Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How A DUI / DWI Arrest Can Affect Your Future

A Baltimore based criminal defense, DUI/DWI defense, Personal Injury Attorney. 
Former Assistant State’s Attorney who has handled thousands of DUI & DWI cases for Marylanders.

A DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or DWI (Driving While Impaired) arrest and conviction will haunt any driver for the rest of their life, and if that drunk driver causes an accident that injures himself or kills another, the consequences can be devastating.

One of the most important affects a DUI or DWI can have on an individual is the social embarrassment that comes along with the arrest.  Your friends and family will find out that you have been arrested for DUI or DWI and pass immediate judgment on your character.  If the drunk driver has to pay for an attorney or take a day off work for court, they’ll be asked questions, and eventually the truth will come out.  Clients express on a regular basis their embarrassment for their actions to their attorney and to the Court when they appear before the Judge.  In most cases that embarrassment will prevent further risky behavior that could lead to a second DUI or DWI arrest.

If the DUI or DWI arrest leads to an accident that injures or kills another, the local media will typically pick up on the story and the drunk driver will have to deal with the public admonishment for his actions.  Family member will always remember your actions and that may cause friction among the household for your DUI or DWI arrest.  In addition, children of the drunk driver will often feel unsafe or harbor sentiments of hatred for their parent who committed the offense.

DUI or DWI arrests can affect your ability to obtain housing in the form of rental property.  Landlords are savvy enough to run a simple background check on potential renters.  In Maryland, a check of the Maryland Judiciary Case Search can reveal the arrest and outcome of the court proceedings.  In addition, landlords will ask potential renters if they have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime or traffic offense.   If you don’t tell the landlord at the outset, then they could use that application denial as grounds for terminating your lease at a future date.

If you plan on renting a vehicle in the future, the car rental companies may complete a background check and find the DUI or DWI conviction.  Those rental companies have the right to refuse a rental out of concern that a person is an unsafe driver.

One of the most unending affects can be on your current or potential employment opportunities.  Employment can be affected if you receive a DUI or DWI arrest and conviction in many ways.  If driving a company vehicle is required, then most employers will not allow employees who have received a DUI or DWI conviction to operate their company vehicle.  Employers must maintain insurance on their company vehicles and most insurance companies will not allow an employer to permit an employee that has a DUI or DWI conviction to drive a company vehicle.  For that reason, employment opportunities may be limited to convicted drunk drivers.  In addition, most employers see drunk driving convictions as an indicator that the potential employee is a risk and may hire the next person in line, even if the drunk driver is the best hire.

For these reasons, and many others, it is imperative that individuals arrested for drunk driving hire a DUI/DWI defense lawyer to handle your case.   Contact G. Randolph Rice, Jr., with the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC to schedule your free DUI/DWI consultation.

In Maryland, there are two parts to every DUI/DWI case; the MVA consequences and the criminal prosecution.

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will suspend a drunk driver’s license for a refusal to submit to the breath or blood test or for a blood alcohol test result of .08 or higher.  Effective assistance by a trained DUI/DWI Maryland lawyer can increase ones chances of maintaining their right to drive.

When the alleged drunk driver appears in Court, that driver is facing criminal penalties of up to one (1) year in jail for the first time DUI conviction and penalties of $1,000.00

If you would like to know how to handle a DUI/DWI arrest of how to handle a traffic stop in Maryland, view our DUI/DWI Glovebox Guide.

If you have been arrested or charged with DUI/DWI, contact DUI/DWI Attorney G. Randolph Rice, Jr., at 410.288.2900 and visit for more information.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

How to beat a DUI or DWI in Maryland?

How to Beat a DUI in Maryland

Every so often I am asked by clients: How do I beat a DUI/DWI in Maryland?  Well, there is no beating a DUI or DWI in Maryland.  It is merely a matter of what kind of penalty do you want to face.  There are two parts to a DUI/DWI case: the MVA consequences (ie, loss of license, suspended license) and the criminal proceedings.

You will want to hire a DUI/DWI attorney to handle your case, don't try to represent yourself.

When a police officer observes a vehicle and driver that he believes is driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI), that officer has to have reasonable articulable suspicion ("RAS") to conduct a traffic stop.  RAS is a Court created term that means the officers can reasonably articulate what traffic violation is being committed to warrant a traffic stop.  For example, if the officer observes the vehicle swerving, speeding, or committing one of the thousands of traffic violations in the State of Maryland, he has the RAS to conduct a traffic stop.  Once an officer observes a traffic violation, then he has the right to conduct a traffic stop, even if the driving action does not indicate that the person is under the influence or impaired.

Now that the police officer has conducted a traffic stop, the only requirement for a Maryland driver is to provide license, registration, and insurance information. You don't have to answer any questions or perform any tests.  What the police officer is looking for is evidence in the form of your actions to put into the police report.  This is some evidence that you cannot avoid, odor of alcohol, glassy eyes, or condition of your clothing.  But even a driver who fumbles with his documents can be used as evidence.  Now remember, the officer can also use your driving style or the manner is which you were driving the vehicle as evidence as well. When that officer goes to Court, the State's Attorney has to have enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your were driving under the influence or impaired, so the more the officer observes, the more the State has to prove their case.

Thus, if a driver provides less evidence to the officer, then the State will have a harder time proving their case.   So, you don't have to answer any questions or perform any tests, and if you know you are under the influence or impaired, you can surrender to the officer and politely state that you do not wish to take any tests or answer any questions.  What will happen next is the officer will arrest you and transport you to the precinct for further investigation and you will probably a day or night in jail.

