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.

Understanding Implied Consent During a Maryland DUI/DWI Stop

Do You Have to Submit to a Blood Alcohol Test When Stopped for Suspected DWI/DUI?

Understanding Implied Consent During a Maryland DUI/DWI StopWhen you’re stopped by a law enforcement officer, it’s fairly common for them to ask if you’ve consumed any alcoholic beverages. If you have and answer truthfully, the officer may ask you to take a blood alcohol test to determine if you are over the legal limit. If you test positive, it can be used against you in a criminal prosecution. Can you refuse to take the test? What are the legal consequences if you choose not to submit to a breath test?

In Maryland, as in other states, the legal concept of implied consent applies when you get behind the wheel of a car. Under this principle, simply by operating a motor vehicle, you are deemed to agree to submit to a blood alcohol test if requested by a police officer. Nonetheless, you still can refuse to take the test (and cannot be forced to do so), but you will face specific consequences:

  • Your driver’s license will be seized, and you will be issued a 10-day temporarylicense. Your license can be suspended for up to two years; and
  • Your refusal to take a breath test is admissible in court and may be used by the jury to determine guilt.

Experienced DWI/DUI Defense Attorney in Baltimore County

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than 30 years of experience to individuals in Baltimore County and across the state of Maryland who have been arrested for or charged with impaired driving. Attorney Smith has been AV-rated by his colleagues in the legal profession under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review System and has been listed as a Maryland SuperLawyer. An honoree of the AVVO Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars(the highest rating possible), Attorney Smith also has a perfect 10.0 (Superb) rating as a litigation attorney from AVVO. He was named a 2012 Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine.

Attorney Smith will aggressively protect your rights in any criminal proceeding, from investigation and arrest to arraignment and trial, making certain there was probable cause and that all constitutional guarantees were followed. He’ll carefully investigate the details of your case in order to make the most compelling arguments in your defense. He’s a highly experienced trial attorney, with the skill, knowledge, and resources to protect your rights in any criminal matter.

Montgomery County Criminal Defense Lawyer

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

Police Charge Man with DUI after Hit and Run

police-charge-man-with-dui-after-hit-and-run

Berlin Man Faces DUI Charge after Hit and Run

Maryland state troopers arrested a Berlin man in early May, charging him with driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident and other related charges. Authorities say the Berlin man struck an SUV with his pickup truck before driving away. The accident occurred near Worcester Highway and Jarvis Road.

According to reports, troopers were called shortly after the collision and used evidence from witnesses to locate and arrest the driver. When troopers pulled him over, they could smell alcohol on his breath. He failed a field sobriety test, as well as a blood alcohol test.

No injuries were reported as a result of the collision.

Baltimore County, Maryland, Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith, a Maryland Super Lawyer, has fought for the rights of criminal defendants across Maryland for more than 30 years. He has a perfect 10.0 Superb rating as a litigation attorney from AVVO, and is also respected by his colleagues in the legal profession, who have given him an AV-rating under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System. Because of his record and reputation, Smith was a recipient of the Client’s Choice Award from AVVO, based on an average client review of 5 stars (the highest rating possible). Smith was also recognized as a 2012 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine and Martindale-Hubbell.

Top-Rated Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer

We fight for the rights of criminal defendants. Contact us by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Source – http://www.wmdt.com/news/more-local-news/Berlin-man-charged-with-DUI-after-fleeing-crash-scene/32916834

Howard County DUI Sobriety Checkpoint Nabs Twelve

On Friday, June 14, 2013, Howard County police set up a sobriety checkpoint on westbound Route 40 and Governors Run Way in Ellicott City. The sobriety checkpoint, which started late in the evening, extended into early Saturday morning, resulted in 12 arrests, reported The Baltimore Sun.

Police say 998 drivers came through the sobriety checkpoint, and that six were arrested for DUI, or driving under the influence of alcohol. Three more drivers were taken into custody for drug offenses, and three motorists were detained for driving with suspended license.

