You’re on your way home from an enjoyable evening out when you suddenly notice flashing lights in your rearview mirror. You pull over, and a Maryland police officer comes to your window, asking if you’ve been drinking. With this one question, your entire night can change direction, and you may find yourself sitting in jail by the end of the evening.
Unless you have previous DUI convictions on your record, it is likely that you do not know what to expect from a drunk driving arrest. It can be both frightening and overwhelming for someone who has no experience with this process. This is why it is in your interests to know what to expect and know how you can start fighting for your rights and your future interests, even from the moment of an arrest.
After the traffic stop
When police suspect that you are driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, they can initiate a traffic stop. He or she may speak with you and then ask you to step out of the car to submit to a sobriety test. Eventually, they may request that you submit to a chemical test in order to determine DUI. If you have an elevated BAC level, above the legal limit, or there is another reason to do so, police may then arrest you.
After an arrest, police will likely take you to the local station. There they will book you, take mug shots and complete paperwork. You may also receive notice of when to appear in court to answer to DUI charges.
After the arrest
If charged with a DUI, you will have to appear at a hearing. You have the right to plead however you think is best. After your court appearance, you may go to jail, lose your license and face other penalties. The specific things that you may experience depend on the details of your individual case.
There are penalties that can also affect you well after your arrest and court date. You may lose your reputation or have to attend mandatory alcohol treatment classes. In some cases, people may have to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for a specific amount of time.
Should you fight back?
It’s not always easy to know what you should do next after a DUI arrest. Thankfully, you do not have to walk through this process alone. There is significant benefit in working with a defense attorney who is familiar with the process, knows the system and understands how to help you fight for your future.