A lot of people who are arrested on a first offense DUI in Maryland think that because it’s their first run in with the law, it may be better just to plead guilty and take the punishment. These same people often believe that if they fight back or defend against the charge, the punishment will be worse. There may be fear of retaliation by authority figures like prosecutors and police.
Fortunately, for the most part, this is not how the criminal justice system works. Your first step should always be to speak with an attorney. The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. are here to help you understand your rights and weigh your options. There may be times when pleading guilty makes sense. However, you should only do it once you’ve carefully assessed all of your options. Here are a few points to consider when making such an important decision.
Most people who are facing a criminal charge may believe they know all the evidence the government has. However, chances are the police have at some point or another lied or misrepresented the evidence they actually have. This isn’t unethical or wrong; it’s simply a police tactic that they are allowed to use.
For instance, police may claim they have you on video stumbling and slurring your speech. Have you seen the tape? They may claim another driver stopped and gave a full statement about how you were swerving all over the road and that’s why you were stopped. Have they provided you with that person’s name and a copy of the statement? An experienced attorney can help you properly request relevant evidence and determine whether the government’s case really is as h5 as they claim. Under Maryland’s complex discovery rules, you may be surprised just how forthcoming the prosecutor has to be with evidence.
Next, consider that the prosecutor is already well aware of all the potential lesser offenses that he or she could potentially use to reduce your penalties. Unless you know the sentencing rules, you could accidentally end up accepting a deal that has equally negative consequences.
Finally, just remember that pleading guilty to any crime, even a DUI, will have a lot of unexpected consequences. Yes, you will have court fines and possible other sentencing requirements, but here are some other things that will happen:
Once you are charged with a DUI, you need to consult an attorney immediately. This will help you get peace of mind and allow you to begin appraising your options. Call the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. in Maryland today to speak with a member of our firm about your case.
7310 Ritchie Highway, Suite 910
Glen Burnie, MD 21061
30 Corporate Center
10440 Little Patuxent Parkway,
Columbia, MD 21044