DUI Check Points Funded by Grants

The DUI sobriety checkpoint, manned by Howard County police and Maryland State troopers, is part of the Checkpoint Strikeforce Campaign, a program funded in part by a grant from the Maryland Highway Safety Office. DUI Sobriety check points, though not legal in some states, have been upheld in Maryland as consistent with the state constitution and the U.S. Constitution, provided they comply with detailed constitutional requirements.

Top-Rated Drunk Driving Lawyer in Howard County, MD

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results, including DUI cases— has earned him the recognition of his peers and clients:

  • Maryland Super Lawyer.
  • 10.0 Superb” as a litigation attorney by AVVO.
  • “Client’s Choice Award” by AVVO, based on average client reviews of 5 stars — the highest client review possible.
  • Client Distinction Award (Client Review Rating of 4.5 or higher on 5.0 scale – less than 4% of 900,000+ attorneys listed by Martindale-Hubbell)
  • 2013 Top Attorneys in Maryland (American Registry)
  • 2013 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine and Martindale-Hubbell.
  • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers (by invitation only and limited to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers from each state).
  • AV-Preeminent™*” Highest Peer Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (25 consecutive years).

These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.

Columbia, Maryland Drunk Driving Defense Attorney

When you need top-rated criminal defense lawyer to fight a DUI charge, including one resulting from a DUI sobriety checkpoint, attorney Jonathan Scott Smith will aggressively fight hard to protect your constitutional rights. Contact our firm online or call our office at 410-740-0101 to schedule an appointment. We represent criminal defendants in Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince Georges County and Montgomery County, Maryland.

 

 

 

Driving with Suspended License in Maryland

Driving with Suspended License is Serious
In Maryland, a driver’s license can be suspended for many reasons. Often it is caused by a mistake, or an oversight, but it can lead to serious consequences. Some of the reasons the Maryland MVA will suspend a driver’s license:

  • Failing to pay a traffic ticket.
  • Failing to pay a fine after appearing in traffic court.
  • Failing to appear in court for a traffic ticket.
  • Moving to a new address and not notifying the MVA, and then not receiving a notice to appear in court for a traffic ticket.
  • Receiving too many points (MVA can suspend a driver’s license for an accumulation of 8  points or more).
  • Being convicted of DWI/DUI, driving under the influence, or driving while impaired.

Many people charged with driving with suspended licence in Maryland are not criminals; they make a mistake, or fail to take care of a traffic ticket through an oversight.

What are the Penalties for Driving With Suspended License?

The penalties for driving with suspended license in Maryland are serious. They range from 2 months in jail, a $500.00 fine, or both, to one year in jail, a $1,000.00 fine, or both — depending upon the reason the license was suspended. Also, a conviction can range from 3 points to 12 points — enough to revoke your driver’s license.

Top Rated Traffic Ticket Lawyer Howard County MD

Jonathan Scott Smith is a top rated traffic ticket lawyer and former prosecutor with more than 30 years of criminal law experience. He has represented many clients in Howard County, including Ellicott City and Columbia, Maryland, who have been charged with driving with suspended licence. Mr. Smith is a former prosecutor and experienced traffic ticket attorney who has handled many driving with suspended license  cases.

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results — has earned him the recognition of his peers and clients:

  • Maryland Super Lawyer.
  • 10.0 Superb” as a litigation attorney by AVVO.
  • “Client’s Choice Award” by AVVO, based on average client reviews of 5 stars — the highest client review possible.
  • Client Distinction Award (Client Review Rating of 4.5 or higher on 5.0 scale – less than 4% of 900,000+ attorneys listed by Martindale-Hubbell)
  • 2013 Top Attorneys in Maryland (American Registry)
  • 2013 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer Magazine and Martindale-Hubbell.
  • AV-Preeminent™*” Highest Peer Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (25 consecutive years).

These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.

Howard County Traffic Ticket Defense Attorney

We handle defense of driving with suspended license charges, and traffic tickets for individuals throughout the Baltimore and Washington metro areas. We will fully investigate the facts and evidence related to your citation, and fight hard for you.

