Field Sobriety Tests in Maryland

The Different Tests | Are They Accurate?

Field Sobriety Tests in MarylandIt’s common practice for law enforcement officers in Maryland to request that a motorist take a “field sobriety test” if there’s suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI). Those tests can take a number of different forms:

  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus—With this test, the officer holds an object in front of your eyes and moves it back and forth, looking for a “jerking” movement in your eyes, which is considered an indication of alcohol intoxication.
  • The one-leg stand—This assessment involves standing on one foot for up to 30 seconds. Officers look for problems with balance, as well as difficulty counting.
  • The walk-and-turn test—This is the “heel-to-toe” test, where you must put one foot in front of the other, walk in a specific direction, and then change directions.

The Reliability of Field Sobriety Tests

In testing conducted by the Southern California Research Institute in the 1970s, the accuracy of field sobriety tests was mixed. The report found that almost one of every four horizontal gaze nystagmus tests was inaccurate and that the other two tests were accurate about 2/3 of the time.

Proven Maryland Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland SuperLawyer, has more than three decades of experience fighting for the rights of men and women facing criminal charges throughout Maryland. AV-rated by his colleagues under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System, attorney Scott Smith has also received the Client’s Choice Award, with the highest rating possible (5 stars). He’s been given a 10.0 (Superb) rating as a trial attorney and named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Attorney Smith has extensive experience handling all matters related to drunk driving. He knows from experience that police officers often violate constitutional rights, stopping drivers without probable cause or failing to give Miranda warnings before arrest. He’ll carefully review police reports and question witnesses to confirm that your constitutional rights were not violated.

Proven Drunk Driving Attorney in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area

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

Do You Have to Submit to a Field Sobriety Test in Maryland?

What Happens If You Refuse?

Do You Have to Submit to a Field Sobriety Test in Maryland?Customarily, when you’re been pulled over in Maryland on suspicion of drinking and driving, the police officer will ask you to take a “field sobriety test” where you have to walk heel-to-toe or stand on one leg. Contrary to popular belief, though, there is no legal requirement that you submit to these tests, and the officer cannot compel you to do so.

Furthermore, there’s no criminal penalty for refusing to take a field sobriety test, and choosing not to participate in such a test will not have any impact on your driving privileges. Field sobriety tests are voluntary and can always be refused. Field sobriety tests are notoriously unreliable; the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published training manuals stating that one of every three tests may be wrong.

Police officers may also ask you to submit to a preliminary breath test before detaining you. This test is also voluntary. If you are taken to the police station, though, Maryland’s implied consent rules go into effect. If you refuse a breath or blood test at the police station, you can lose your driving privileges.

Proven Maryland Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith, a longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, has fought for the rights of criminal defendants throughout Maryland for more than three decades.He has consistently been AV-rated by other attorneys under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System and was named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. AVVO has given 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 understands the impact of a conviction for drinking and driving and will work hard to protect your constitutional rights. He will carefully gather and preserve evidence in support of your acquittal. He’ll review police reports and question witnesses to ensure that law enforcement officers had probable cause to make the traffic stop and that they properly advised you of your rights.

Results-Oriented DWI/DUI Attorney in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area

To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options after a DWI/DUI arrest, contact attorney 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.

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.

ADDRESS :

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

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101