Why you need an attorney after a DUI arrest in Maryland

People arrested for driving under the influence offenses in Maryland should understand why working a lawyer is essential.

Being arrested for suspected drunk driving can be a very scary experience for drivers in Maryland. Contrary to what many may think, this actually happens to many highly responsible people rather than just the stereotypical criminal. Homeowners, parents, grandparents and professionals alike are among the people who find themselves defendants in criminal cases involving impaired driving. The serious nature of the potential consequences associated with DUI convictions makes it highly important that drivers get proper legal representation.

Protecting the ability to drive

The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration admits that the penalties for DUIs have increased in recent years. The loss of driving privileges is just one consequence that drivers may face. This can make it difficult to get to and from work, thereby potentially having a negative impact on a person's ability to keep a job. Being restricted to bus schedules can cut into work hours and paying cab fares may not financially be possible for extended periods of time.

A first offense with a blood alcohol level between 0.08 and 0.14 can see a driver lose the right to drive for up to 6 months. This can be extended up to 12 months for a second offense. Even an offense with a BAC of 0.07 can find driving privileges lost up to 60 days for a first offense and up to 120 days for a second offense.

NBC Washington adds that for BAC levels of 0.15 or greater, a first-time offender may be unable to drive for a full 12 months. After a second offense, a license may be gone forever. An attorney who regularly works with DUI cases will know how best to help defendants seek the right to keep driving privileges intact.

Increased use of ignition interlock devices

Maryland has expanded its use of ignition interlock devices and now has more of these products in use per capita than any other state in the eastern region. While using an IID may allow a driver to get to and from work sooner than not using an IID, it is not without its drawbacks. There can be steep costs involved with IIDs not to mention the potential embarrassment factor for anyone ordered to use one.

An experienced lawyer will be able to help defendants navigate the need to use an IID and will know where to focus in a case to seek the avoidance of this altogether.

Interference with getting a new job

It is common for employers today to conduct background checks on all candidates before finalizing a hiring decision. According to PBS, a DUI conviction is likely to show up on such reports, leaving drivers vulnerable to losing out on critical job and career opportunities. An attorney understands this and knows the finer points of DUI cases and how to help people pursue alternatives to this.

Long-term future protection

Clearly the effects of a DUI can last a long time. Anything that requires a background check can be at risk and even the simple task of getting to work every day can become complicated or even impossible. With so much on the line, drivers should take seriously the recommendation to contact an attorney as soon as possible after an arrest.