Contact Our Office

If you need a lawyer for traffic tickets, including driving with suspended license, contact us by e-mail or call us at 410-740-0101. Put an experienced Maryland traffic violations defense lawyer to work for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

 

Underage Drinking Warnings Released by Howard County Police

Underage Drinking at Prom and Graduation Parties
Underage drinking, a frequent occurrence at prom and graduation parties, was the focus of recent warnings by Howard County Police. With prom and graduations starting this coming weekend, county police sought to warn teens and their parents of the legal consequences of underage drinking.

Underage Drinking Can Result in Possession of Alcohol Charges

Various criminal charges can be filed if someone is caught in underage drinking. These include criminal charges for alcohol possession and possession of a fake ID. If a driver engages in underage drinking, they may be charged with violation of alcohol restriction, driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI). Adults who provide alcohol to minors can be criminally charged with obtaining or furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Criminal Lawyer for Underage Drinking Charges

Mr. Smith is a top rated criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor with more than 30 years of extensive trial experience. Attorney Smith has handled thousands of criminal cases in the local courts, including numerous cases involved underage drinking.

With a solid and longstanding reputation for personal service and thorough preparation, we get many of our new cases as referrals from existing or former clients, or from other attorneys. Mr. Smith fights hard for his clients. That’s why many satisfied clients think so highly of him.

Top Rated Criminal Defense: Possession of Alcohol by Minor

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results — has earned him the recognition of his peers and clients:

  • Maryland Super Lawyer.
  • 10.0 Superb” as a litigation attorney by AVVO.
  • AV-Preeminent™*” Peer Rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (25 consecutive years).
  • “Client’s Choice Award” by AVVO, based on average client reviews of 5 stars — the highest client review possible.
  • 2013 Top Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine and Martindale-Hubbell.

These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.

Contact Us Now

Call our office at 410-740-0101, or contact us online, to schedule an appointment. We represent people accused of underage drinking and other crimes throughout Maryland, including Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County.

We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

Drivers Face DUI Charges in Prince George’s County Sobriety Checkpoint

Sobriety Checkpoint In Prince George’s County Nets Drivers

On December 7 and 8, 2012, Prince George’s County police officers conducted sobriety check points and focused their enforcement along the University Boulevard corridor and the Pennsylvania Avenue and Marlboro Pike corridor. On those nights, police officers made seven arrests on DUI charges over the course of 100 traffic stops, according to the police department.

The Prince George’s County Police Department’s sobriety checkpoint is part of its participation in a statewide drunk driving enforcement operation called Project SOLO—Saving Our Loved Ones.

Prince George’s County DUI Lawyer

An experienced DUI lawyer can be very helpful dealing with arrests resulting from sobriety checkpoints. Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith is a top rated attorney and former prosecutor with more than 30 years of experience in criminal law and drunk driving cases. Before going into private practice, attorney Smith worked as a Maryland prosecutor and learned how the state prepares criminal matters. He has handled 1,000’s of drunk driving cases.

Top Rated Drunk Driving Defense Attorney

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results in DUI/DWI and driving under the influence and  other criminal cases — has earned him the recognition of his peers, with an AV® Preeminent™* Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, and a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating.

These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition.

DUI Lawyer Prince George’s County MD

To schedule an appointment with an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101.Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to work for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

 

Six Drivers Arrested in Howard Count DUI Sobriety Checkpoint

Sobriety Checkpoint Results in DUI Charges

Howard County Police conducted a DUI sobriety checkpoint on Saturday, December 8, 2012 into the early morning hours of Sunday, December 9, 2012, according to The Baltimore Sun. The sobriety checkpoint was established on westbound US Route 40 and Governors Run Way in Ellicott City.

Five drivers were arrested and charged with DUI charges. One driver was arrested for driving on a suspended license. Approximately 649 vehicles passed through the Checkpoint, which was staffed by Howard County Police.

Sobriety Checkpoints Key Tool for DUI Charges

Howard County Police periodically conduct sobriety checkpoints as part of the Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign that are funded in part by a grant from the Maryland Highway Safety Office. Maryland Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) also assisted with the DUI check point.

