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.

Possession of Drugs in Maryland

What Constitutes Possession | The Treatment of Marijuana Under Maryland Law

Contribute-to-Causing-Your-InjuriesThough Maryland has “decriminalized” the possession of marijuana, the state still takes a strong stance against the possession of so-called “hard drugs,” such as heroin and methamphetamines. Possession of small amounts of marijuana (less than 10 grams) is now a civil offense, rather than a criminal offense, and is treated much like a moving violation. The possession of other illegal drugs, however, can result in significant fines and incarceration.

The Definition of Possession

In Maryland, a person may not “possess or administer” a controlled dangerous substance unless it has been secured with a prescription or from an authorized provider. Maryland law also specifically criminalizes procuring drugs through fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. The possession of any controlled substances (other than marijuana) is considered a misdemeanor in Maryland, with a potential penalty of up to four years and fines up to $25,000. Possession of excessive amounts also can lead to a charge of possession with intent to distribute, which can carry significantly harsher penalties.

Experienced Baltimore Criminal Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has provided aggressive advocacy to people in Baltimore County and across Maryland for nearly four decades, including individualsfacing prosecution for drug offenses. Named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine, he is also respected by his peers in the legal profession, who have consistently given him an AV-rating, the highest rating possible. He has been the recipient of AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, with an average of 5 stars(the highest rating possible) in his client reviews. A longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, he also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO.

Attorney Smith fights for men and women facing criminal prosecution, zealously representing clients throughout the legal process, from investigation, arrest, and arraignment to trial. He’ll conduct a thorough investigation of your case, ensuring that law enforcement officers legally obtained all evidence, and that you were madeaware of your constitutional rights. An effective trial attorney, he knows how to make compelling arguments in your defense before a judge and jury.

Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have suffered needless injury in Maryland because of the wrongful acts of another person, Jonathan Scott Smith can help. Send us an e-mail or call our offices at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. There’s no cost for your first consultation. We represent injured people in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland

Are DWI and DUI the Same Offense in Maryland?

The Difference between “Driving While Impaired” and “Driving Under the Influence”

Driving on a Suspended License in MarylandThe terms DWI and DUI often are used interchangeably, but in Maryland, they actually are two different offenses:

  • DWI, or driving while impaired—In Maryland, driving while impaired is considered a less serious offense than driving under the influence. You can be charged with DWI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is between .07 and .08. Often, a person charged with DWI will pass the BAC test but exhibit physical indications of impairment, such as slurred speech or erratic driving.
    The penalties for DWI include up to 60 days of incarceration and a $500 fine for the first offense. Subsequent convictions can lead to up to a year in jail and additional fines. A DWI conviction also results in an 8-point penalty on your driving record, which will cause your license to be suspended.
  • DUI, or driving under the influence—You can be charged with a DUI only if your BAC exceeds .08. A first-time conviction for DUI can result in a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Your second and third convictions can each lead to another 12 months of incarceration and an additional $1,000 fine. DUI adds 12 points to your driving record, leading to revocation of your license for a period of time.

Experienced Baltimore DWI/DUI Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has provided strong and effective representation to people in Baltimore and throughout Maryland for more than 35 years, including individuals charged with DWI or DUI. Named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine, he is also respected by his peers in the legal profession, who have consistently given him an AV-rating, the highest rating possible. He has been the recipient of AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, with an average of 5 stars(the highest rating possible) in client reviews. A longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, he also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO.

Attorney Smith aggressively advocates for men and women facing criminal prosecution, zealously representing clients throughout the legal process, from investigation, arrest, and arraignment to trial. He’ll conduct a thorough investigation of your case, ensuring that law enforcement officers legally obtained all evidence and made you aware of your constitutional rights. A proven trial attorney, Smith

knows how to make the most persuasive arguments in your defense before a judge and jury.

Ellicott City Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

The Difference Between Assault and Battery in Maryland

Are They Two Separate Crimes?

