Can You Refuse to Take a Breath Test in Maryland?

What Are the Consequences Under Maryland’s Implied Consent Law?

Breath Test Often, when you’re pulled over by law enforcement officers (regardless of the reason), one of the first questions the officer asks is “have you been drinking?” If you answer affirmatively, the officer may then ask you to submit to a breath test to determine whether your blood alcohol content exceeds the permissible legal level. Must you take the test? If not, what potential penalties can you face for refusing?

Under Maryland’s “implied consent” law, when you drive on the state’s roads, or apply for a driver’s license, you agree to take a blood alcohol content (BAC) test when requested by a police officer. However, except in situations where you are involved in an accident that causes injury or death, you may always refuse to take the test.

There are consequences to refusing to submit to a BAC test. Your license will be immediately suspended for a period of 270 days. You may not drive at all during the suspension, unless you appear at a hearing before the Motor Vehicle Administration, where you typically must to agree to have an ignition interlock system installed on your vehicle.

Aggressive Baltimore County DWI/DUI Defense Attorney

A longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has provided strong legal counsel to criminal defendants throughout Maryland for more than 35 years. His skill, experience and knowledge have consistently led him to be AV-rated by other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. The American Lawyer magazine has honored him as a “Top-Rated Lawyer.” AVVO has awarded him the Client’s Choice Award, with the highest rating possible (5 stars), as well as a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney.

Attorney Smith tenaciously advocates for men and women facing any type of criminal prosecution, including driving while impaired or driving under the influence.He knows how to effectively gather and preserve evidence to support your acquittal and will always conduct a thorough investigation to confirm that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Proven Maryland Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options after an arrest for drinking and driving, contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. Attorney Smith handles DWI and DUI cases throughout Baltimore and the surrounding area, including Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County.

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year

Season's Greetings and Happy New Year

Domestic Violence in Maryland

What Constitutes Domestic Violence? | What Are the Grounds for Arrest?

Domestic Violence in MarylandIn the state of Maryland, certain criminal acts involving family members constitute domestic violence or assault and can lead to the arrest of the alleged perpetrator and allow the victim to obtain a protective order.

What Is Considered Domestic Violence in Maryland?

Maryland domestic violence law makes it illegal to commit the following acts upon a family member:

  • physical assault, either in the form of bodily harm or threats of imminent bodily harm,
  • rape or other sexual assault,
  • stalking,
  • child abuse or abuse of a vulnerable adult, or
  • false imprisonment.

The domestic violence statutes protect spouses, children, parents/stepparents, persons in the home related by blood, and adults who cannot take care of themselves.

When Can a Person Be Arrested for Domestic Assault or Violence?

The police may arrest a perpetrator without a warrant, provided (1) the assault is reported within 48 hours, (2) there is evidence of injury, and (3) there’s a reasonable belief the person committed domestic assault or abuse. To execute a warrantless arrest, police also must reasonably believe the perpetrator will flee, destroy evidence, or cause bodily injury or property damage.

Experienced Maryland Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings nearly 40 years’ experience to people across the Baltimore area and throughout Maryland who have been charged with a crime, including domestic violence or abuse. He is AV-rated (the highest possible) by other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been listed as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. A Maryland SuperLawyer, Jonathan has received the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with a 5-star average rating (the highest possible) for all his client reviews. He also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO.

Attorney Smith will be at your side at every stage of a criminal prosecution, from investigation to arraignment to trial, making certain your constitutional rights are protected. He takes an aggressive approach to criminal defense, carefully reviewing police reports and interviewing all potential witnesses in order to present the most compelling arguments in your defense. He’s a proven and respected trial attorney, always willing and able to protect your rights before a judge and jury.

Proven Baltimore County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. Our firm handles domestic violence cases in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Why You Need an Attorney for a Maryland MVA Hearing

Experienced Counsel Can Help Protect Your Rights

Why You Need an Attorney for a Maryland MVA HearingWhen you’re arrested and charged with drinking and driving in Maryland, you face two legal proceedings—the criminal prosecution to determine guilt and establish penalties, and the administrative proceeding with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), which determines the status of your driving privileges.

You may be inclined to go to the MVA hearing without legal counsel, but that would be a mistake. Though some of the issues addressed at the hearing are straightforward, you may have legal questions that need to be resolved, and you can’t expect guidance from the administrative law judge who conducts the hearing. Furthermore, hiring legal counsel to represent you sends a positive message to the judge, indicating that you take the proceeding seriously and that your driving privileges are important to you.

An experienced DUI defense lawyer will know how to work with the judge to get you the best outcome and is likely to help you minimize the financial costs of the offense.

