Hyattsville Maryland DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer
Hyattsville, Maryland is located in Prince George's County Maryland. Redevelopment has changed the appearance of Route 1, south of East-West Highway, with many new shops and restaurants offering a wide variety of products and foods. Drunk driving charges filed by Maryland State Police and Prince George's County Police in the northern part of Prince George's County, and by Berwyn Heights Police, University Park Police, Riverdale Police, Greenbelt Police, and University of Maryland Police all end up in Hyattsville.
Leonard R. Stamm has been handling cases in Hyattsville for over 30 years. He is the author of Maryland DUI Law, the definitive book on drunk driving law in
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.
There are a couple of aspects of DUI defense in Prince George's County that are unique to Prince George's County. In the last couple of years, a high percentage of police officers in Prince George's County fail to appear in court on the trial date. This is particularly true in Hyattsville courtroom #4 where the major traffic cases are heard, although lately more officers have been showing up. Often, if the prosecutor cannot establish a good reason for the officer's failure to appear, they are forced to enter the case nolle prosequi - or drop the case. Even when the officer does appear in court, there are frequently problems with the case that require the prosecutor to offer a plea to a minor traffic offense. In other cases, it is possible to win an acquittal at trial.
Unfortunately, most lawyers in Hyattsville 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.
Cases that end as convictions in the District Court, and cases where the defendant has requested a jury trial, end up being transferred to the Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro. In Upper Marlboro, all cases transferred from the District Court go in front of Judge Vincent J. Femia for a status hearing prior to the trial date. If the case is a DUI, Judge Femia has a menu that he follows in determining a sentence. For a first offense the defendant may plead guilty to driving under the influence if the breath or blood test is greater than 0.08., or driving while impaired if the breath test reading is under .08 or the defendant refused to blow. The defendant receives a PBJ and one year of unsupervised probation and must pay a fine and costs. If that is not acceptable the client can request a court or jury trial.
If you need to be defended or represented in the Prince George's County courts and have been charged with a DUI or DWI, or any other traffic violations, call 301-345-0122 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 Prince George's
We represent clients that have been charged with DUI or DWI by Maryland State Police, Prince George's County Police, Berwyn Heights Police, University Park Police, Riverdale Police, Greenbelt Police or University of Maryland Police in Hyattsville, Maryland. Be represented by the criminal lawyer who wrote the book on Maryland DUI Law, literally. If you need to be defended or represented for a drunk driving arrest in Hyattsville, Maryland, call 301-345-0122 for a free consultation.