Traffic Crime Attorneys Westminster, MD
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
– The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution
“No person…shall… be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law …”
– Excerpts from the 5th Amendment to the United States Constitution
“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”
– The 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution
Serious traffic violations are those violations of the transportation laws that carry a potential jail sentence. Examples are:
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI)
- Driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI)
- Driving while suspended
- Driving without insurance
There are, however, many other traffic offenses that could land you in jail if you are found guilty. Never go to court for a serious traffic offense without an attorney. The serious traffic laws are complicated. In addition to jail time, you could also receive fines and points and could ultimately lose your driver’s license – in some cases, permanently. It is even more critical for the holder of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to hire an attorney because there are different rules relating to CDL holders. The laws relating to holders of a CDL can be found in the Transportation Article of the Maryland Code, Sections 16-801, called the Maryland Commercial Driver’s License Act.
DUI and DWI cases by far take up the greatest part of the court’s time, particularly the district courts. The laws relating to DUI and DWI arrests can be found in the Transportation Article of the Maryland Code, Section 21-902, although other sections of the Maryland Code are relevant when dealing with a DUI or DWI charge. Section 16-205.1, for example, deals with suspension periods when the driver refuses to submit to a chemical test for intoxication. Section 16-205.1 (n) deals with modifications of suspensions when a licensee needs his/her driver’s license for work and travel purposes; attending alcohol prevention or treatment programs; attending healthcare treatment, or attending school. Section 16-205.1 (o) deals with modifications of suspensions for participation in the Ignition Interlock Program.
Winning or losing a DUI or DWI case can often hinge on very specific facts, such as:
- How the field sobriety tests (including one-leg stand; walk and turn; horizontal gaze nystagmus, also known as the pen test) were administered by the police
- The arresting officer’s observations
- When and how the breath test was administered
- Whether the driver was physically able to take the field sobriety tests
- Weather and roadside conditions
This list is not all-inclusive. These are only a few of the many factors an experienced attorney looks for when advising a defendant how to proceed after being arrested for DUI or DWI. If it appears that the police and the prosecutor have a solid case against the driver, the experienced attorney must then evaluate the best way to present the driver to the court in order to prevent the driver from losing his/her license or being incarcerated. A first-time DUI conviction can result in a jail sentence of up to one (1) year and up to $1,000 fine, or both, and ultimately 12 points. Often, alcohol programs and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are imposed by the judge. The more serious the alcohol problem, the more intensive the alcohol treatment will need to be paid. Your attorney, however, can help you find the best treatment facilities.
The penalties (jail and fines) for the various serious traffic violations, including DUI and DWI, can be found in the Transportation Article of the Maryland Code, Section 27-101. The assessment of points for the various traffic law violations can be found in the Transportation Article of the Maryland Code, Section 16-402.
A driver’s license is more important today than ever before. Going to court or to the Office of Administrative Hearings for the so-called “MVA hearing” for a serious traffic violation without an attorney is a serious mistake. Your freedom and ability to drive could be at risk. You need an experienced attorney at every stage of the case. Do not wait. Often, there are specific time periods for requesting an MVA hearing. If you do not request the MVA hearing in a timely manner, your license can be suspended automatically.
When it comes to a serious traffic violation, if you stick your head in the sand, the courts are likely to bury you the rest of the way. Be proactive. If you wait and do nothing, eventually your license will be suspended or revoked, or you will be arrested for failing to comply with a court order. Hire an attorney immediately. At the Law & Mediation Offices of Kirk Seaman, LLC, our Westminster Maryland traffic ticket lawyers have 30 years of experience in handling serious traffic violations. Call us now for your free initial consultation.
Call our Westminster Maryland traffic ticket lawyers today for aggressive representation!