Each Maryland arrest for impaired driving is different. The available legal strategies will depend on the facts of the case. Many Maryland DUI/DWI legal defenses are based on taking advantage of the mistakes made by law enforcement in handling your arrest. There are several defenses that can be applied.
Was the stop lawful?
If Maryland law enforcement stopped your car and did not have probable cause for the stop, evidence obtained during the unlawful stop can be thrown out of court. Officers must have a reasonable basis for pulling you over. Maryland law enforcement can’t pull you over on a whim, a guess or a hunch. The prosecution has to prove that the evidence used against you was properly obtained.
Were the field sobriety tests properly conducted?
Field sobriety tests are used to determine whether you are intoxicated. Maryland law enforcement uses three field sobriety tests – the “Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus” test, the “Walk and Turn” test and the “One Leg Stand” test.
Officers must use standard guidelines in conducting the tests. For example, the officer must provide correct instructions; the officer should demonstrate the test; and the officer should allow you to remove your shoes or change your shoes before performing the tests. It is a valid defense to claim that the guidelines were not properly followed if you fail the tests.
The accuracy of the tests can be challenged. Evidence indicates that field sobriety tests are accurate only 60% to 70% of the time.
In addition, when field sobriety tests are performed by people with disabilities, the elderly and people who are overweight, the results are often invalid.
Was the breath or blood alcohol test accurate?
The machine used to conduct these tests can malfunction or lab techs can make mistakes when interpreting the test results.
Were you Mirandized?
Did law enforcement read you your rights?
Were you actually driving the vehicle?
In order to get a DUI/DWI conviction, prosecutors must prove that you were driving the vehicle or had “actual physical control” of the vehicle. In some instances, suspects have been arrested even though they were sitting in the car waiting to sober up before they drove away. An Ocean City impaired driving defense attorney can argue that you were not in actual physical control of the car and, as a result can not be convicted of a DUI or DWI.
An Ocean City, Maryland DWI attorney can help you with your DWI charge. An Ocean City DUI attorney will review your case to determine if the charge can be reduced or dismissed. Probation before judgment is also a possibility. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience fighting Ocean City, Maryland DWI charges. The office is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh DUI legal needs. The consultation is free.
We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.881.4022 or through the website for a free consultation.