Experienced Baltimore County DUI Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively protected the rights of people across the Baltimore area and throughout Maryland for almost 40 years, including people charged with drunk driving. He has consistently been AV-rated (the highest possible) by other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine, as well as a Maryland SuperLawyer. Smith has earned the prestigious Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, with a 5-star average rating (the highest possible) for all his client reviews. He also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO.

Smith follows a comprehensive approach to criminal defense, taking the time to review police records and interview all prospective witnesses in order to present the strongest arguments for acquittal. He will be at your side throughout a criminal prosecution, from investigation to arraignment to trial. He brings extensive trial experience to every case he handles and is always willing and able to protect your rights before a judge and jury.

Proven Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. Our firm handles DUI cases in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Traffic Speed Cameras in Maryland

Invisible Speed Traps Legal in the State

Traffic Speed Cameras in MarylandThe state of Maryland strategically places equipment along its highways that clocks the speed of motorists. When the speed of a car exceeds the legal limit, a camera photographs the vehicle’s license plate, and the registered owner of the car is sent a speeding ticket. Though there have been some technical problems with some of the cameras, and some counties in Maryland have suspended the program, the law is still in effect. In fact, according to The Washington Post, the state of Maryland issued about a million and a half speed-camera tickets in 2017, generating over $60 million in revenue.

The Maryland statute allows speed cameras to be placed within half a mile of a school. The cameras may be used for speed enforcement between the hours of 6:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. Tickets are issued based on speed camera evidence only when a driver is caught exceeding the legal speed limit by at least 12 miles per hour. Furthermore, before a ticket is mailed, the video from the camera is reviewed by a sworn law enforcement officer.

An Experienced Maryland Speeding Ticket Defense Attorney

Maryland SuperLawyer Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively protected the rights of people charged with traffic violations in Maryland for nearly four decades. Named a Top-Rated Lawyer by American Lawyer magazine, he’s also AV-rated (the highest rating possible) by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He has an average rating of five stars (the highest possible) for client reviews with AVVO, earning him the prestigious Client’s Choice Award. He also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator.

Attorney Smith will fight for your rights throughout a criminal prosecution, whether you are under investigation or arrested and charged with a crime. He painstakingly investigates the facts of every case in order to build the strongest case for your acquittal. He’s an effective trial attorney, with a proven ability to protect your rights before a judge and jury.

Experienced Montgomery County Speeding Ticket Lawyer

Contact Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle speeding tickets and other traffic citations in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Impact of a Maryland Traffic Ticket for Non-Resident Drivers

Will the Infraction Be Reported to Your Home State?

The Impact of a Maryland Traffic Ticket for Non-Resident DriversYou’re visiting family or friends in Maryland or here on business, and you lose focus while behind the wheel. The next thing you know, you’re pulled over for speeding or failure to use due caution. You can simply plead guilty and pay the fine, or you can do that later online. Is that in your best interests, though? Probably not, and here’s why.

Because the state of Maryland participates in the Driver’s License Compact, any moving violation you receive in the state is reported to the appropriate state agency in your home state (provided your state is also a part of the Compact). Accordingly, you could have points added to your driving record and see an increase in your insurance premiums.

An Experienced Maryland Traffic Citation Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of people charged with traffic violations for nearly 40 years, representing clients in Baltimore and throughout Maryland for almost 40 years. Named a Top-Rated Lawyer by American Lawyer magazine, as well as a Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s long been AV-rated (the highest rating possible) by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. He has the highest rating possible for client reviews with AVVO (a 5-star average), earning him the prestigious Client’s Choice Award. He also carries a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO.

Attorney Smith will work hard to gather and preserve evidence to support your defense in order to present the most persuasive arguments for your acquittal. He’ll carefully question witnesses and travel to inspect the scene of your traffic ticket, if necessary. He will advise and represent you at all stages of criminal prosecution, from investigation to arraignment to trial. Smith is a highly-respected trial attorney, always willing and able to protect your rights before a judge and jury.

Experienced Montgomery County Traffic Ticket Attorney

Contact Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle DUI defense in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated/Impaired in Maryland

Conviction for the Lesser Offense of DWI in Maryland

The Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated/Impaired in MarylandIn Maryland, you can be convicted of driving while intoxicated/impaired if it can be shown in court that your ability to drive was affected to some extent by the consumption of alcohol or controlled substances. As a general rule, you may be charged with DWI if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is .07 or higher. (A DUI charge, which carries stiffer penalties, requires a BAC of .08 or higher.) You can be charged with a DWI even though your vehicle is not on the road or in motion, provided you are in the vehicle and the ignition is engaged.

