Speed is crucial in getting yourself out of the mess you put yourself in leading to your DUI arrest. Within 10 days after your arrest, your Baltimore DUI lawyer needs to file a petition for a hearing with the Motor Vehicle Administration. During that short period, your attorney needs to secure all police reports, accident reports and all other important documents related to your case. In response to your petition, the Motor Vehicle Administration may temporarily stop the proceedings for the suspension of your license. It may then provide you a temporary license as it sets a hearing date, which is usually scheduled after one or two months depending on the court’s backlog of cases.
During the hearing, the court will rule on three main issues:
- When the police officer arrested you, did he have probable cause to charge you with DUI?
- Were all the state procedures and protocol observed before, during and after your arrest for a DUI charge?
- What kind of vehicle were you driving when you were arrested, and what was your BAC test result? More than 0.08%?
If the arresting police officer alleged that you refused to take the BAC test, the court will ascertain if the allegation is true. If your lawyer is able to raise even just one iota of reasonable doubt in the judge’s mind, that could force the judge to acquit you.
Your Lawyer Could Shift Burden of Proof Back to the State
You may be able to shift the burden of proof for your guilt back to the state with the able handling of your case by Baltimore DUI experts. The prosecutors must then prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you violated the law. Bear in mind that even if you refused to take the breathalyzer test, that alone does not prove your guilt. A brilliant lawyer may be able to craft an effective legal strategy for you. If the evidence against you is strong, your counsel can still do something so that you would only be subjected to the minimum penalty provided by law.
You Face Law in Your Home State Even If You Committed DUI Violation Elsewhere
If you reside in California but you were arrested for DUI in another state, the local DUI law in California will be the one that will be applied to you. This is one of the offshoots of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, an interstate accord among 45 states, which requires them to exchange information on traffic violations and license suspensions of non-residents. If you live in South Dakota where penalties for DUI are the lightest, but you got arrested in Arizona where the DUI penalties are the harshest, you can find relief in the thought that you will be judged based on South Dakota laws. In this particular case, it will be in your best interest to get the services of a competent South Dakota lawyer..
Administrative and Criminal Penalties Are Unrelated
A court trial is different from an administrative trial. Even if you are convicted during an administrative trial, this does not necessarily ensure that you will be proven guilty in a court trial. The reverse is also true: if the court finds you guilty and sentences you to serve a minimum period of jail time or community service, this does not guarantee that your license will be revoked. An expert Baltimore DUI lawyer can still find a way to get back your license. In the same vein, if the court acquits you, this does not automatically mean that you will get back your license.
Expenses You Will Have to Pay in a Baltimore DUI Case
On the average, a DUI charge may cost you $6,500 in legal expenses. You may add to this the income you lost for the number of days you were absent from work while attending your hearings. According to a survey of motorists who have been charged with DUI, they lost another $4,400 in potential salaries and benefits.
This is the breakdown of the expected expenses you will have to pay in a DUI case:
Legal fees – Be ready to shell out $1,500 or more for lawyer’s fees, every case is different.
Car insurance – You may have to pay an average of $800 to $1,000 for your insurance policy as the cost of insurance is expected to skyrocket after you are charged with Baltimore DUI/DWI.
Court fines and fees – You may also have to pay the state as much as $1,000 in fines after a DUI conviction. You will also need to pay for documentary stamps and other documents.
DUI school – The court may require you to attend a traffic school or alcohol abuse counseling course. You will be poorer by about $400 for this course.
Ignition Interlock Devices – You will spend from $70 to $150 for the installation of this device in your car. Aside from this, you will also have to pay the state about $60 a month as monitoring fee.
DMV fees –You will be required to pay the Department of Motor Vehicles about $250 for the reinstatement of your driving license.
Bail bond – At the outset, you will have to post a bail bond to secure your temporary liberty if you do not relish the idea of spending jail time. The amount of the bond depends on the type of license you possess, the type of vehicle you were driving, the amount of damage, if any, that you caused before you were arrested, and whether or not you are a flight risk.
Call Baltimore DUI Experts Quickly If You Get Arrested for DUI
You need to call a trusted DUI lawyer right away after your Baltimore DUI/DWI arrest. Your attorney should be with you at the police station where you will be booked and questioned. Your counsel needs to be there to ensure that your rights are not violated and to prevent self-incrimination on your part, which could aggravate your case. Your lawyer can also opt for a plea bargain if that is the best route for you to take. The worst thing you could do is to dispense with your counsel’s services and act on your own. That is a sure recipe for disaster.