DRUNK DRIVING/DUI / DWI & Traffic Representation

Free Initial Consultation. Reasonable Fees with Payments Plans

DRUNK DRIVING ARRESTS CAN INVOLVE MANY POTENTIAL HEARINGS
When you are charged with a traffic offense or a DUI/DWI, Driving While Intoxicated, Driving While Impaired, Driving Under The Influence or License Suspension,you must be represented by an attorney experienced in traffic matters.  Drunk Driving/ DUI/DWI attorney Marc Atas represents clients with remarkable skill and dedication. Marc Atas has built a reputation for excellence.
After an arrest for Drunk Driving, there are numerous court appearances:

  • Bail review
  • arraignment
  • motor vehicle hearing for a refusal to take the breathalyzer
  • jury trial or court trial
  • sentencing
  • appeals
  • Motor Vehicle hearing for points

THERE ARE MANY LEGAL DEFENSES TO A DRUNK DRIVING CASE.
As an experienced DUI/DWI attorney Marc Atas knows the criminal, DUI and traffic system. No matter what type of Drunk Driving violation you are charged with,or the facts of your case or evidence against you,you can count on Marc Atas to vigorously fight for you at every stage.Typical Drunk Driving defenses include:

  • illegal stop
  • lack of probable cause to arrest
  • attack on field sobriety tests
  • attack on validity of breathalyzer
  • exclusion of any statements given at scene
  • medical defenses
  • defective vehicle

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY OF DRUNK DRIVING?
If you are found guilty of Drunk Driving or just want to plead guilty, an experienced Drunk Driving/DUI/DWI attorney can be extremely effective in representing you at a sentencing hearing.Issues to be addressed include:

  • age
  • educational background
  • military status
  • any awards received
  • family status(married, single, children, dependents)
  • child support obligations
  • need to maintain driving privileges for school , work or family
  • character evidence, treatment counselor, sponsor
  • proof of any alcohol classes completed and Alcohol Anonymous meetings
  • collateral consequences from the offense including job loss, security clearances,ignition interlock, adverse effect on professional licenses, and the financial effect
WHAT HAPPENS AT A DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES HEARING

If you need to save your driver’s license or privileges, from suspension or revocation by The Department Of Motor Vehicles because of a Drunk Driving conviction, you should discuss with your Attorney immediately whether you should request a hearing with the  Department of Motor Vehicles or accept a ignition interlock. Failure to timely answer this question can result in suspension of your license. Contact Marc Atas immediately in order to protect your driving privileges.Defenses at an MVA hearing include:

  • Reasonable Grounds
  • Whether you ever drove after you drank
  • officers jurisdiction
  • no refusal to submit to breathalyzer
  • breath test error
  • insufficient breath

In conclusion,contact MARC ATAS AND ASSOCIATES for DUI, DWI , drunk driving , driving while suspended, serious traffic offenses, and motor vehicle administration hearings.
I Will Fight For You!

Top 10 Questions For Your Attorney

Let’s be honest: no one likes hiring a lawyer. It is considered by many to be a distasteful necessity of life. Contrary to popular belief, not all lawyers are the same. Asking these questions will help you select the right lawyer and, in the long run, save you a lot of aggravation and grief.

The questions below are from an October 1997 article in the Sacramento Business Journal and were designed to help you select the right lawyer and make your job easier.

  • What type of experience do you have?

    Although it’s nice to tell your friends and neighbors that your lawyer graduated No. 1 in his or her class from Harvard Law School, it will not be comforting when you are in court for the first time and you find out it’s the lawyer’s first time too!

    Obviously, it is important that the lawyer has passed the state bar exam and is properly licensed. However, there is no substitute for experience. Ask the lawyer how many similar cases he or she has handled. How long ago? What was the outcome? Get the specific details. If the lawyer doesn’t have experience, what will he or she do to get it? Is the lawyer willing to work with another experienced lawyer and learn? see attached article on how to choose an attorney

  • What is your specialty?