Once at the police station, you will be asked to sign a form DR-15.  This advises drivers arrested under the suspicion of DUI or DWI the MVA consequences of not taking any tests.  If your refuse the blood or breath tests, then one less piece of evidence the State will have.

Now on to the MVa consequences, if you refuse to take the tests, your license is going to be suspended.  For a first time refusal, you will receive a suspension for 120 days.

Therefore, if you have provided little evidence to the State, you may have the ability to challenge the DUI/DWI charges in Court and not face Court probation, fines, or costs, or even jail.  But, you will suffer the MVA consequences of  a suspension of your license.

If you have been arrested for a DUI or DWI in Maryland, contact our office at 410.288.2900 to discuss your options.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Baltimore County poker: Police bust illegal poker game in Edgemere -

Baltimore County poker: Police bust illegal poker game in Edgemere - If you are in need of a Edgemere Attorney to handle your arrest for illegal gambling, contact the law office of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC at 410.288.2900. Providing experienced legal advise from a former assistant state's attorney. Don't go to Court alone, make sure you have a top rated Criminal Defense Attorney advising you.

St. Joseph Medical Center Stent Lawsuit

We are still accepting clients for a FREE review by our cardiologist regarding their St. Joseph Stent.  Visit our St. Joseph Stent Lawsuit Website at or call the office at 410.288.2900 to have out Stent Packet sent to your home and complete in the privacy of your own home.

What happens in Maryland if you Receive a Traffic Ticket?

Effective January 1, 2011, motorists in the State of Maryland that receive a minor traffic citation, such as speeding, must request a trial date within 30 days if they want to contest the citation or request a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ).  The new law does not affect motorists that receive a “must appear” citation, such as driving while suspended or drunk driving violations.

Under the old law, Maryland motorists were assigned a trial date in the District Court for all traffic citations.  This often led to many motorists failing to appear for Court and police officers attending unneeded hearings.  Law enforcement and state government hope that the new law will reduce the amount of time police officers spend in Court and more time spent on the street.

Under the new law motorists must file, within 30 days, a written request for a hearing to contest the traffic citation.  Motorists still have the option of paying the traffic ticket, usually within 30 days from the date of the traffic stop.  If the citation is not paid within the prescribed time frame, the driver’s license may be suspended.

If motorists choose to contest the traffic citation, they will be assigned a trial date and must appear in the District Court for the jurisdiction where the citation was issued.  At the hearing, drivers will still have the option of contesting the citation by trial, or pleading guilty with an explanation.  Drivers can request the Court grant them the benefits of a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) or reduction in fine.   Probation before Judgment in the State of Maryland is not recognized as a finding of guilt and therefore MVA points will not be assigned to the driver’s record.

Other laws that took effect on January 1, 2011, include an increase in the minimum amount of required security for motor vehicles for the payment of bodily injury or death resulting from a motor vehicle accident from $20,000 to $30,000 for one person and from $40,000 to $60,000 for two or more persons.  Also, increasing from $10,000 to $15,000 the maximum amount in controversy in a civil action in which a party may not demand a jury trial.

If you wish to contest a traffic citation, either through trial or want to request the benefits of a Probation Before Judgment, contact my office 24/7 at (410) 288-2900 to schedule a free consultation.

How to Handle a Traffic Stop in Maryland

New traffic laws took effect on October 1, 2010, including a law that prohibits drivers from using a cell phone without a hands free device.  The bill, introduced by Senator Norman Stone, and entitled the John Arnick Electronic Communications Traffic Safety Act of 2010 provides for a first offense fine of $40 and subsequent offense fines of $100.
So this month, I think it is appropriate to discuss some advice on how to handle a traffic stop.  Before the traffic stop:
1.      Don’t use your cell phone, purchase a hands free device and use it all the time;
2.      Don’t speed or drive recklessly;
3.      Signal and pull over quickly and safely;
4.      Roll down your window and turn off your vehicle;
5.      Wait for the officer to ask for your documents, don’t rummage through your car, this is suspicious;
6.      Stay in your vehicle unless instructed otherwise.
During the traffic stop:
1.      Treat the officer with courtesy and respect;
2.      Let the officer speak first, don’t be aggressive;
3.      Don’t incriminate yourself, never admit guilt;
4.      Don’t make excuses, lie or beg;
5.      You don’t have to answer any questions, simply tell the officer politely that you prefer to not answer any questions;
6.      If stopped for a DUI or DWI, there is not legal requirement that you submit to any field sobriety tests, you may politely refuse the request from the officer;
7.      You don’t have to give consent to any searches;
8.      Sign the tickets; refusal can result in more citations.
After the traffic stop:
1.      If you’re arrested, remain cooperative;
2.      If you’re arrested for a DUI or DWI, you are lawfully obligated to submit to a breath or blood chemical test.  If you refuse to submit to a test, the first time your license will be suspended for 120 days and one (1) year for a second of subsequent offense.  If you submit to a test and your alcohol concentration is at least 0.08 but less than 0.15, the suspension will be for 45 days for first offense and 90 days for your second or subsequent offense.  For test results of 0.15 or more, the suspension for a first offense will be 90 days and second or subsequent offense will be for 180 days.
3.      You don’t have to answer any questions, you can remain silent;
4.      Hire an Attorney Immediately. If you’ve been issued citations, contact me immediately 24/7 at 410.288.2900 to ensure that you maintain your license and reduce any MVA penalties;

Maryland Legislature Working on Cell Phone Laws

The Maryland Legislature is working on re-writing the current cell phone laws in the state of Maryland.  Currently, using a cell phone in Maryland is a secondary offense, which means a police officer cannot make a traffic stop based on that violation.  Instead, the Maryland politicians want to make it a primary offense and allow law enforcement to stop you for using your cell phone.