A DWI arrest can be frightening. Learn what to expect when you’re arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated in Maryland and what you can do to protect your rights.
A Search of Your Person During A DWI
If you are under arrest, the officer will ask you to step out of your vehicle and will likely perform a pat-down to check for weapons and contraband, such as drugs or drug paraphernalia. You should never consent to get out of your vehicle unless the officer confirms you’re under arrest.
A Search of Your Car
Next, your vehicle will be searched, usually while you hang out on the side of the road. Or, if the police have enough evidence against you before searching your car, they may handcuff you and put you in the squad car first.
After you’ve been taken to the police station, you’re booked. This is where officers will obtain your identifying information, photograph, and fingerprints, and they may attempt to question you if you don’t have an attorney present yet.
Charges Are Filed
Charges are then filed against you, usually within 72 hours. You may have already posted bail by this time and if not, your attorney may have entered a writ of habeas corpus. A writ of habeas corpus allows you to be brought before the court and can determine if you are being held unconstitutionally. You have the right to a speedy trial and to be informed of the charges you face.
The last stage of the initial criminal proceedings is the arraignment. During the arraignment, your charges will be formally read to you and you’ll be given the opportunity to enter your plea; guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Then, your trial date will be set. At this time, you should have posted bail and already be out of jail.
Charged with a DWI in Maryland? Call Today
If you were charged with driving while intoxicated in Maryland, it’s important that you take action as soon as possible. The above criminal proceedings are just the start of the process; you need someone on your side who can walk you through each step of your trial.
Richard Brueckner is an experienced DWI attorney who is dedicated to providing his clients with compassionate, comprehensive legal support when they need it most. Don’t wait after being arrested to contact a lawyer. Call now to book your consultation at (410) 430-1464.