Maryland DUI/DWI question.
I don't have money for a lawyer which I have been assuming is around 3,000
All I want to know is what can expect? will I get the chance to plea to a lower charge? I have been reading about jail time but is that really a possibility?
addition info - I did not hit anyone, I did not crash and i'm also in college ( i don't know is that affects decisions)
3 attorney answers
Four new Maryland DUI laws have been added to the state statutes and will go into effect October 1, 2009.
The first law mandates a license suspension of one year for those persons convicted of a second-offense drunk driving in the state. This has long been a practice in various other states, but Maryland has typically had rather lax DUI laws.
The second law changes the criminality of drinking under the age of 21. If a person can be proved to be intoxicated and in possession of alcohol under the age of 21, "consumption" charges will be an option for law enforcement. This portion of the bill will also make it a criminal offense to provide alcohol to a minor.
A third law changes the number of times a person can receive Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) in a DUI offense. Now, a person will only be able to receive PBJ once in a 10-year period for a DUI-related offense.
Because you are a college student, you most likely will be considered indigent by the court and will be eligible for a public defender.
Your best chance of having this case reduced is to have an experienced Maryland DUI attorney handle your case.
DUI cases are extremely complicated and are best handled by attorneys who defend DUIs on a daily basis.
Do not attempt to represent yourself. If you cannot afford an attorney apply for a public defender.
If you cannot afford a lawyer one may be appointed for you by the court if you meet certain criteria.
You need to ask the Court for a Pauper Oath Affidavit where you list what property you have to make a determination if you should sell some of your property to hire an attorney.
Some courts will automatically appoint counsel for you if cannot afford an attorney and then others want to see if you qualify for an attorney.
Bottom line is that you cannot handle this yourself. Either hire and attorney or try and get one appointed because DWI's will affect your forever.
Take this very seriously.
If you have any further questions feel free to email me.