Rockville Attorney Fights for Clients Accused of Drunk Driving
Proven Maryland lawyer handles DUI and DWI allegations
Maryland has busy roads and tough laws to prevent people from driving on them while they are affected by alcohol or drugs. If you’ve been accused of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), your life can change in an instant. No matter what your test result or the reporting officer says, it’s always best to work with a qualified defense attorney who can outline your rights and potential defenses. At the Law Office of Charles Bainbridge Lipscomb in Rockville, I am a litigator with 19 years of experience who focuses on protecting the rights of Maryland drivers. When you face penalties that can include incarceration, fines and license revocation, you owe it to yourself to retain a seasoned litigator who will aggressively counter the evidence brought against you.
Knowledgeable advocate challenges illegal stops and questionable tests
Many people who are arrested for a DUI or DWI don’t have a detailed understanding of the state’s criminal justice system. A motorist can be convicted of a DUI charge if their blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent or higher. However, even if your test result does not meet the legal intoxication limit, you can be convicted of the lesser DWI charge if your coordination has been impaired. In either case, the best way to defend yourself is to hire a seasoned defense lawyer who can explain relevant issues such as:
- Test refusal — In some instances, drivers are tempted to refuse a sobriety test. Under the legal principle of implied consent, any motorist using Maryland roads agrees to these evaluations. A first refusal results in an automatic 270-day license suspension. This is an administrative sanction, not a criminal charge, so there is no trial or forgiveness even if the officer eventually agrees that you’re not intoxicated. If you believe your rights were violated, I can request an administrative hearing to restore your driving privileges.
- Unauthorized stops and arrests — Whether a police officer is simply being overzealous or something more sinister is at hand, such as racial profiling, many drunk driving stops and arrests lack the proper legal foundation. Regardless of what is found later, a stop must be based on a reasonable suspicion that illegal activity is taking place. To initiate an arrest, the officer must show that he or she had an objective belief that you had committed a crime. These standards can be tricky to prove, but I’ll review all of the facts to determine if the stop or arrest should be contested. My firm can advise on the legality of checkpoints and Miranda rights if you are arrested.
- Improper field sobriety tests — Some drivers are convicted of a drunk driving count that originated with an improper field sobriety test. If you’re asked to stand on one leg, walk a straight line or touch your nose, there is nothing scientific about the result because sober people can have problems with these tasks and any “failure” is based on the officer’s subjective impressions.
- Tainted breathalyzer results — Breathalyzer results can be inaccurate or altered in a way that makes them unreliable for evidentiary purposes. Even in the best cases, there is a wide margin of error in these readings. Taking medicine, eating or drinking before the test might make things even worse. I work diligently to find problems with the administration and analysis of the test, as well as any handling or chain-of-custody questions that exist.
Should sufficient evidence exist for a conviction, I’ll pursue an appropriate resolution that might include a reduced charge in exchange for a guilty plea. When possible, my firm will argue for the installation of an ignition interlock device as an alternative to incarceration or license suspension.
Contact an accomplished Maryland DUI/DWI defense lawyer to schedule a meeting
The Law Office of Charles Bainbridge Lipscomb represents Maryland motorists who have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Please call 301-738-7000 or contact me online to make an appointment. My office is in Rockville.