Anne Arundel County DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer
Leonard Stamm has extensive experience (almost 30 years) representing individuals who have been pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI), been arrested and charged with DUI or DWI, stopped at a drinking and driving sobriety checkpoint, requested to submit to a breathalyzer, submitted to a breathalyzer test, or failed a field sobriety test given by a police officer. He is the author of Maryland DUI Law, the authoritative text on the law of drunk driving in Maryland. He is a former president of the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys' Association. He also the Dean of the National College for DUI Defense. (Click here to read and watch a video of his Dean's Address). He is rated "AV-Preeminent" by Martindale Hubbell, recognized as a Super Lawyer, and a Best Lawyer. He is also given a rating of "10-Superb" by Avvo.
In Anne Arundel County, the Maryland State Police patrol Route 50 from the county line to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Anne Arundel County Police patrol Route 50 and other locations throughout the county. Annapolis also has its own police force that stop people frequenting the numerous restaurants and watering establishments in the downtown area and along the shore. Cases also arise out of the Maryland Live Casino, and County Police also patrol the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, which is under concurrent state and federal jurisdiction in Anne Arundel County, with the exception of the portion that crosses over land within Fort George G. Meade. Cases are heard either in the District Court Building on Rowe Boulevard in Annapolis or in Glen Burnie. The Circuit Court is located in downtown Annapolis, on Church Circle. Motor Vehicle Administration hearings are most typically held at the MVA on Harry Truman Boulevard, off of Riva Road.
When an officer stops someone who the officer has reason to believe has been drinking, he or she will typically require the driver to exit the car to perform standardized field sobriety tests. The three standardized field sobriety tests approved by the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) are the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test and the one leg stand test. Based on the driver's performance, the officer may offer the driver a preliminary breath test at the scene of the stop. Based on all of these tests, as well as any other observations made the officer, the officer may decide to arrest the driver. At the police station the driver is read a form that advises the driver of the license suspension penalties that result from failing the breath test or from refusing a breath test. In many cases, after the breath test process or refusal is complete the officer has the discretion to release the driver. In other cases, the officer may present the driver to a District Court Commissioner to determine conditions of release.
Before the initial consultation with a lawyer, clients may be sent extensive questionnaires to enable to lawyer to properly assess the case. In many cases, the driver may have a medical condition which the officer is confusing with signs of impairment by alcohol. At the consultation, the lawyer with review the events in detail, to determine the likely defenses at the MVA and in court. It is important to act quickly after an arrest, because if the driver wishes to contest a proposed suspension by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration for failing or refusing a breath test, a hearing request must be mailed with the required $150 fee, within 30 days from the arrest.
In court, and at MVA license suspension hearings, a lawyer may be able to challenge what the officer did or failed to do during the investigation. Although most DUI cases in Anne Arundel County (Annapolis or Glen Burnie) are resolved by means of a guilty plea, in most DUIs there is also no downside to taking the case to trial. Most judges impose no trial penalty, so the sentence, even if the defendant is found guilty, is rarely more harsh than the sentence imposed after a guilty plea. The State must establish a valid basis for the initial stop, for getting the driver out of the car to perform standardized field sobriety tests, for the arrest, and must establish compliance with all relevant procedures for the breath or blood test. The State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver is impaired by alcohol as opposed to other drugs and/or medications or medical conditions that can mimic the signs and symptoms of excessive alcohol use.
If the defense is successful and the court finds the defendant not guilty, all court and police records may be expunged. In court in Anne Arundel County, the typical sentence on a first offense where there is no accident or injuries, if found guilty, is probation before judgment. Offenders are usually placed on probation long enough to complete an alcohol education or treatment program and attend a MADD victim impact program (a one night meeting where offenders listen to drunk driving victims). Second offenders frequently serve a couple of weekends in jail.
At the administrative hearing, the driver faces a loss of license or privilege to drive for 45 days for a first test reading of .08 or more, and 90 days for a second or subsequent test, for 90 days for a for a first test reading of .15 or more, and 180 days for a second or subsequent test of .15 or more, and120 days for a first refusal and one year for a second or subsequent test. There are a number of defenses to the suspension that can be raised by a good lawyer.
Unfortunately, most lawyers in Anne Arundel County assume the case is too difficult to win in court or at the MVA and fail to challenge the State's case. Some lawyers never challenge the State's case. This can be a huge mistake since most DUI cases have issues that can be raised in defense, and with zero or very minimal penalty. In other words, the result of fighting and losing is rarely worse than just pleading guilty or not requesting a hearing at the MVA. So why would you want to choose a lawyer who will not fight your case? When interviewing a lawyer, you should ask if your lawyer intends to fight the case, and if not, why not.
If you need to be defended or represented in the Anne Arundel County courts and have been charged with a DUI or DWI, or any other traffic violations, call Leonard R. Stamm today to schedule a free consultation.
Leonard R. Stamm also has extensive experience representing individuals charged with criminal offenses in the District Court and Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. If you have been charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, assault, theft, malicious destruction of property, violation of probation, or any other criminal offense in Anne Arundel County, call 301-345-0122 today or click here for an online form to schedule a free consultation.
We represent clients throughout Anne Arundel County, Maryland including: Annapolis MD, Annapolis Junction, Arnold, BWI Airport area, Gambrills, Glen Burnie, Hanover, Jessup MD, Laurel, Linthicum, Millersville, Crofton Maryland, Crownsville, Davidsonville Maryland, Deale, Edgewater, Odenton, Pasadena, Riva, Severn and Severna Park Maryland.