Maryland DUI  Lawyer

An experienced sobriety check point DUI lawyer can explain your rights and fight for you in court. Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith is a top rated attorney and former prosecutor with more than 30 years of experience in criminal law and drunk driving cases. Before going into private practice, attorney Smith worked as a Maryland prosecutor and learned how the state prepares criminal matters. He has handled 1,000’s of drunk driving cases.

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results in DUI charges and other criminal cases — has earned him the recognition of his peers, with an AV® Preeminent™* Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, and a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating. These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition. Attorney Smith is considered to be one of the best criminal defense and DUI drunk driving attorneys in Columbia, Ellicott City, and Howard County.

DUI Attorney Howard County MD

DUI charges are very serious. You need an experienced drunk driving lawyer to fight for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. To schedule an appointment with an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101.

Authorities Target DUI Drivers on Holidays

Maryland has targeted Thanksgiving with mobile and stationary patrols. Additionally, the Maryland State Police’s operation “Centerpoint Strikeforce” regularly sets up checkpoints throughout the state.

The Centerpoint Strikeforce operation recently checked 130 cars near the Md. 85 and Executive Way in just a four-hour weekend-period, but no one was arrested on drunk driving charges. This particular Maryland location was chosen because of the area’s relative frequency of DUI arrests and crashes involving alcohol.

Interestingly, the American Beverage Institute notes a University of Maryland study (2009) that indicates sobriety checkpoints do not in fact affect drivers’ actions. Rather, research seems to indicate that roving police cars tend to make more DUI arrests.

Throughout the United States authorities have been cracking down on DUI drivers just before and during holidays. For those interested, it is possible to find the location of these DUI police checkpoints online, through websites devoted specifically to tracking DUI checkpoints. Also, police departments often announce their plans to conduct sobriety checkpoints (but not the locations).

Holidays such as Labor Day typically have more drunk-driving related crashes. For instance, during Labor Day weekend in 2010, 147 people died as a result of car crashes that involved a drunk driver.

Accused of DUI or DWI in MD? Contact an Experience Criminal Defense Attorney

To schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at the Smith Criminal Defense Firm in Columbia, Maryland, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to fight for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Howard County Police to Conduct DUI Checkpoint

Sobriety Checkpoint Scheduled by Howard County Police

The Howard County Police Department announced that it will conduct a DUI checkpoint this coming weekend. The department conducts several dui checkpoints each year. The checkpoint will be clearly marked with signs, lights and uniformed officers. Officers will utilize both marked and unmarked vehicles, and will be checking for violations including driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while impaired, and other DUI/DWI violations.

Howard County DUI/DWI’s

In 2011, Howard County Police arrested 1,391 individuals for driving under the influence. In 2011, 25 percent of Howard County’s fatal collisions were alcohol related. Drinking and driving carries harsh penalties.

DUI Checkpoints and Constitutional Protections

A DUI checkpoint allows police officers to observe drivers and their cars for evidence of drunk driving. Under the law, police cannot stop a vehicle unless there is a “reasonable and articulable suspicion” that the driver or the vehicle is violating the law. Sobriety checkpoints involve the stopping of vehicles without this showing.

Many states outlaw the sobriety checkpoints. DUI checkpoints may violate an innocent driver’s constitutional rights.

Ellicott City, Columbia, and Howard County Drunk Driving Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith is a top rated drunk driving lawyer and former prosecutor with more than 30 years of experience in criminal law and drunk driving cases. Before going into private practice, attorney Smith worked as a Maryland prosecutor and learned how the state prepares criminal matters. He has handled 1,000’s of drunk driving cases.

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results — has earned him the recognition of his peers, with an AV® Preeminent™* Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, and a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating. These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, a lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition. Attorney Smith is considered to be one of the best criminal defense and DUI drunk driving attorneys in Columbia, Ellicott City, and Howard County.

Contact Our Office for Aggressive DUI Defense

Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to work for you.  To schedule an appointment, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

 

ADDRESS :

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

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101