Maryland DUI Attorney – Maryland DWI Attorney – Baltimore DUI Lawyer – Baltimore DWI Lawyer
As a former Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore County I prosecuted hundreds of repeat offenders for driving under the influence or driving while impaired. Although the maximum penalty for driving under the influence is one year in prison, prosecutors can and very often do seek enhanced penalties for repeat offenders. Second offenders for DUI face up to two years in prison and third offenders face up to three years in prison. As a prosecutor I routinely filed enhanced penalties against repeat offenders and often convinced a court to impose sentences longer than the one year.
This experience has allowed me to successfully defend hundreds of repeat offenders over the last decade as a defense attorney. Of course the first line of defense in a DUI, DWI or any other criminal case for that matter is to gain an outright acquittal for the client. In DUI/DWI cases this can be done one of two ways. The first option is to pursue a Constitutional defense usually arguing that the police lacked probable cause or reasonable articulable suspicion to stop the defendant. I have a current case in which the police stopped my client for having a air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror. The claim is that the air freshener impairs the driver’s view out of the windshield, which of course it does not.
I have successfully suppressed evidence in both DUI cases and drug cases where the probable cause for the stop was that the driver had a hanging air freshener and expect to prevail in this case. Another common example that I have prevailed on many times is when a police officer pulls someone over based on a cellular call from another driver complaining about aggressive or dangerous driving by the client. Often the police make the mistake of relying solely on this anonymous tip as the probable cause to pull someone over which will result in suppression of the evidence every time. If it appears that the police did have probable cause to pull the client over the only other defense is to argue that the client was not under the influence. This defense is near impossible if the client took the breathalyzer and scored a reading of .08 or greater, as such a reading constitutes Per Se driving under the influence under Maryland Law. An aggressive attorney will always subpoena the maintenance and testing records of the breathalyzer which sometimes results in the suppression of the test results. If the client does not take the test then the judge’s decision will be based upon the observation of the client by the police officer as well as the officer’s testimony concerning the client’s performance on the standard field sobriety tests which are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn and the one leg stand.
Most Maryland State Troopers, Maryland Transportation Authority and some other police units are equipped with dash board cameras that record the interaction between the police and the client to include the field sobriety tests. It is not all uncommon for the police to exaggerate poor performance by the client and be contradicted by the video-graphic evidence. If there does not appear to be either a Constitutional defense or a factual defense (or as a back up plan or plan b to a mediocre defense) repeat offenders can still avoid jail time by entering into long term in-patient treatment plans and taking other steps that can convince a court that the client is not likely to offend in the future.
The Baltimore-based lawyers of Silverman, Thompson, Slutkin & White are experienced at all facets of representing defendants charged with drunk driving in Maryland. Please contuct us for a free consultation.