Recently in DUI/DWI Arrest Category

The controversial program that allows U.S. Immigration officials to check the citizenship of people who have been arrested is being expanded to include Baltimore City and Montgomery County. The Secure Communities program lets immigration officials review fingerprints collected when people are booked.

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DUI and DWI Involving Death or Life Threatening Injury

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All of the forms of DUI and DWI in Maryland can become homicides where a death results from the defendant's negligent driving. Negligent driving is defined as operating "a motor vehicle in a careless or imprudent manner that endangers any property or the life or person of any individual." Unlike vehicular manslaughter, gross negligence is not a requirement. All of the vehicular homicide offenses are statutory felonies in Maryland. If an individual is convicted of driving under the influence the maximum penalty is five years incarceration and/or a $5000 fine. If an individual is convicted of driving while impaired the maximum penalty is three years and/or a $5000 fine. If convicted an individual can face the imposition of 12 points and the possibility of a revocation of the driver's license or privilege to drive.

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Federal Jurisdiction in Maryland DUI and DWI Cases

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There are many areas in Maryland that are considered federal enclaves. In these areas Maryland's implied consent laws are at issue. What laws apply in federal enclaves depends upon whether the land is under one of the following:

1. Exclusive federal jurisdiction or concurrent federal and state jurisdiction

2. The jurisdiction of the National Park Service

National Park Service properties, including Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Suitland Parkway, are patrolled by the United States Park Police. There are specific federal regulations governing conduct on these roads. For instance, refusal of a breath test is made a crime by 36 C.F.R. § 4.23(C)(2). There are no administrative sanctions for refusals or what would be administrative per se violations under National Park Service regulations. Therefore there will be no MVA hearing or automatic suspension. Unfortunately, there is no possibility of a probation before judgment in this type of Maryland DUI case. Some portions of these federal enclaves are under concurrent jurisdiction, and suspected drunk drivers who are arrested by county or state police officers are subject to Marylands implied consent laws.

Where the land is federal, but not under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, including Andrews Air Force Base and Fort Meade, the substance and penalties of Maryland DUI law are incorporated into federal law by the Assimilative Crimes Act, 18 U.S.C.A. § 3118. Because of this incorporation, persons arrested for drunk driving in these areas do have the possibility of a federal judge granting them a probation before judgement disposition. If you have been arrested for DUI or DWI on federal land contact the experienced Maryland DUI attorneys and Maryland DWI lawyers at Portner & Shure.

Maryland DUI and DWI 2010 Statistics by County

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Our Maryland DUI lawyers represent individuals charged with drinking and driving offenses throughout the State of Maryland. Our experienced DUI attorneys have represented clients in almost every jurisdiction in Maryland including Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Howard County, Carroll County, Anne Arundel County, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Harford County, Talbot County, Kent County, Worcester County, Washington County, Frederick County, Cecil County, Worcester County, Calvert County, Charles County and Queen Anne's County.

Each Maryland jurisdiction varies in the amount of DUI and DWI arrests that occur each year and how the cases are resolved. The following is a breakdown of Maryland DUI and DWI cases by jurisdiction for 2010, including the statistical breakdown of case dispositions:

What Crimes Trigger Deportability of a Foreign National?

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An individual who is in the United States pursuant to a valid lawful status is subject to deportation if a criminal arrest results in the following:

  • A conviction for a single crime involving moral turpitude that was committed within five years of admission and is punishable by imprisonment of at least one year.
  • Convictions for two or more crimes involving moral turpitude not arising from a single scheme of misconduct.
  • Conviction for an aggravated felony at any time after admission into the United States.
  • A conviction for failing to register as a sex offender.
  • A conviction for a violation of a federal, state, or foreign law or regulation relating to a controlled substance.
  • A conviction relating to a firearm or other destructive device.
  • A conviction for an offense related to espionage, sabotage or treason.
  • A conviction under the Military Selective Service Act or Trading with the Enemy Act.
  • A conviction for high speed flight from an immigration checkpoint.
  • A conviction for an offense related to launching an expedition against a country with which the United States is at peace.
  • A conviction for a crime of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, child neglect or child abandonment.
  • A conviction relating to human trafficking.

What is the Difference Between DUI and DWI in Maryland?

