Richmond, VA asked in Car Accidents and DUI / DWI for Maryland

Q: First offense. Arrested for DUI after accident. No paramedics, denied opportunity to speak to a lawyer entire time.

Hit a pole driving with a friend. Police showed up, pulled us from the car, and started administering FST right away. Blew breathalyzer and was arrested afterwards. Taken to station, blew breathalyzer there and blew .16. Released afterwards. No paramedics were called and asked for a lawyer from the point I was pulled from the car to the moment they released me. Not given the opportunity to speak to one. First criminal offense. Odds of beating the case and/or likely outcomes?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: If by “beating the case” you mean winning at trial, there are not enough details in your description to give any definitive opinion, but the accident is more than enough probable cause for an officer to initiate a stop and a investigation, and then everything else flows from there as to probable cause to arrest on suspicion of dui. If the FST results and other observations are sufficient to establish probable cause, a low threshold, and the breath test was given in accordance with the legal requirements, then the .16 test result creates a legal presumption of dui. Denial of the right to consult with a lawyer before taking the breath test may or may not provide a basis to suppress the test results. That will require more facts. You have an initial 10 day window in MD to decide whether to request a hearing on the proposed suspension of your driving privileges based on the test result, to avoid the automatic suspension that will be imposed in 45 days. Your trial date on the dui is a separate court proceeding from the MVA suspension hearing. You also may elect the ignition interlock option. It is not clear whether you have a MD or VA license, but MD can suspend your privilege in MD and that may affect your VA license. In MD, most first time offenders can avoid jail and avoid a conviction (which further avoids 12 points and revocation of your license)—even if you’re guilty. The accident doesn’t help, but if not too serious it should not be a problem. Consult a lawyer soon to obtain guidance on how to best proceed to prepare yourself for the fewest consequences and best results.

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Excellent answer from Mr. Oakley. You have a lot at stake and you should get an attorney who handles DUI's in the county where it happened. Hopefully you had insurance because you will have to pay for the pole and other damage. Get an attorney.

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