or aggravated circumstances.
  5. Appeals: If you are convicted and disagree with the outcome of the trial, you have the right to appeal the decision to a higher court. Appeals must be based on legal errors made during the trial, rather than disagreements with the verdict itself.

DUI Diversion in Baltimore

DUI diversion programs, also known as "pretrial diversion" or "deferred prosecution" programs, are initiatives designed to provide an alternative to traditional prosecution for individuals charged with DUI (Driving Under the Influence) offenses. These programs aim to address the underlying issues that may have contributed to the DUI offense while allowing offenders to avoid some of the harsher consequences of a DUI conviction.

The specifics of a DUI diversion program generally operates as the following:

  • Eligibility: Not everyone charged with a DUI offense will be eligible for diversion programs. Eligibility criteria typically consider factors such as the offender's criminal history, the nature of the offense, and whether there are aggravating circumstances such as accidents or injuries.
  • Application: If you're deemed eligible for the DUI diversion program, you or your attorney can apply to participate. This may involve submitting an application form and possibly attending an interview or assessment to determine your suitability for the program.
  • Program Requirements: If accepted into the program, you'll be required to fulfill certain conditions, which may include:
    • Attending alcohol education or treatment programs
    • Completing community service
    • Abstaining from alcohol and drugs for a specified period
    • Regular check-ins with a probation officer
    • Paying fines or restitution
    • Installing an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in your vehicle
  • Duration: The duration of the diversion program varies depending on the specifics of the case and the requirements set by the court. Typically, it lasts several months to a year.
  • Completion: Once you successfully complete all the requirements of the diversion program, the DUI charges against you may be dismissed or reduced. However, it's important to note that the specifics of how completion of the program affects your criminal record can vary, so it's essential to understand the terms of the program before agreeing to participate.
  • Non-Completion: If you fail to comply with the requirements of the diversion program, the original DUI charges may be reinstated, and you'll face prosecution as if you had not participated in the program.

DUI diversion programs aim to provide offenders with an opportunity to address the root causes of their behavior while avoiding some of the more severe consequences of a DUI conviction. However, participation in such programs requires a commitment to fulfilling the program requirements, and it's essential to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks carefully with the guidance of legal counsel.

Contact Albers & Associates

Due to the severity of these offenses, it is imperative that you retain the services of an experienced DWI/DUI attorney to defend your rights and protect your future. The attorneys at Albers & Associates are experienced in helping clients avoid jail, lengthy probation, and other penalties for Maryland DUI/DWI offenses.  If you or someone you love has been charged with a DUI/DWI in Maryland, contact our firm today to arrange a free confidential review of your case.

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