http://www.mdattorney.com/lawyer-attorney-1301140.htmlhttp://www.mdattorney.com/lawyer-attorney-1301140.htmlSome of the most difficult Maryland DUI/DWI cases that Maryland DUI/DWI Attorneys are called upon to handle are cases in which the offender has prior convictions for Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Impaired. These people are known as "repeat offenders" and are, as one would expect, generally treated far more harshly than people charged for the first time. State's Attorney's typically seek jail terms for people with one or more prior convictions and file enhanced penalties which allow for sentences of up to 3 years instead of just 1 year which is the maximum penalty if the State has not filed the enhanced penalties. This week I kept an offender with four prior convictions out of jail in spite of the fact that the State had a virtually bullet proof case against him. I will explain momentarily but first a few general observations about representing repeat offenders in Maryland.
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: Why do Police Officers Request People Who Are Suspected of DUI/DWI To Perform Them?
http://www.mdattorney.com/lawyer-attorney-1300822.htmlAs a Maryland DUI/DWI Attorney I have become very accustomed to analyzing a client's performance on the standardized field sobriety tests (at least the police officer's version of that performance) to determine its legal significance. There are two reasons why police officers request that people suspected of DUI or DWI request the suspect to the perform the standardized field sobriety tests which are the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN), the Walk and Turn and the One Leg Stand. There are certainly other tests that police officers asks suspect to perform in these situations such as alphabet, counting and finger dexterity tests but the three listed above are the standardized tests recommended by the NTSB.
The primary reason that police officers ask suspects to perform these tests is to allow the officer to develop probable cause to arrest the suspect or at least take him or her into custody and charge them accordingly. The reason for this is that the smell of alcohol alone is not generally considered to be enough to establish probable cause. The police officer will typically run the suspect through the tests and based on his assessment of the person's performance, either take the person into custody or release him.