Written by attorney Ross Wesley Albers

Do I have to plead guilty?

Everyone that is arrested for a DUI in Maryland, especially in Carroll County and Howard County, are worried about their criminal record. During a free consultation, our office discussions all the possible outcomes and scenarios that might apply to your drunk driving case. Including, pleading not guilty and taking your case to trial.

Pleading guilty or taking your DUI case to trial Many clients ask: “Do I have to plead guilty?” Just because you have been arrested for driving under the influence doesn’t mean you have to plead guilty. Many people are surprised to learn that do not have to plead guilty.

For a first time DUI offender, if you plead guilty, or are found guilty after a trial, your sentence is going to be very similar, and in some cases may be the same.

A lot of DUI lawyers and clients are worried about a “trial tax.” Meaning, turning down the State’s Attorney’s offer to plead guilty, going to trial, losing, and getting a worse outcome.

Sometimes the “trial tax” is not necessarily a worse sentence, like jail time, but being found guilty of the underlying traffic citations. For example, if you go to trial then you could be convicted of the DUI charges and other traffic citations. If you plead guilty to a DUI, typically, the State’s Attorney’s Office will dismiss the remaining charges as part of the plea agreement.

So, the “trial tax” could be additional fines for the underlying traffic citations, or maybe the judge doesn’t give you a PBJ on those charges and you get the MVA points.

The decision to plead guilty or go to trial is a personal decision you have to make with the guidance of your attorney. Remember, you do not have to plead guilty. There are many DUI defenses: you can take your case to trial and attempt to suppress a lot of the State’s evidence. For example, you can challenge the stop, the field sobriety tests, and the breathalyzer test.

If you are interested in taking your case to trial and not pleading guilty, contact the Law Office of Ross W. Albers to discuss the details of your case with us.

Schedule a free Maryland DUI consultation today! The Law Office of Ross W. Albers is a member of the National College for DUI Defense. Maryland DWI Lawyer Ross W. Albers was selected by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Criminal Defense: DUI.

Contact the Law Office of Ross W. Albers today to schedule a free consultation. Evening and weekend appointments are available.

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