Maryland divorce law requires some divorcing spouses to undergo 12 consecutive months of legal separation before an absolute divorce can be granted. When you talk to a divorce lawyer in Glen Burnie or Severn, you can find out whether you may have grounds to divorce sooner than this or if you need a separation agreement. A legal separation is not the same as a divorce; separated spouses are still legally married . However, the separation agreement is still a legally binding document that can resolve the same issues that arise during a divorce, such as a child custody and property division.
During the 12 consecutive months of separation, the spouses must maintain separate residences and abstain from sexual relations with each other. If these conditions are breached, then the period of separation must begin again if the spouses are still intent on divorcing. There is no requirement to finalize the divorce; a legal separation may end in reunification.
Your initial meeting with your DUI attorney in Glen Burnie or Severn may take place while you are in custody or after you have been released. Since DUI cases are time-sensitive, it’s important to meet with your attorney as soon as possible. However, you should take a few minutes to prepare so that your attorney can thoroughly evaluate your case.
Create a Concise Summary
The stress of the arrest can make it difficult to think clearly and you may quickly begin to forget important details. It’s important to write down your side of the story promptly. Be completely honest in your summary of the events; being less than truthful with your lawyer can compromise the outcome of your case. Your attorney will need to know the key facts of the case, such as the reason the police officer pulled you over, the way you interacted with the officer, and the responses you gave to the officer’s questions.
Write Down Your Questions
The criminal justice system can be confusing for defendants. You may have questions about the potential penalties if you are convicted and you may be wondering about the next steps in the legal process. You might also be curious to know exactly how your lawyer plans to approach your case and what your chances are of securing a favorable outcome. Write down all of your questions in order of priority.
Make a List of Witnesses
Write down the full names and contact information of all parties involved with your case. This includes anyone else who was in the car with you and anyone you may have seen prior to getting in the car.
Consider Your Goals
You might think that the goal of a defendant in a DUI case would be obvious, but there are more outcomes to consider than the possibility of an acquittal. Many cases involve plea deals. A plea bargain would allow you to avoid a trial; you would agree to plead guilty in the hopes of having the charges reduced and getting a lesser sentence.
Personal injury cases such as commercial truck accidents can be quite complex. After a crash occurs, it’s important to contact a big rig accident lawyer serving Glen Burnie and Severn because statutes of limitations apply to filing a big rig accident lawsuit. Your lawyer will review the facts of the case and examine all available evidence to identify the parties that may be named as the defendants. In a case that involves a big rig accident , it is not unusual to have multiple defendants.
Truck drivers are frequently named as the defendants in big rig accident lawsuits. To hold a truck driver liable, your attorney must prove that he or she breached a duty to exercise reasonable caution while behind the wheel. Negligence can come in many forms, such as using illicit recreational substances or consuming alcohol before operating a truck. Taking legitimately prescribed medications might even constitute negligence if those medications are known to cause delayed reaction times and impaired judgment. A truck driver might also be found negligent if he or she operated the truck in an unsafe manner, such as by speeding, failing to merge into traffic safely, failing to navigate intersections safely, or otherwise violating traffic rules. Driver distraction is a major problem on the nation’s roadways and truck drivers are not immune to it. Even professional drivers may give in to the temptation to use a cellphone while driving or otherwise engage in distracting activities.
Commercial transportation is an inherently dangerous industry. Because of this, truck drivers and the companies that employ them are required to adhere to strict safety standards. If a trucking company violates those standards, the truck accident lawsuit may name that company as a defendant, perhaps in addition to the truck driver. In these types of personal injury cases, a truck driver’s logbook is often a key piece of evidence. The logbook may establish that the truck driver failed to take the required breaks, perhaps because of the company’s policies on timely deliveries and pick-ups.
Another possible defendant is the manufacturer of the truck or any of its parts. Big rig accidents may be caused by defective brakes, tires, or other components. For the safety of everyone on the roadway, it’s essential that commercial trucks are in good working order.
Sobriety Test DUI Lawyers in Severn, MD
Being pulled over by a police officer and undergoing a sobriety test is never a pleasant experience. The Law Offices of William C. Trevillian represent clients who have failed a sobriety test in Severn, MD. Our DUI lawyers know that field sobriety tests and blood alcohol tests are very different. If an officer pulls you over in Maryland on suspicion of driving under the influence, they may ask you to walk heel-to-toe in a straight line, stand on one foot while counting, or perform similar tasks. These field sobriety tests are designed to make people fail, and entirely sober people often fail them because they are nervous or not used to performing such tasks. Field sobriety tests are used to gather evidence to be used against you during DUI proceedings. The good news is that drivers can refuse to take field sobriety tests without fear of additional legal penalties or other consequences, and our attorneys represent clients who have been charged with failing a sobriety test. Learn more and get in touch with us today for a free consultation.
Common Reasons for Failing a Field Sobriety Test
Because field sobriety tests are easy to fail even when you are sober, and there is no legal mandate that drivers consent to them, our DUI lawyers typically advise our clients against taking these tests. If you do consent to a field sobriety test and fail it, it will only serve as further evidence against you in court. Saying no to a field sobriety test will not result in a field sobriety test penalty. Police officers will perform field sobriety tests in accordance with the manual from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Some of the many reasons you may perform poorly on a field sobriety test include:
- Physical disabilities
- Medical conditions
- Effects of prescription medication
What Happens if You Perform Poorly on a Field Sobriety Test?
You are innocent until proven guilty, and performing poorly on a sobriety test does not necessarily result in a guilty verdict. An experienced and aggressive DUI attorney from The Law Offices of William Trevillian can help you fight against your allegations. You might be able to show why you performed poorly due to a preexisting condition and attack the reliability of the tests.
Failing a Field Sobriety Test May Lead to a DUI Arrest
Police need probable cause to lawfully arrest you for a DUI. The evidence that the police need to prove you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating your vehicle is often a field sobriety test. There are three standardized tests that are said to be accurate predictors of a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) according to the NHTSA. Those tests are the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), walk and turn, and one-leg stand. Failing one of these tests is supposed to indicate that you likely have a BAC of at least 0.1%, which makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle. Poor performance on an FST test can give an officer probable cause to arrest you for driving under the influence.
How Failed Sobriety Tests Can Lead to DUI Convictions
As a driver, how you perform during a field sobriety test can become a factor at your DUI trial. In every state, including Maryland, drivers can be convicted for DUIs if they have a BAC above the legal limit or were impaired by drugs or alcohol. The prosecutors must prove your BAC or impairment at the DUI trial. The prosecution typically proves BAC by using blood or breath test results. While failed field sobriety tests can be relevant to providing a BAC level, they are commonly used in DUI trials when the prosecution is trying to prove actual driving impairment. The arresting officer may testify in court about how you as a driver performed on your tests. In other cases, the prosecutor can show the jurors a video of you performing your field sobriety tests.
Field Sobriety Tests in Maryland
Being pulled over driving in Severn or Anne Arundel County can be a scary situation. The state of Maryland has an implied consent law as it relates to undergoing preliminary breath tests if you are stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence. However, there is no penalty if you refuse to submit to a field sobriety test. These tests are completely voluntary, and there will be no penalty against your license or in court.
Get Your Free DUI Consultation Today
The experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of William Trevillian are here to help if you’ve been charged with a DUI or failed a field sobriety test. Our criminal, family, and personal injury attorneys can represent you in many areas, including bankruptcy, DUI and DWI, car accident injuries, probate and estate, workers’ compensation, and more. Contact us today to request a free consultation so we can get started on your case.