Scrofano Law PC:
Your Howard County DUI Lawyer

Are you looking for a Howard County DUI lawyer? Get in touch with Scrofano Law, PC today. We are ready to serve you.

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Howard County DUI Attorney

Have you or your loved one been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) in Howard County? DUI is a criminal offense that may lead to sentencing and harsh sanctions like jail time and driving restrictions. A DUI conviction carries consequences that can have a significant financial impact, including:

  • Fines

  • Court costs

  • Attorney and court fees

  • Alcohol treatment and counseling

  • High-risk insurance

A DUI offense occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Previous convictions and aggravating factors can further influence the seriousness of DUI charges. Therefore, it may be crucial to seek DUI lawyer help if you find yourself facing DUI charges.

Hiring a DUI lawyer can help mitigate the legal, personal, and financial consequences following an arrest. At Scrofano Law PC, our team has extensive experience in assessing DUI cases to develop effective defense strategies. Our Howard County DUI lawyers are dedicated to providing aggressive representation for defendants in court including the Howard County Courts.

How DUI Law Works in Howard County, MD

Under Maryland’s drunk driving law, § 21-902, driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or impaired by it can lead to DUI or DWI charges.

A DUI differs from a driving while impaired (DWI) charge in that a DUI charge involves a BAC of 0.08% or higher. On the other hand, DWI charges may not involve BAC levels of over 0.08%. DWI charges can occur if the driver’s ability to cautiously operate a vehicle is affected by alcohol consumption.

Law enforcement officers utilize standardized field sobriety tests to evaluate a driver’s impairment level. These standardized tests, commonly employed to support DUI charges, include the walk-and-turn test and the one-leg stand test.

In addition to field sobriety tests, law enforcement also employs various other methods to check for alcohol impairment while driving. This can include administering breathalyzer tests to measure the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or observing other indicators of impairment, such as slurred speech, erratic driving behavior, and the odor of alcohol. These measures help officers assess whether a driver is under the influence or impaired by alcohol while operating a vehicle.

DUI Administrative Hearings

During a drunk driving arrest, the officer may direct the driver to perform a breathalyzer test to determine the BAC level. If the driver refuses, the officer immediately takes their driver’s license and issues an Order of Suspension. The notification serves as a temporary driving permit valid for 45 days.

Defendants can challenge the Order of Suspension of their driving privileges. You can request a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) within 30 days. The hearing focuses on whether or not the driver’s license needs to be suspended. The duration of administrative driver’s license suspension can range from six months to two years, contingent upon factors such as blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels and any prior drunk driving offenses on the individual’s criminal record.

Ignition Interlock Program in Howard County

In Maryland, some drivers have access to the ignition interlock program, which enables them to retain their driving privileges. This program entails installing an ignition interlock device in any vehicle they operate.

The ignition interlock device is seamlessly integrated into the vehicle’s ignition system. Before starting the vehicle, the driver must blow air into the device. If the detected blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level exceeds the predetermined limit (typically 0.025), the vehicle will not start. Additionally, drivers may be required to provide breath samples randomly while driving to ensure continued sobriety.

This program serves as a proactive measure to prevent individuals with DUI convictions from operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, thereby enhancing road safety for all motorists.

Possible Penalties of DUI Convictions

Depending on the defendant’s criminal history, a court imposes punishments for a DUI. A first-time drunk driving conviction may incur penalties as follows:

  • Up to 1 year of incarceration

  • Up to $1,000 in fines

  • Up to 6 months of driver’s license revocation

  • Addition of 12 points to your driving record.

Second-time DUI offense may incur the following penalties:

  • Up to 2 years incarceration

  • Up to $2,000 in fines

  • Addition of 12 points to your driving record.

  • Up to 1 year of driver’s license revocation

  • 5-day mandatory minimum imprisonment term

Defenses Against Drunk Driving Charges

Anyone accused of DUI is considered innocent until proven otherwise. Therefore, defenses can be raised to challenge the accusations. Some of the potential defenses in DUI cases include:

  1. Unlawful Stop: For a lawful stop, an officer must have probable cause, witnessing a driver violating or attempting to violate the law. Stops based on mere hunches can render collected evidence inadmissible in court.
  2. Improper Procedures. Every step in the arrest process needs to be performed per lawful procedures. An officer failing to adhere to legal responsibilities could be raised as a drunk driving defense.
  3. Faulty Testing Equipment: Chemical tests for BAC levels are common, but improperly maintained or calibrated testing devices may yield inaccurate results, potentially impacting the validity of evidence presented in court.

How a Howard DUI Attorney Can Help

Individuals charged with DUI offenses may require the assistance of a DUI lawyer to safeguard their constitutional rights. DUI lawyers play a crucial role in guiding defendants through the intricate legal process. A Howard DUI lawyer offers invaluable legal support and advocacy every step of the way.

By carefully examining the evidence, a DUI lawyer identifies any vulnerabilities in the case, facilitating negotiations with the prosecutor to mitigate or dismiss charges.

An experienced DUI lawyer provides counsel on your legal entitlements and enlightens you on the possible repercussions of a conviction. They advocate for you in challenging DUI charges, striving for favorable outcomes.

Get Reputable Representation at Scrofano Law PC

Do you seek focused and tenacious defense for your drunk driving matter? At Scrofano Law PC, we have successfully handled DUI cases of varying complexities. Our Howard County DUI attorneys represent and advocate throughout your case. Our lawyers know how to plan, build, and present solid defenses for positive outcomes. Call our law offices today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a DUI lawyer.

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We fight for your rights!

Lysa S

Paolo Gnocchi is an excellent attorney. He offered sound advice and thoroughly explained the court process. If you are looking for professional representation and a reliable attorney that will advocate for you, Paolo is your guy. Joseph Scrofano and his team are all dedicated individuals. Hopefully I never need a criminal defense attorney again LOL, but if I do, Scrofano Law would be my choice!

David

Joe is amazing! Here’s the hard truth:

- 99% of cases that go court in DC end in convictions
- Last year there were 120 cases in DC and the conviction rate was 100%

Here is the good news, Joe represents people in DC and knows what he is doing! When I was charged with a crime that I didn’t commit, Joe went to work. Three years, a grueling court case, and one long battle later, I got to hear the words, “not guilty!” Joe didn’t just collect a retainer and show up on court date. He scrutinized every document in the case, subpoenaed the information he needed, and presented a perfect case of facts!

When you need someone that will fight for you and can actually win, Joe is the guy!!

Ryan K.

Paolo and this firm are top notch. They need to be thankful to have him on the team. Can’t put into words how amazing Paolo was and how thankful I am. He fought for me and succeeded. 5 stars!