• Maryland Drinking and Driving: Can a DUI/DWI end Your Driving Forever?

    Driving while intoxicated is dangerous, not only for other drivers but for the driver and for their passengers. It’s reckless and should be avoided at all costs.

    In Maryland, it is even more of a problem than you might think. Drunk driving killed 550 people in 2017. Drinking and driving is illegal in Maryland and can cost someone the privilege of operating a motor vehicle. While it is a serious offense, it does not automatically mean the end of driving for the person charged. But, first, let’s examine what is considered “drunk driving.”

    Two Levels of Drinking and Driving   

    Maryland has two categories of drunk driving: “Driving under the influence” (DUI) and “driving while intoxicated” (DWI). 

    Driving under the influence (DUI) is a driver with a .08 or above of blood alcohol concentration. That level is all they need so no breath tests or field sobriety tests are needed. (Commercial drivers have a higher limit at .04.)

    Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is for drivers who have a .07 or below blood alcohol concentration. It also includes drugs and other substances. 

    Underage drivers (under the age of 21, the legal drinking age in Maryland) has a limit of .02. This is known as a “zero tolerance”.  

    A DUI carries stiffer penalties than a DWI. 

    Penalties and Sentences for DUI/DWI 

    A first offense can lead to jail and fine up to $500. A second offense can lead to a one-year jail sentence and a fine up to $500. 

    If the drunk driver had children with them, then they could be sentenced up to a maximum of two years and $4000. Sentences and fines vary due to the number of children in the car and whether it was a first, second or third offense or more.  

    Additionally, due to a law that took effect on 10/1/2016, those convicted of a DUI or certain DWIs are required to install and use an Ignition Interlock Device (IID). The IID requires the offender to blow into it to prove sobriety before getting behind the wheel.

    Appeals

    Many Maryland citizens who have been convicted of a DUI or a DWI in District Court may think that their ability to drive a car in the state may forever be affected. This may not be the case, at all. 

    There are several additional steps that may be taken after a conviction in District Court:

    1. If you are found guilty of DUI/DWI in district court, you can do a de novo appeal at the circuit court. It means you can file an appeal in the circuit court. You are not bound and limited to the district court record. They hear the case from the beginning. 

     

    1. Upon a conviction of DUI/DWI in district court, the MVA may notify you of additional sanctions. Request an administrative hearing about the license suspension. It must be requested within 15 days of the date of the letter.

    A DUI or DWI doesn’t mean the end of driving in the state of Maryland. It is, however, a serious offense and the appeal process can be complicated. If you or a friend or family member have been charged, make sure they have proper counsel, preferably an experienced DUI/DWI attorney.

    Salvado, Salvado, and Salvado have experienced DUI/DWI attorneys who can litigate your case. Contact our firm at (301) 933-1814 for an appointment. We serve Colu

    as. 

  • What is a General Practice Lawyer?

    Looking for lawyers can be quite perplexing. Trial lawyers, immigration lawyers, estate planning lawyer, personal injury lawyer, divorce lawyer, bankruptcy lawyer…well, you get the point. 

    In the world of law, there is a specialist for every situation. Sometimes, a specialist is needed, such as immigration or estate planning. 

    However, that is not always the case. There are times when a person needs the services of a general practice lawyer. This type of lawyer does the following: 

    1. They have a broad range of practice areas. 
    2. They are not limited to one specialty area of law.
    3. They may have a practice in several areas that are related such as bankruptcy, estate, insurance, and real estate. 

    Many general practitioners can be found in smaller towns and rural regions where a specialty lawyer would not be sustainable. So, their firm may have “one-stop shopping” with a business, estate, family, real estate and others being represented. “Boutique” law firms tend to be found in large cities and high-population areas. 

    So, when should you hire a general practice lawyer? There are several situations in which it would benefit someone to do so:

    1. Guidance: General practice lawyers have a large body of knowledge. They stay up to date on the laws, trends and important issues. 
    2. Problem-solving: Most general practice lawyers want to help you solve your problem efficiently and quickly. They will hear your situation and lay out a legal plan to resolve it. 
    3. Convenience: A general practice lawyer also saves you time and, perhaps, expense, too. They can handle a variety of personal and business needs from working with you to do your estate to sell your land, to litigating a driving violation to representing you in divorce proceedings. You have the priceless benefit of having an attorney who knows you and your family well and will represent you competently and passionately in court. You don’t have to travel to another location hours away or be hit with billable hours from a lawyer in a separate firm who does not know you that well or live in your community. 
    4. Trust: Your relationship with your attorney is a crucial, almost sacred, one that cannot be compromised. Having a strong relationship with a general practice lawyer will help you in all your legal situations. An attorney who knows you, your family, your business associates and others in your orbit, is both beneficial and healthy. They will be confidential, trustworthy and helpful. That is priceless.

    Now that you know this, you may still be asking: So do I hire a general practice lawyer or a specialist? Do the research. Ask for referrals and check websites for reviews such as www.Lawyers.com, www.findlaw.com, www.BBB.org, and www.legaladvice.com

    Salvado, Salvado, and Salvado have experienced specialists and general practice lawyers who can meet your legal representation needs. Call us at (301) 933-1814 for a consultation. We serve the Rockville, MD, and Falls Church, VA area.