Because DWI is considered a lesser offense than driving under the influence (DUI), the penalties are less harsh. For a first conviction, the maximum jail term is two months, and the maximum fine is $500. Prior convictions for DWI or DUI, however, can lead to stiffer sentences. A second conviction can bring a jail sentence of up to a year, and a third conviction can result in five years in prison. You also can face up to $5,000 in fines for a third conviction.

An Experienced Maryland DWI Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has successfully protected the constitutional rights of people across the Baltimore area and throughout Maryland for almost 40 years, including people charged with driving while intoxicated or impaired. He’s been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by American Lawyer Magazine, as well as a Maryland SuperLawyer. His fellow attorneys have consistently given him an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System). He has a 5-star average rating (the highest possible) for all client reviews with AVVO, earning him the prestigious Client’s Choice Award. He also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) AVVO rating as a litigator.

Attorney Smith will work hard to gather and preserve evidence in your defense, so he can present the most persuasive arguments for your acquittal. He will be at your side throughout a criminal prosecution, from investigation and arraignment to trial, if necessary. He brings extensive trial experience to every case he handles and will make every effort to protect your rights before a judge and jury.

Experienced Carroll County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle DUI defense in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Maryland

Conviction for the More Serious Offense of DUI in Maryland

The Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in MarylandUnder Maryland law, you can be charged with and convicted of DUI (driving under the influence) if there’s evidence that your blood alcohol content exceeded .08%, or that you were substantially impaired by alcohol or a controlled substance. The car doesn’t need to be in motion for you to be charged with a DUI, but the car must be running.

If convicted of DUI in Maryland, you can face jail time and fines, even for a first offense. Penalties increase if you’ve had prior DUI convictions within the last 10 years. For a first-offense conviction of driving under the influence, you can serve up to a year in jail and pay a potential fine of up to $1,000. A second conviction carries the potential for double the jail time and fine. A third conviction may cost you up to five years and as much as $5,000.

Proven Maryland DUI Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has successfully defended people in Baltimore and across Maryland on drunk driving charges for nearly 40 years. The American Lawyer Magazine named him a Top-Rated Lawyer and his colleagues in the legal profession have consistently given him an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. A longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, he has a 5-star average rating (the highest possible) for client reviews with AVVO, earning him the prestigious Client’s Choice Award. He also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) AVVO rating as a litigator.

Jonathan Scott Smith aggressively defends men and women charged with a wide range of criminal matters, including DUI. He provides thorough legal counsel throughout a criminal prosecution, from investigation to arraignment to trial. He’s a highly-respected trial attorney with extensive experience obtaining positive results in court. He’ll work hard to gather and preserve evidence in your defense and present the most persuasive arguments for your acquittal.

Experienced Carroll County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle DUI defense in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Implied Consent and Drunk Driving in Maryland

Compelling a Breath or Blood Test Without a Warrant

Implied Consent and Drunk Driving in MarylandAs a general rule, you cannot be subjected to a search or seizure without a warrant, as set forth in the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. There are, however, certain situations where a police officer may do just that, provided there are reasonable grounds to believe that a law has been or is being violated. One such situation occurs when a police officer reasonably suspects a person of driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Under the implied consent laws in force in Maryland, when you operate a motor vehicle on public roads or private property used by the public, you agree to submit to a drug or alcohol test in the event you’re stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. There is no requirement that you agree, verbally or in writing, to take the test. The officer cannot compel you to take a blood or breath test, but if you do, your license can be suspended for up to 270 days, and you can face fines, as well as incarceration. Furthermore, unlike many other states, if you refuse to take the test, that refusal can be introduced as evidence at your criminal trial.

Experienced Baltimore County DUI Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for criminal defendants in Baltimore and across Maryland for nearly four decades. The American Lawyer magazine has named him a Top-Rated Lawyer, and his peers in the legal profession consistently give him an AV rating, the highest possible. He has received AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, with a 5-star average rating(the highest possible) for all client reviews. A longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, Smith has a perfect 10.0 (Superb)rating from AVVO as a litigator.

Jonathan Scott Smith takes an aggressive approach to the defense of drunk driving and other criminal matters, providing comprehensive legal counsel throughout the prosecution process, from investigation to arraignment to trial, if necessary. He’s a proven trial attorney with extensive experience obtaining positive results in court. He’ll work hard to gather and preserve evidence in your defense and present the most persuasive arguments for your acquittal.

Prince George’s County Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney Jonathan Scott Smith by email or call us at 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. We handle DUI/DWI prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

ADDRESS :

  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101