Q:

Is it normal to receive three (3) tickets for drunk driving when you're stopped?

A:

Yes, Officers normally charge a violation (write you a ticket) of the (1) per se statute, (2) the classic DUI, and (3) the lesser offense of driving while impaired. This will be in addition to any speeding, red light, or lane change violation. In the end, however, only one DUI/DWI charge will be sentenced (if you are convicted).

Q:

Am I required to perform "field sobriety tests" by the side of the road after being stopped (one-leg stand, walk-and-turn, etc.)?

A:

No, but of course if you don’t you will likely be required to go to the station for a breathalyzer test.

Q:

What are the penalties for DUI?

A:

For a first offense, a possible penalty of $1,000 and/or one year in jail.

For a second offense, a possible penalty of $2,000 and/or two years in jail.

For a third or subsequent offense, $3,000 and/or three years imprisonment.

In practice, the maximum penalties are rarely imposed; however, a number of factors enter into a judge’s

determination of a sentence so you should always consult with an attorney before pleading in any way to a

DUI charge. Even if you “feel” you are guilty because you had some drinks, you should seek an attorney’s

guidance on how to handle the legal aspects of a court case.

Q:

What happens to my driver's license after a DUI/DWI offense?

A:

In addition to the court proceeding, an administrative proceeding at the MVA is usually started as well in order to suspend or revoke a driver’s license who is suspected of driving under the influence. Be advised that there are very short time deadlines (in some cases 10 days after the arrest) in which a hearing must be requested in order to protect your rights. If you have been arrested for DUI or DWI, you should consult with an attorney as soon as possible so that your rights (and driving privileges) aren’t lost.

Q:

What is a "peace order"?

A:

A peace order is an order issued by a judge or commissioner that typically will require the person named as a respondent in the order to stay away from the complaining party, or not to harass, stalk, threaten or assault the other party.

Q:

What is a family "protective order"?

A:

A family protective order is similar to a peace order but applies to people who are relatives or have been living together for 90 days within 1 year before the filing of the petition. The powers of a judge in a family petition are broader and can include granting financial relief to a petitioner, as well as temporary custody of children.

Q:

Can a criminal arrest record be expunged from the public records?

A:

Maryland law provides a number of circumstances in which criminal arrest records can be expunged, or removed, from public inspection. These include, among other things, if a defendant is acquitted if charges are dropped (nolle prosequi) or dismissed, or if a person is arrested but no charges are ever filed. In some circumstances a person who has received a probation before judgment and three years have passed since the granting of the probation may also file.

Things to Do If You’re Arrested

Whether it’s for petty theft or assault, getting arrested can be a scary experience. You may wonder if you will have to spend time in jail and how this charge may affect you in the future. The steps you take immediately after getting arrest can have a big impact on your case. The criminal attorneys at the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright suggest following these tips if you’re arrested:

  • Remain Calm. As difficult as it might be, it’s important for you to stay calm after you get arrested. If you panic, you might accidentally say or do the wrong thing. The police may also observe your behavior after the arrest and include it in their report. If they said you looked nervous, it could be used against you.
  • Don’t Say Anything to the Police. Even if you are innocent of the crime you’re arrested for, you shouldn’t talk to the police. There isn’t anything you can gain from speaking to the police. In fact, you could accidentally incriminate yourself. The police use certain tactics to convince defendants to confess to crimes. If the police ask you about your case, politely tell them that you can’t talk to them without a lawyer.
  • Talk to a LawyerGetting charged with a crime is a serious matter and it is not something you want to navigate on your own. It is critical to talk to an experienced criminal lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your options. During your initial consultation, your lawyer may review the details of your case and walk you through all the possible defenses you may be able to use. A criminal lawyer may also provide protection from the police. He or she won’t allow the police to ask you any inappropriate questions that could jeopardize your case.
  • Don’t Talk About Your Case With Others. When you are dealing with something as stressful as a criminal charge, it is tempting to talk about your feeling with a close family member or friend. However, it isn’t a good idea to discuss the details of your case with anyone except your lawyer. If your friends or family members are subpoenaed, they will have no choice but to tell the court what you told them.
  • Take Care of YourselfIt is easy to be upset and stressed about a criminal charge, but worrying all the time won’t do you any good. It is important to take good care of yourself by eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly and getting plenty of rest. When you feel overwhelmed, try doing a stress-reducing activity, like yoga or meditation.