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If You Face Traffic Charges: Tips from a Traffic Attorney

Tip No. 1. Keep a chronology. It would be helpful for preserving your memory if you would write a summary of the facts of the incident. Theses facts should include your speed, weather conditions and the location of the officer, and any other factors that may affect your case.

Tip No. 2. Obtain your Complete Driving Record. If you have a clean record, documentation is very important. If you are found guilty, in Maryland a judge can grant you "Probation Before Judgment" and preserve your clean record by striking the judgment and assessing no points against your driver's license.

Tip No. 3. Letters of Character Reference. Obtain three letters of character references, mentioning, in particular, your driving habits. This is useful to provide the Judge background of your driving behavior.

Tip No. 4. Proving your guilt is a matter of evidence. The state is obliged to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. You have a constitutional right to a fair trial and there are no time limits on your presentation or appropriate evidence.

Tip No. 5. Consult with an attorney right away. You may have defenses that an attorney will know to explore in your interview. Preparation is the key to a good legal outcome.

DWI / DUI Charges: Tips from a Traffic Lawyer

Tip No. 1. If you have been stopped or detained, and reasonable grounds exist to believe that you have been drinking and driving, you will be asked to submit to a test to measure the alcohol concentration or other drugs in your system. You may refuse to submit to the test, unless there was a death or life treating injury. In general it is advisable to submit to the test because your license may be suspended as described below. This is a discussion of the administrative penalties affecting your license. In addition, you face the charges in traffic court. Elsewhere are tips if you face traffic charges.

Tip No. 2. If you refuse to Submit to a test. If you refuse to take the test and the alcohol reading is 0.08 or more your paper license will be confiscated by the officer. You will be issued an order of suspension. Also if you are eligible a temporary license will be given to you, which is valid for 45 days. If you refuse to submit to a test, you face 120-day suspension and one year for a subsequent or second offense. Also you face a fine of $500 or two-year jail sentence, or both.

Tip No. 3. Test Results are Important. If your test result is at least 0.08 but less than 0.15, the suspension will be for 45 days for a first offense, and 90 days for a second or subsequent offense. If your test result is 0.15, or more, the suspension will be 90 days for the first offenses and 180 days for a second or subsequent offense.

Tip No. 4. You can be issued a restricted license. If your test result is 0.08 but less than 0.15, a suspension may be modified and a restricted license may be issued at a hearing. A restricted license means you can only drive to and from school or work, or to travel to and from alcohol or drug treatment or counseling. For travel for work or during work, you may be required to submit a letter from your employer of the need for a vehicle.

Tip No. 5. If you refuse a Test or have a result of .015 or more. You will be ineligible for a license unless you have the interlock device installed in your vehicle. You may waive the request for a hearing and elect to participate in the program under certain circumstances.

Tip No. 6. Request an Administrative Hearing. You may request a hearing any time within 30 days of the date of order of the Suspension, However you must ask for a hearing within 10 days to insure your driving privileged is not suspended before the hearing. The filing fee must be paid of $125. 00 in order for your request to be valid and the request must be sent to the Office of Administration Hearing whose address is shown on the back of the form given by the offices. It is advisable to send by certified mail and Return Receipt Requested to have proof you sent it.

Tip no. 7. Consult with a lawyer. This summary is based upon Section 16-205.1 of the Maryland Transportation Article. Consult with an attorney right away. You may have defenses that an attorney will know to explore in your interview. Preparation is the key to a good legal outcome.

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