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The acronym DWI stands for driving while impaired and is a lesser charge when compared with DUI, which stands for driving while under the influence. DUI in Maryland is considered the "A" charge and DWI in Maryland is considered the "B" charge. A suspect is charged with DWI in cases of impairment by drugs, other dangerous substances, or alcohol at a level of .07 blood alcohol content (BAC). A suspect is charged with DUI in drunk driving cases if it is determined that the suspect's BAC was .08 or higher. Usually, individuals accused of drunk driving offenses are given citations for both DWI and DUI. If there is no breath result or the breath result is between .07 and .08, the State will typically proceed with a DWI. If the result of the breath test is .08 or higher, the State may proceed on the DUI charge. Our Maryland DUI attorneys often negotiate plea offers that lower the charge to DWI even when the defendant's BAC is over .08. At the very least, our Maryland DUI lawyers will not allow the State's Attorney to proceed on a DUI charge if the State does not possess sufficient evidence.

MVA Hearings in Maryland DUI Cases

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MVA.jpgIf a person accused of drinking and driving in Maryland refused the breath or blood alcohol test or the test resulted in an alcohol level of .08 or more, his or her license is subject to automatic suspension. To prevent automatic suspension of a license, a person charged with DUI in Maryland must request a hearing with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) within 10 days of arrest. Maryland police will confiscate a Maryland license from a driver upon arrest for a drunk driving charge and issue a temporary license to drive. The temporary license is valid for 45 days, starting from the day of arrest. On the 46th day, the license automatically expires. Attached to the temporary license is a form which looks like a copy of the temporary license. The copy is a form to request an administrative hearing. It must be completed and mailed or deliver the hearing request form to the Office of Administrative Hearings, 11101 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, MD 21031-1301. A request for an MVA hearing requires a $125 filing fee which must be submitted with the request.

Everyone is entitled to an MVA hearing. The MVA hearing is an administrative legal proceeding allowing the accused to present his or her side of the story before any decisions are made regarding driving privileges. When evaluating a DUI arrest in Maryland, the Administrative Law Judge will look at the following issues:

Howard County DUI Attorney

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If you are arrested for a DUI in Howard County, you need access to an attorney who knows the local courts and has considerable past DUI experience. You need to be assured that when you hire your Howard County DUI law firm, you are in competent, experienced and qualified hands. In your search for the right Howard County DUI attorney, your research will have been a success if you call attorney, Jon Portner, Kevin Ruby or Nick Parr at Portner & Shure to discuss.

The DUI Team at Portner & Shure understands that the best DUI case results don't necessarily come in the courtroom. In order to succeed a proper invesitgation must be conducted in the early stage of the process, then discovery. Our DUI legal team has a desire to win and does not back down to the Howard County State's Attorneys office, unlike some other DUI firms. We prepare extensively for DUI cases and treat these cases with the utmost importance. A desire to win and exceptional preparation have enabled us to obtain an excellent track record in the Howard County District Court and the Howard County Circuit Court.

DUI/DWI Walk-and-Turn Test

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walk and turn.bmpThe second test the officer will administer is the walk-and-turn test. The test conditions required are:

  • A designated straight line
  • A reasonably dry, hard, level, nonslippery surface
  • Sufficient room for the suspect to complete nine heel-to-toe steps

The subject is asked if they have a physical problems. Then the subject is instructed to stand with their left foot on the line, and to place their right foot directly in front of it, heel to toe. The suspect is instructed to hold that position while the officer gives instructions. Behavior during this period can be used to show impairment. One of the most common mistakes is beginning the test before instructed to do so. Like raising your hand in class before the teacher asks the question, this mistake is a clue of impairment. Before the test the officer will give the following instructions:

DUI/DWI One-Leg Stand Test

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one leg stand.bmpThe third test administered by the officer is the one-leg-stand test. This test requires a reasonably dry, hard, level, and nonslippery surface. The suspect is instructed to:

  • Stand with their feet together and arms at the side, until the instructions are complete
  • Raise either leg so their foot is six inches off the ground, keeping the foot parallel to the ground
  • Keep both legs straight and arms at their sides
  • Hold the position while counting out loud

The officer is required to time it for 30 seconds and to record clues if the subject:

  1.  Puts the foot down
  2.  Raises arms more than six inches from the side of the body in order to keep balance
  3.  Hops
  4.  Sways while balancing