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Contact us 410-541-6DUI (384) Email us info@gklinelaw.com For nearly two decades, I have been representing individuals and businesses in courts throughout Maryland. I have helped my clients with a wide variety of legal matters.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Your Right to An Attorney When Arrested For A DUI is Limited

Recently, Maryland's highest court ruled that the denial of your right to consult with an attorney before deciding whether "To Blow Or Not To Blow" will not prevent the Motor Vehicle Administration from suspending your license.

In the case MVA v. Deering, the Maryland Court of Appeals stated "Even if a suspected drunk driver is denied the opportunity to consult counsel before deciding whether to take the breath test and might have a test refusal or a test result excluded from evidence in a criminal case, the driver may not avoid the automatic administrative license suspension."

Ms. Deering was arrested for suspected drunk driving and was taken to the local police station.  This station lacked the equipment to give the breathalyzer test required by statute and took any drunk driving suspect to the closest Maryland State Police barracks.  Given the limited time that officers have to give the breathalyzer test, the local police refused Ms. Deering's request to speak with an attorney.  The court noted that other similar requests were also denied.

With recent changes in the law, the decision whether to take or refuse the breathalyzer test (which I discuss in detail here) is more critical than ever.  Having a consultation with counsel before making this decision can save you from making the wrong choice.  However, as the Court notes, time is extremely limited and the police simply can refuse to allow you to contact an attorney.

The key is to be prepared.  Keep our firm's number 410-541-6DUI [410-541-6384] handy or program it into your phone.  We are available to answer your calls anytime and often take calls late at night and on the weekends when arrests often occur. Call as soon as you can and insist that you be given an opportunity to contact an attorney.  Even if a denial to consult counsel does not affect the suspension of your license, it can help you in a criminal prosecution.