Understanding DUI/DWI Charges in Maryland
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  1. DUI/DWI Subjects:
  2. Blood Alcohol Content
  3. CDL
  4. Fines & Penalties
  5. Insurance Consequences
  6. DUI/DWI Law
  7. Ignition Interlock Program
  8. Alcohol/Drug Treatment

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Baltimore City
The Law Offices of Marc G. Snyder
229 N. Howard Street, Suite 201
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

Baltimore County
The Law Offices of Marc G. Snyder
The Woodholme Center
1829 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208

Prince George's County
The Law Offices of Marc G. Snyder
8713 Greenbelt Road
Greenbelt, MD 20770

Main Office:   (410) 528-1177
Fax:(443) 817-0700
24 Hour Hotline:   1-866-592-0020

Criminal Defense Attorney - Maryland DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer

It’s Time to Learn the Two-Step

One of the major differences between impaired-driving charges and other criminal matters is that the former involve not only a court process to determine guilt or innocence, but also a non-criminal proceeding to determine your future right to drive.

It is important to understand the “two-step” process involved in such cases. The first part is what most people are familiar with, that which is handled inside a courtroom. The second part, the MVA Hearing, determines your right to continue driving, and under what restrictions.

Let’s discuss each one separately:

Traditional Court Matter

The more traditional step of the DUI process is that which takes place inside the courtroom. Here, your guilt or innocence will be decided, by either a Judge or jury. The laws of the State, and the rules of evidence will apply, and you would do well to be represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney.

It is important to understand that the MVA Hearing process is completely separate from this, and one should not impact the other, at least not until “later in the game.” When selecting your attorney, you should be sure to ask about their experience appearing at MVA Hearings. Because it is something that specifically applies to DUI-related matters, this is one way to determine how much experience your potential lawyer has. You want a lawyer who is comfortable at both the MVA Hearing and inside the courtroom.

Much more will be discussed on the legal side of the DUI in this and other areas of our website, but here it is important to understand that there are two parts to the process, and each must be paid careful attention to.

MVA Hearing

In addition to the better known court proceedings that follow a criminal charge, A DUI matter can also have a component that takes place at what is known as, the Department of Administrative Hearings. Located in in Hunt Valley, Md, it appears more like a boring office building than anything close to a courthouse. Hearings are held inside, one of them the MVA Hearing following an impaired-driving charge. This hearing will determine your right to drive, and if so, under what conditions. In Maryland, you only have ten days from the date of your arrest to request such a Hearing. This bears repeating because it is missed by so many clients who I visit with following their arrest.

You only have ten (10) days, from the date of your arrest, to request an MVA Hearing to argue for any exceptions to your driving suspension.

DUI/DWI: Know Exactly What You Are Facing

The MVA Hearing will not deal with anything having to do with your guilt or innocence, something that frustrates and confuses many clients. You should understand that the MVA Hearing will only address factual issues related to your arrest, such as whether there was probable cause to pull you over, and whether or not your breath test was administered correctly.

Another purpose of the MVA Hearing is top request exceptions to a driving suspension. If the “judge” at the Hearing determines that everything was done properly, it is likely that your suspension will be held up. Still, there is an opportunity to get an exception to a total suspension. Such exceptions may be had for work, school, and health-related driving.

Your lawyer can assist you in requesting that you be allowed to drive to and from work each day, something that, for many, is critical to them keeping and performing at their jobs.

As you can imagine, losing your right to drive completely can, and often does, cause a major interruption to one’s life. This is why the MVA Hearing is so important, and should not be viewed as “second-place” to the more traditional courtroom process.

DUI or driving under the influence of alcohol, recreational, or even prescription drugs is a very serious matter in Maryland. You can be prosecuted for a DUI even if your blood alcohol measures under the legal limit (.08%). Further, you risk jail time and complete loss of your driving privileges. Even if you do not have a Maryland driver's license, you can lose your driving privileges in your home State.

You need a qualified Maryland DUI Defense Attorney to handle your case. DUI is a specialized, technical area of law that requires skill, dedication, and expertise. At The Law Offices of Marc G. Snyder, we are proud to have handled an ever growing volume of DUI criminal cases and administrative hearings for our clients.

Our clients often find themselves in unfortunate situations before hiring us, and we feel that in most circumstances they deserve a second change to move forward with their lives. Our firm is dedicated to providing this opportunity. We evaluate each and every case on an individual basis, as each set of circumstances can be quite different.

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