    Some lawyers limit their practice to a certain area, which is becoming more common because of all the rapid changes in laws. Determine if the lawyer specializes in the type of case you have. Furthermore, the state bar certifies lawyers in certain limited areas (i.e. family law, tax, and workers’ compensation). Determine from the lawyer whether a certification for your particular area of interest exists and whether the lawyer is certified.

  • What will it cost?

    One of the most common disputes between lawyers and clients involves fees. The main reason: poor communication. Ask, up front, what it will cost to handle your case.

    Get into the specific details. Ask if your first visit is free. Determine whether you will be billed for telephone conversations with the lawyer. Although it may be difficult for an attorney to predict exactly what the fee will be, an experienced lawyer should be able to give you an estimate or range.

    Ask about the billing policies. Will you pay an hourly fee, a fixed fee or a contingency fee? Ask about costs (i.e. filing fees, experts, court reporters, etc.), who will pay them and when. Also ask about whether the lawyer charges for copies, faxes, postage and long-distance telephone calls. If so, how much? If your matter will exceed $1,000, the lawyer’s fee agreement must be in writing. Make sure you carefully read the fee agreement before signing.

    Fees in a personal injury case.

  • What references can you provide?

    These include references from other lawyers, judges and especially clients. Past or present clients have valuable insight and knowledge about the lawyer and his services. Ask for client references and call them.

  • What is the policy on returning phone calls?

    Lawyers not returning calls on a timely basis is another complaint of disgruntled clients. Ask how quickly you can expect a return telephone call.

  • How long will my matter take to reach a conclusion?

    Ask about the process and how long each stage will take.

  • Will I be regularly updated?

    Another complaint from unhappy clients is that after retaining the lawyer, they never hear from him or her again except when they receive a bill. Ask whether you will receive copies of documents generated or received by the lawyer. Ask whether you will be advised of contacts made by your lawyer.

  • Who will handle my matter?

    If the lawyer works in a firm, determine who will be primarily responsible for your case. It is not unusual or unethical for a senior lawyer to oversee and supervise a junior lawyer handling a case. In fact, if your legal issue involves lengthy research, it may be more economical to have the work done by a junior attorney at a lower billable rate. However, ask so there are no surprises later.

  • Would handling my case involve a potential conflict with another client?

    If a potential conflict exists, you may have to continue looking for another lawyer. If the conflict is not significant, it may be possible to waive the conflict with your full written consent.

  • Do you have malpractice insurance?

    Under rules governing lawyers, the lawyer must advise you in writing whether she or he maintains malpractice insurance.

DUI and Traffic A to Z

Do you know what happens if you do not appear for traffic court? How about what will happen if you are caught driving on a suspended license? These questions and more may be running through your mind when the sirens go off, but after you’ve received the ticket, you have to deal with the matter at hand. Browse these simple, direct answers to your questions about traffic court and seek the counsel of an attorney for further assistance.

  • What happens when I am stopped by a police officer for driving under the influence (DUI)?

    In a typical situation a police officer pulls a vehicle over for erratic driving behavior or for violating a traffic law such as running a red light, speeding or failure to attach a front tag.

    At this point you have to make a decision. If you have had two drinks or less you may want to cooperate. If you have had more than two drinks you will probably be arrested for DUI whether you cooperate or not, so why help the State convict you.

    Once the police officer approaches the car, the police officer may smell an odor of alcohol. As the police officer approaches your vehicle he begins to make observations as to your sobriety and starts asking some questions to aid in determining if you qualify as a DUI or not.

    You are under no obligation to answer any of the questions the police officer asks regarding any drinking that you had done that evening. The only information you have to provide to the police officer is your license and registration and you owe the police officer no other obligation to answer any of the other questions.

    Once the police officer smells an odor of alcohol on your breath, the police officer will typically ask you to exit the car and ask you to do field sobriety tests. In Maryland there are three standard field sobriety tests, including horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk and turn test and finally the one leg stand test. There is no requirement that you do any of the field sobriety tests, however, I cannot remember the last time someone has refused unless they were too intoxicated to even perform the test. If you refuse to do the field sobriety tests, you will probably be arrested anyway, but it will make the State’s Attorneys job more difficult to prove that you were in fact driving while intoxicated when you go to court.

