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DWI - Driving While Impaired in Maryland

In Maryland, DWI is considered a criminal traffic offense. The Maryland Vehicle Law Section 21-902(b) outlines the specifics of DWI charges. Essentially, it's illegal to drive or attempt to drive a vehicle while impaired by alcohol. This impairment is generally less severe than Driving Under the Influence (DUI), but still carries significant consequences.

Key Differences Between DWI and DUI

It's important to understand the difference between DWI and DUI. DWI is charged when a person's normal coordination is impaired to some extent by alcohol, whereas DUI is charged when alcohol substantially impairs a person's normal coordination.

The Legal Process and Potential Penalties

If charged with DWI, you'll be thrust into a legal process that can be overwhelming. The penalties for a first Driving While Impaired Charge are up to 60 days in jail, 8 points on a person's license, and a $500 fine. Failing to take adequate action ahead of Court can result in license suspension, and even jail time, especially if it's not your first offense or if a minor was present in the vehicle.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Having an experienced attorney is crucial. A skilled lawyer can navigate the complexities of your case, potentially reducing penalties or even achieving a case dismissal. Many people wonder... should I get a lawyer for my first DWI?. Yes, you should.

Frequently Asked Questions

What constitutes a DWI in Maryland?

In Maryland, if you are driving and your normal coordination is impaired to some extent due to alcohol consumption, you could be charged with DWI.

How is DWI different from DUI?

DWI involves lesser impairment than DUI. While DUI is charged for substantial impairment, DWI applies when the impairment is noticeable but not as severe.

What are the penalties for DWI?

Penalties include fines, points on your driving record, potential jail time, and license suspension. Repeat offenses lead to harsher penalties - up to ten years in jail for certain repeat offenders.

Why should I hire an attorney for a DWI charge?

An experienced attorney can provide crucial guidance, represent your interests, and possibly mitigate the penalties or challenge the charges.

The Impact of a DWI on Your Daily Life

Employment and Background Checks

A DWI conviction can have a lasting impact on your professional life. Many employers conduct background checks, and a DWI record could limit your job opportunities.

Auto Insurance Consequences

Following a DWI, you may face increased auto insurance rates or even policy cancellation.

Building a Strong Defense Strategy

Challenging the Evidence

Your attorney may question the accuracy of breathalyzer tests or the legality of the traffic stop. Each case has unique circumstances that could be pivotal in your defense.

Plea Bargaining

In some cases, plea bargaining can result in lesser charges or reduced penalties. An experienced lawyer can negotiate effectively on your behalf. Explore our Plea Bargains page for more details.

Conclusion

Navigating a DWI charge in Maryland can be challenging, but with the right legal assistance, you can effectively handle the situation. Our team is dedicated to providing the best possible defense and guidance throughout your case.

For a personalized consultation, reach out to us. To hear from those we've helped, visit our reviews page.