What Would a Police Officer Consider Suspicious Behavior?
The police officer would need to have probable cause to make the stop. Any traffic infraction such as speeding, running a red light, crossing the double yellow line or any other traditional traffic infraction would give them probable cause to stop the vehicle.
Do Police Officers Seek Out DWIs Or DUIs At Certain Times Of The Day?
Absolutely. They know when the popular times are and where the popular bars are, so they sit and wait and watch the parking lots. They look for suspicious behavior and then follow vehicles when they pull out and wait for them to make some kind of traffic error to pull them over.
What Mistakes Do People Make That Makes Their Case Worse?
The biggest mistake that the vast majority of people make is that they talk to the police and they do not exercise their right to remain silent. They would have a right not to incriminate themselves under the fifth amendment of the US Constitution, but sadly, even though people have that right, they often fail to exercise it. The most important thing people can do is to exercise their fifth-amendment right to remain silent.
How Would It Typically Affect Someone’s Case If They Refused The Breathalyzer?
Anyone who refuses the breathalyzer test in Maryland would end up with their license suspended and their only option would be to sign on to have the alcohol interlock system, the “Blow and Go,” in their vehicle for a year. The question always arises whether or not the person actually refused, and we see a fair number of cases where, for one reason or another, the officers for frustrated because they might have been in a hurry so they indicated a refusal whereas the person really did not knowingly or voluntarily refuse. This can sometimes be used as a defense in the MVA hearing.
Would Things Like Medical Conditions Help The Case?
Absolutely, and there is a long list of factors that could affect the breath tests. One of the things to look for when hiring a drunk-driving attorney is to see whether they would ask their client about their general medical conditions, and whether they would ask certain specific questions to see whether their client had any medical conditions that would make their breath alcohol content especially suspicious.
If someone reported a relatively modest consumption of alcohol yet they blew a high test result, then it would be important to see if there were some other medical conditions in play. This would also apply in reference to field sobriety tests, because there would be a lot of physical factors that could come into play, including histories of medical conditions that could affect the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the eye test, the walk and turn test, or the one-leg stand test.
Do Cases Involving Minors Get Tricky?
This would be an aggravating circumstance, because no one likes to see a minor, who would be considered an innocent of sorts, being put at risk. Oftentimes the drunk driving involving the minors would have more impact if there was a child-custody case either open or it could become a reason for a change of circumstances in Maryland for a change of custody.
Does Social Media Ever Come Into Play As Far People Making Mistakes?
This does not come up in drunk-driving cases very often because law enforcement prosecutors generally rely on what happens at the traffic stop and the interaction, their interactions on the ride to the police station and what happens at the police station.
Social media plays a huge role in other criminal cases because during criminal investigations they might find considerable evidence or probable cause for search warrants based on what they could find on social media. As lawyers, we use what we find in social media a lot, both in our other types of criminal defense work, but also in civil suits, locating witnesses, locating parties and where to serve them because social media has now become a big part of practicing law.
What Are Some Misconceptions About The Whole DUI Process?
The first of the two biggest misconceptions is that people think they would be able to sweet talk their way out of it, which is often not the case in our contemporary culture.
The second big misconception is that people do not understand there would actually be two cases against them. There would be a criminal case for the drunk driving, and there would also be a civil case involving the respective motor vehicle administrations regarding their driver’s license. While these two cases might have an impact on each other at times, they would still be two separate and distinct cases and they would result in two separate hearings, pleadings, and other proceedings.
What Happens In The Case Where Someone Falls Below .08?
In Maryland it is somewhat strange, because .07 to .08 would create the presumption of driving while impaired. It is a very narrow window but it would be the lesser of the two drunk-driving cases in Maryland. 0.08 and above would be a driving while under the influence charge, which would be the more serious drunk-driving charge and it would carry with it stiffer penalties.
People often misunderstand how this works. Taking the test and failing it creates a presumption and shifts the burden of proof from the state to the defendant to prove they were not impaired. This would still be met in certain instances to show in front of certain judges or juries at times, that even though the person scored high on the test, they were in fact really not impaired. It would be an even playing field if someone blew less than that, because if they blew very low, then the burden of proof would shift back onto the state.
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