    If you take the field sobriety test and fail them, then the police officer will place you under arrest for driving under the influence and then taken back to police station where you will be asked to take a breathalyzer test. Under Maryland Law if you do not take the breathalyzer test then your drivers license may be suspended, however, the fact that you did not take the breathalyzer test is not admissible in the traffic court proceeding at the District Court level. If you take the breathalyzer test and fail it, meaning you getting a .07 or higher then there is a presumption that you were driving under the influence (DUI), when the case goes to a court hearing. If you have had one or two drinks you probably will pass the breathalyzer test and you should go ahead and take the breathalyzer test. If you have had more than two drinks, then you will need to weigh what is more important to you. If you do not take the breathalyzer test, then your license will probably be suspended by the Motor Vehicle Administration.

    However, if you take the breathalyzer test and fail the State’s case against you for DWI will be much easier to prove. If you are on a federal highway, like the Baltimore-Washington Parkway or federal property you do not have the right to refuse the breathalyzer test. After you take the breathalyzer test and blow a .07 or higher, then you will be taken before a court Commissioner who will then set a bail and release you on your own recognizance. If you cannot pay the bail, then you have a right to a bail review on the next available court date, at which time a District Court Judge will review your bail status and set a new bail. You have the right to have an attorney at the bail review and you also have the right to ask for an attorney before you decide to take the breathalyzer test. Once you are released from jail, your case will be scheduled for trial sometime in the next three to six months. Your trial will start out at the District Court level, unless you want a jury trial, then your case will be removed to the Circuit Court.

  • What typically happens when you go to traffic court in a DUI, DWI, Drunk Driving case?

    If it is your first offense, the best disposition in your particular case, other than a not guilty would be a probation before judgment. If you are found guilty in a driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired case you will automatically receive either 8 or 12 points from the Motor Vehicle Administration which could result in suspension or revocation of your drivers license.

    If you receive a probation before judgment and the court strikes the finding of guilty and places you on probation, then you do not receive any points from the Motor Vehicle Administration because it is not a guilty finding.

    Often, in a first offense, unless there are aggravating circumstances like an accident, the defendant can receive a probation before judgment and will receive a fine and will have to attend alcohol classes and may have to attend AA meetings. A typical probation can last anywhere from six months to two years.

    If the breathalyzer shows an extremely high reading like .15 or higher some judges are less likely to give you probation before judgement on your first offense and in some counties in Maryland might even consider jail time.

    If the DWI case involves an accident without injuries,judges are less likely to give you probation before judgement on your first offense and in some counties in Maryland might even consider jail time.

    If the DWI case involves an accident with injuries,judges are highly unlikely to give you probation before judgement on your first offense and in most counties in Maryland you will receive jail time.

    If there are passengers in your car at the time of the DWI and if any of the passengers are children,judges are less likely to give you probation before judgement on your first offense and in some counties in Maryland might even consider jail time.

    If drugs are found in your car as well as alcohol, judges are less likely to give you probation before judgement on your first offense and in some counties in Maryland might even consider jail time.

    For a second DWI or more, then the State’s Attorney usually asks for a period of incarceration, as well as larger fines and longer periods of alcohol programs. It is extremely important to have an attorney. An attorney will be able to explore any possible defense in order to avoid conviction in the first place and then if convicted the attorney can aid you in avoiding the harshest penalties.

DUI/DWI & Traffic Frequently Asked Questions

DUI Attorney Marc J. Atas has compiled a list of the most frequently asked DUI, DWI and Traffic related questions. If your question is not answered here, please feel free to contact us the question and we will be happy to answer it.

  • What happens when I am stopped by a police officer for driving under the influence (DUI)?

    In a typical situation a police officer pulls a vehicle over for erratic driving behavior or for violating a traffic law such as running a red light, speeding or failure to attach a front tag.

    At this point you have to make a decision. If you have had two drinks or less you may want to cooperate. If you have had more than two drinks you will probably be arrested for DUI whether you cooperate or not, so why help the State convict you.

    Once the police officer approaches the car, the police officer may smell an odor of alcohol. As the police officer approaches your vehicle he begins to make observations as to your sobriety and starts asking some questions to aid in determining if you qualify as a DUI or not.