Contribute-to-Causing-Your-InjuriesBecause the term “assault and battery” is heard so commonly, there can be a perception that it’s a single crime. In fact, assault and battery are separate offenses, and you can potentially be charged with both for a single incident.

The key factor that differentiates assault from battery is physical contact. Any act that reasonably puts another person in imminent fear of harm of injury can lead to an assault charge. Threatening words alone are generally not considered sufficient to constitute assault, but raising a fist or the back of your hand, brandishing any kind of weapon, or approaching a victim in a threatening way can all be considered assault.

For an assault to become battery, there must be some type of uninvited or impermissible physical contact. The contact need not cause physical injury—it must merely be considered offensive by a reasonable person.

Experienced Maryland Assault and Battery Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively protected the rights of criminal defendants in and around Baltimore and throughout Maryland for more than 35 years. The American Lawyer magazine has named him a Top-Rated Lawyer, and his peers in the legal community have consistently given him an AV-rating, the highest possible. He has been given AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, averaging 5 stars(the highest rating possible) in client reviews. A longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s also earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO.

Attorney Smith provides full-service legal counsel to anyone facing criminal prosecution. He tenaciously representing clients throughout the legal process, from investigation or arrest to trial. He’ll carefully review all the evidence, ensuring that law enforcement officers had probable cause to conduct a search or make an arrest.He’ll also carefully investigate the facts and circumstances of your case in order to make the most persuasive arguments before a judge and jury.

Ellicott City 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 assault and battery prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County,
Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

The Use of Field Sobriety Tests in Maryland

What You Can Expect When Suspected of Drinking and Driving

The Use of Field Sobriety Tests in MarylandIn Maryland, when a police officer pulls you over, regardless of the reason, the officer may ask if you have been drinking. If you answer affirmatively, or if the officer has reasonable cause to belief that you are impaired, he will likely ask you to step out of the car and take a field sobriety test. You don’t have to take the test. All field sobriety tests are voluntary, and there’s no legal penalty for refusing to take one. That doesn’t mean, though, that the officer can’t take you into custody and escort you to the police station, where you’ll be asked to submit to a blood-alcohol-content test (there are penalties for refusing to take that test).

There are four field sobriety tests a law enforcement officer may administer. These are referred to as “standardized field sobriety tests,” which means that they must be administered following a specific procedure. If proper procedure isn’t followed, then test results cannot be used to take you into custody. The four tests are:

  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus—The officer asks you to focus on some item in his or her hand, such as a pen or flashlight, and watches for a jerking motion in your eyes.
  • The one-leg stand—The officer makes you stand on one leg for a specific period of time.
  • The walk-and-turn—The officer asks you to walk heel-to-toe away from the officer and back.
  • The portable breath test—The officer asks you to blow into a portable breath test kit. (In Maryland, portable breath test results are not admissible to show blood alcohol content.)

Experienced Baltimore County DUI/DWI Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of people charged with drunk driving in the metropolitan Baltimore area and throughout Maryland for over 30 years. Attorney Smith has been selected as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and has earned AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, averaging 5 stars(the highest rating possible) in online client reviews. A Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System. Attorney Smith also has earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO.

Attorney Smith takes an aggressive and methodical approach to the defense of drunk driving and other criminal charges. He’ll carefully investigate the facts and circumstances of your traffic stop and detention to confirm that all procedures were correctly followed and that your constitutional rights were not violated. He’ll review police reports and interview all witnesses in order to make the most persuasive arguments in your defense.

Proven Maryland 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 drunk driving prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Challenging the Validity of DUI Breath-Testing Devices

New York Times Study Finds Problems with Machines and Results

Child Abuse in MarylandWhen police pull you over and suspect you’re driving under the influence or while impaired, it’s common for them to administer a breath test and use the results in a criminal prosecution. However, a 2019 study by the New York Times found that those tests, long considered an essential tool in DUI and DWI enforcement, are less than reliable.

