Ellicott City Maryland DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer
Ellicott City, Maryland is the county seat of Howard County, Maryland. The District Court and the Circuit Court for Howard County are both located in Ellicott City.
Leonard R. Stamm represents individuals charged in Ellicott City, Maryland with driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while impaired (DWI) by alcohol, and has been handling drunk driving cases in Ellicott City for over 30 years. 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.
A lawyer must carefully review all aspects of the action taken by the police officer, whether there was a valid basis for the stop, whether there is sufficient evidence to support requiring the driver to exit the car to perform standardized field sobriety tests, whether the field sobriety tests were properly administered and interpreted, and whether the information obtained, including a preliminary breath test, supported the decision 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 will 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 the things the officer did or failed to do in the investigation of the case. If the defense is successful and the court finds the defendant not guilty, all court and police records may be expunged. In court in Howard County, the typical sentence 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 may serve a couple of weekends in jail.
Unfortunately, most lawyers in Ellicott City 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 have been pulled over, stopped at a drinking and driving sobriety checkpoint, accused and/or charged with a DUI or DWI, failed a field sobriety test given by a police officer, given or refused a breathalyzer, or just have questions about fines and punishments that go along with DUI and DWI charges or other traffic or criminal related charges please contact Leonard R. Stamm for a free consultation.
We represent clients that have been pulled over for DUI or DWI or some form of drunk driving or driving while impaired charges by Maryland State Police and Howard County Police in Ellicott City, Maryland. If you need to be defended or represented for a drunk driving arrest in Ellicott City, Maryland, call 301-345-0122 for a free consultation.