When Maryland police officers suspect that someone has broken the law, they usually seek to investigate the situation. If they spot someone whom they believe is under the influence of intoxicants at the wheel, for example, they will likely initiate a traffic stop.
An officer’s driving under the influence (DUI) suspicions may require chemical breath testing and field sobriety test results before they can fully establish or negate their concerns about someone’s likely impairment. When someone refuses a chemical test or fails one, the officer conducting the traffic stop may then proceed to arrest that individual.
A significant number of individuals resist arrest during DUI stops. After all, those under the influence of alcohol frequently behave more impulsively than sober individuals. What happens if someone faces accusations of both impairment at the wheel and resisting arrest?
The driver may face more than one charge
It is a common prosecutorial practice to bring the highest number of charges possible given the circumstances and to pursue the most severe charges possible as well. Therefore, if someone tries to run or physically resist an officer when they put them in restraints or place them in a police vehicle, prosecutors may charge someone with both a DUI offense and resisting arrest. If the state charges someone with resisting arrest in addition to a DUI offense, the charge will likely be a misdemeanor. It will carry up to three years in jail and fines of as much as $5,000. Pleading guilty to either offense could impact the ability of the motorist to fight the other charge.
Can someone defend against resisting arrest charges?
Those accused of responding improperly to an attempt at a rest can sometimes defend against such accusations. For example, if the police officer conducted an unlawful arrest, the attempt to resist might not actually be criminal.
The only way to determine how to respond to charges stemming from a DUI traffic stop is to review the state’s evidence and to learn more about applicable laws with the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Understanding the likely consequences of a recent encounter with police officers can help people to make a more informed response to pending charges.