According to the Times investigation, even though companies that sell breath-testing equipment claim they’re “precise to the third decimal place,” tens of thousands of breath tests are ruled inadmissible in court every year. In New Jersey and Massachusetts alone, more than 30,000 breath tests were ruled invalid in 2019 due to administration errors or poor oversight by law enforcement agencies. The Times found that police departments often fail to properly calibrate the machines, causing readings that are 20% or more higher than actual levels. The study also found that many police departments have no procedures in place for maintaining breath-testing equipment. Furthermore, computer experts contend that many of the machines have significant programming defects in their software.

Experienced Baltimore County Child Abuse Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has aggressively protected the rights of people charged with drinking and driving in the metropolitan Baltimore area and throughout Maryland for more than three decades. Attorney Smith has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and has received AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, averaging 5 stars(the highest rating possible) in all client reviews. A Maryland Super Lawyer, he’s also respected by his colleagues in the legal profession, with an AV-rating from other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System. Attorney Smith also has earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO.

Attorney Smith will zealously protect your rights at any stage of a criminal matter, from investigation and arrest to arraignment and trial. He’ll conduct a thorough investigation to confirm that law enforcement officers had probable cause and that your constitutional rights were not violated. Smith will carefully determine the facts and circumstances of your case in order to make the most compelling arguments in your defense.

Baltimore 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 drug possession prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Driving on a Suspended License in Maryland

Grounds for license suspension and the penalties for driving on a suspended license

Driving on a Suspended License in MarylandThe Maryland Department of Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has the legal authority to temporarily suspend your driving privileges for a number of reasons:

  • Accumulation of 8 or more points on your driving record
  • Failure to pay a fine related to a traffic citation
  • Conviction for driving under the influence or while impaired

The penalties for operating a motor vehicle when your license has been suspended

Whether the suspension was appropriate or the result of a mistake, whether you intentionally drove with a suspended license or were unaware of the suspension, the state of Maryland can impose severe sanctions. You could face anywhere from two months to a year in jail, pay a $1,000 fine, or both. You also can expect points added to your driving record.

Experienced Baltimore County Traffic Court Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has provided sound counsel to people facing traffic court challenges in Baltimore and across Maryland for more than 35 years. He’s been listed as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and earned AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, with an average of 5 stars(the highest rating possible) in all client reviews. Attorney Smith also has earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO. Long named a Maryland SuperLawyer, he’salso AV-rated by other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System.

Attorney Smith takes an aggressive approach to criminal defense, looking at the actions of law enforcement officers throughout the process. He’ll confirm whether there was probable cause to pull you over and whether you were properly notified of your constitutional rights. He’ll conduct a thorough investigation, talking to witnesses, reviewing police reports, and traveling to the scene of the traffic stop, if appropriate.

Proven Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

Child Abuse in Maryland

How Does Maryland Law Address Maltreatment of Minors?

Child Abuse in MarylandUnder the criminal statutes in Maryland, it is against the law to emotionally or physically abuse minors. The covered forms of abuse include improper sexual conduct. Furthermore, certain professionals and third parties, such as social workers and medical personnel, are required by law to report actual knowledge or even reasonable suspicion of child abuse.

Child abuse is defined as “physical or mental injury of a child under circumstances that indicate the child’s health or welfare is harmed or is at substantial risk of being harmed.” Telltale signs that a child has been subjected to illegal abuse include the following:

  • Tentative or nervous behavior where the child is consistently withdrawn, fearful, or worried that something bad is going to happen;
  • Unexplained and frequent cuts, bruises, or other injuries, particularly bruises that have patterns or are repeatedly in the same place; or
  • An unwillingness by the child to touch or come in close contact with others.

The Consequences of Arrest and Conviction

Child abuse is a felony in Maryland and can result in significant fines, incarceration, and a permanent criminal record. A conviction also may result in a court order denying access to minor children or allowing only supervised contact with minor children.

