Asked in DUI / DWI for Maryland

Q: I was pulled over for a DWI in Maryland in January 2021 with a .06 bac. Legal limits are .08. More than a year later…

I have not been charged. A dwi in Maryland is a misdemeanor. Can I hire a lawyer to file a motion to dismiss since it’s beyond the statute of limitations?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • DUI & DWI Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: "I have not been charged." So, are you stating that the police officer did NOT issue you a citation at the time of the stop for DWI? You had to be placed under arrest and transported back to the station to take the breath test for that test to be admissible into evidence; otherwise, you were only offered the portable "preliminary breath test" (PBT) at the scene of the stop, which is NOT admissible evidence. IF the officer transported you back to the station and you took the breath test there, and you were issued citations and released, then you have been charged, and there is no statute of limitations issues. There are delays in getting traffic cases scheduled in court due to the COVID restrictions on court openings and in-person trials. That is not a basis for dismissal, unless the delay reaches constitutional dimensions and implicate speedy trial violations. You are not there yet, and mere time delay is insufficient to get a case dismissed for speedy trial reasons: you need to show the delay has prejudiced your ability to get a fair trial or undermined your defense, or your liberty was lost for an unreasonable period awaiting trial (loss of witnesses, evidence, or faded memory making witness testimony effectively unavailable). However, if you were never issued a citation then there is a limit on how long after an incident you can be charged by way of a traffic citation, but there is nothing to "dismiss" until and unless you are charged. There is no such thing as a pre-emptive dismissal of a non-existent charge. Traffic citations have a one year statute of limitations generally.

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