    You are under no obligation to answer any of the questions the police officer asks regarding any drinking that you had done that evening. The only information you have to provide to the police officer is your license and registration and you owe the police officer no other obligation to answer any of the other questions.

    Once the police officer smells an odor of alcohol on your breath, the police officer will typically ask you to exit the car and ask you to do field sobriety tests. In Maryland there are three standard field sobriety tests, including horizontal gaze nystagmus, the walk and turn test and finally the one leg stand test. There is no requirement that you do any of the field sobriety tests, however, I cannot remember the last time someone has refused unless they were too intoxicated to even perform the test. If you refuse to do the field sobriety tests, you will probably be arrested anyway, but it will make the State’s Attorneys job more difficult to prove that you were in fact driving while intoxicated when you go to court.

    If you take the field sobriety test and fail them, then the police officer will place you under arrest for driving under the influence and then taken back to police station where you will be asked to take a breathalyzer test. Under Maryland Law if you do not take the breathalyzer test then your drivers license may be suspended, however, the fact that you did not take the breathalyzer test is not admissible in the traffic court proceeding at the District Court level. If you take the breathalyzer test and fail it, meaning you getting a .07 or higher then there is a presumption that you were driving under the influence (DUI), when the case goes to a court hearing. If you have had one or two drinks you probably will pass the breathalyzer test and you should go ahead and take the breathalyzer test. If you have had more than two drinks, then you will need to weigh what is more important to you. If you do not take the breathalyzer test, then your license will probably be suspended by the Motor Vehicle Administration.

    However, if you take the breathalyzer test and fail the State’s case against you for DWI will be much easier to prove. If you are on a federal highway, like the Baltimore-Washington Parkway or federal property you do not have the right to refuse the breathalyzer test. After you take the breathalyzer test and blow a .07 or higher, then you will be taken before a court Commissioner who will then set a bail and release you on your own recognizance. If you cannot pay the bail, then you have a right to a bail review on the next available court date, at which time a District Court Judge will review your bail status and set a new bail. You have the right to have an attorney at the bail review and you also have the right to ask for an attorney before you decide to take the breathalyzer test. Once you are released from jail, your case will be scheduled for trial sometime in the next three to six months. Your trial will start out at the District Court level, unless you want a jury trial, then your case will be removed to the Circuit Court.

  • What typically happens when you go to traffic court in a DUI, DWI, Drunk Driving case?

    If it is your first offense, the best disposition in your particular case, other than a not guilty would be a probation before judgment. If you are found guilty in a driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired case you will automatically receive either 8 or 12 points from the Motor Vehicle Administration which could result in suspension or revocation of your drivers license.

    If you receive a probation before judgment and the court strikes the finding of guilty and places you on probation, then you do not receive any points from the Motor Vehicle Administration because it is not a guilty finding.

    Often, in a first offense, unless there are aggravating circumstances like an accident, the defendant can receive a probation before judgment and will receive a fine and will have to attend alcohol classes and may have to attend AA meetings. A typical probation can last anywhere from six months to two years.

    If the breathalyzer shows an extremely high reading like .15 or higher some judges are less likely to give you probation before judgement on your first offense and in some counties in Maryland might even consider jail time.

    If the DWI case involves an accident without injuries,judges are less likely to give you probation before judgement on your first offense and in some counties in Maryland might even consider jail time.

    If the DWI case involves an accident with injuries,judges are highly unlikely to give you probation before judgement on your first offense and in most counties in Maryland you will receive jail time.

    If there are passengers in your car at the time of the DWI and if any of the passengers are children,judges are less likely to give you probation before judgement on your first offense and in some counties in Maryland might even consider jail time.

    If drugs are found in your car as well as alcohol, judges are less likely to give you probation before judgement on your first offense and in some counties in Maryland might even consider jail time.

    For a second DWI or more, then the State’s Attorney usually asks for a period of incarceration, as well as larger fines and longer periods of alcohol programs. It is extremely important to have an attorney. An attorney will be able to explore any possible defense in order to avoid conviction in the first place and then if convicted the attorney can aid you in avoiding the harshest penalties.

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