Experienced Baltimore County Child Abuse Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of criminal defendants throughout the metropolitan Baltimore area and across Maryland for more than 35 years. He has been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and received AVVO’s prestigious Client’s Choice Award, averaging 5 stars (the highest rating possible) in all client reviews. A longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, he’s also highly regarded by his colleagues in the legal profession, with an AV-rating from other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System. Attorney Smith also has earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigator from AVVO. Attorney Smith takes a strong approach to the defense of any criminal charge, aggressively representing clients throughout the legal process, from investigation and arrest to arraignment and trial. He’ll verify that law enforcement officers had probable cause and confirm that your constitutional rights were safeguarded. A proven trial attorney, he’ll carefully investigate the facts and circumstances of your case in order to make the most persuasive arguments before a judge and jury.

Baltimore 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 drug possession prosecutions in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

DUI and DWI in Maryland

The Difference Between Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Intoxicated

DUI and DWI in MarylandIn the state of Maryland, unlike many states, there’s a legal distinction between DUI,or driving under the influence, and DWI—driving while intoxicated. Conviction on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol requires evidence of a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. To be charged and convicted of the lesser offense of driving while intoxicated, there’s no requirement of a specific BAC—prosecutors must show only that you were impaired by alcohol and that it affected your ability to drive. It’s also important to understand that you need not be operating a motor vehicle on the road to be charged with DWI; you need only be in “actual physical control” of the vehicle while the car’s engine is running.

Experienced Maryland DUI/DWI Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of DWI/DUI defendants across the greater Baltimore area and throughout Maryland for over 35 years. A recipient of AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), Attorney Smith also maintains a perfect 10.0 (Superb)rating from AVVO as a litigator. He’s been chosen as a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and long been listed as a Maryland SuperLawyer. He’s also received accolades from his colleagues in the legal profession, earning an AV-rating from other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System.

Attorney Smith aggressively defends clients on any criminal charge. He’ll be with you throughout the legal process, from investigation to arrest and arraignment to trial, if necessary. He’ll ensure that law enforcement officers had probable cause andthat your constitutional rights were not violated. A highly respected trial attorney, he’ll conduct a detailed investigation of your case in order to make the most compelling arguments in your defense.

Proven Maryland 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 cases in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County, and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Possession of Illegal Drugs in Maryland

How Does Maryland Define Possession?

Possession of Illegal DrugsIn Maryland, as in all states, the possession of certain controlled substances is a violation of the law. That includes not only “street drugs,” such as marijuana, meth, cocaine, and heroin, but also prescription medication. Maryland has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, treating the offense like a moving violation. Accordingly, marijuana is no longer classified as a controlled dangerous substance under Maryland law.

The Definition of “Possession” Under Maryland Law

The Maryland drug statute makes it illegal to:

  • Possess or administer to another person any controlled dangerous substance (CDS). It is permissible to possess or administer a CDS if you have a valid prescription for the drug.
  • Possess or try to possess a CDS through any of the following means:
    • A false or counterfeit prescription
    • The use of false information, such as name or address
    • Any type of fraud, deceit, or act of misrepresentation

Experienced Maryland Drug Possession Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith has fought for the rights of criminal defendants throughout the metropolitan Baltimore area and across Maryland for more than 35 years. A recipient of AVVO’s coveted Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), Attorney Smith also has earned a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating from AVVO as a litigator. He’s been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and is a longtime Maryland SuperLawyer. Smith is highly respected by his colleagues in the legal profession, with an AV-rating from other lawyers under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System.

Attorney Smith takes an aggressive approach to the defense of any criminal charge and will be at your side throughout the legal process, whether you are merely under investigation or actually arrested and charged. He’ll investigate whether law enforcement officers had probable cause and confirm that your constitutional rights were protected. A proven trial attorney, he’ll carefully investigate the facts and circumstances of your case, so he can make the most persuasive arguments before a judge and jury.

Baltimore 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 drug possession 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