How to Deal with a DUI or DWI, From Start to Finish

It’s a very difficult situation if you find yourself or a loved one arrested for a DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated). While it’s a situation that no one wants to find themselves in, unfortunately, it can happen. While it’s vital to make sure you seek counseling and therapy throughout the entire process to make sure you’re dealing with it properly, it’s also important to take care of the legal aspects, which can be very daunting. To help make an already difficult time easier, Jack J. Schmerling is here to provide advice on how to proceed after a DUI or DWI.

What To Do After a DUI or DWI

Police officers can generally use three methods to determine if you’ve had too much to drink. They can observe you and pull you over if your driving is suspicious; they can ask you to perform a sobriety test, such as performing balance or speech tests; or they can also measure your blood-alcohol level. You can refuse taking a chemical test at a DUI or DWI stop, but this generally means implied consent. This states that refusal could lead to suspension of your license for between 3 to 12 months, even if you’re eventually found not guilty. Do note that if the case goes to trial, this could lead jury members to believe you refused because you actually were intoxicated or under the influence.

Sometimes you’ll have to appear for an arraignment, a court appearance where you’re formally charged and asked to respond by entering a plea. You’ll be asked to plead either guilty or not guilty. Having an attorney at this stage is usually unnecessary; you can always change your plea later. You can usually insist on a jury trial as well, and you should deny convictions so your attorney can challenge their validity later.

It’s difficult to defend a drunk driving charge, since it involves a keen understanding of scientific and medical concepts. Hiring a lawyer who has a specialty in these cases is paramount to making sure you receive effective legal counsel. If the police don’t have physical evidence, it’s possible an attorney could plea your case to what’s called a “wet reckless”; while it doesn’t sound as bad as a DUI, it tends to carry the same fines and penalties.

After being released, your options include pleading guilty, asking for a trial before a judge, or trying to plea bargain. Consulting with your lawyer is strongly recommended. You will understand if it’s best to fight the charge or plea bargain, and much of this depends on your recorded blood alcohol level. No matter what route you want to take, getting an attorney is in your best favor to make sure you can navigate the legal field of life after a DUI or DWI.

How Do I Proceed?

To help you proceed in the difficult time after you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI or DWI, please get in touch with us at Jack J. Schmerling, Attorney at Law. Throughout Glen Burnie, MD, we’re available for legal counsel. For a free evaluation, call us today at (410) 988-4956.

Defining Personal Injury and When to Call a Lawyer

In the case that you find yourself injured or hurt and it’s likely due to someone else, you may find yourself wondering what the proper course of action is. Do you deserve restitution or compensation? Is a lawyer necessary? Or should bygones be bygones? It’s often a difficult field to navigate, and knowing how to proceed can be tricky. Jack J. Schmerling, Attorney at Law understands just that, so today we’ll define what personal injury and provide some guidelines on when to call a lawyer.

What is Personal Injury?

Personal injury law exists to cover situations where one’s body, mind, or emotions are hurt. It’s usually because of another party’s negligence or carelessness. This includes wrongful death, and another name for personal injury law is tort law. Some kinds of personal injury cases include car accidents, dog bites, injuries from explosives or chemicals, or injuries to one’s reputation by defamation. Emotional and mental health can also be included: such as the deliberate infliction of emotional distress, or as a byproduct from a physical injury.

Personal injury usually involves negligence, which happens when the defendant didn’t meet their legal duty of care and the plaintiff was then injured. Strict liability can be applied in certain cases; which means the defendant who harms the plaintiff is responsible, how careful the defendant was notwithstanding. However, this is limited to certain cases, such s consumer product liability claims.

When Is It Necessary To Call a Lawyer?

When it comes to filing a claim, it’s in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer. The attorney will represent you and make sure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation entitled. There are a few cases where hiring a lawyer is unnecessary, such as when it’s a non-serious injury, or where liability has been admitted. However, it’s wise to always get a free consultation to have your case evaluated. Your case will be much more successful if there’s documentation and proof. This could be receipts, doctor’s notes, medical bills, and other items that can help document the proof of the sustained injury and incurred expenses.

A lawyer is also often necessary if you’re suffering emotionally or mentally, as it becomes more difficult to navigate the legal waters then. You should also contact an attorney if you suffer from injuries after some time, but were not immediately or readily noticed. In these cases, it’s wise to have legal counsel to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of. The terminology can often be confusing: assumed risk, incurred risk, arbitration, etc. It’s easy to get lost and lose perspective in an emotionally-charged situation like this, which is why it’s wise to call a lawyer as soon as possible.

How Do I Get in Touch?

At Jack J. Schmerling in Glen Brunie, MD, we’re glad to offer our assistance in the case of personal injury. With years of experience, we can guarantee that we will provide the best help possible so that you receive the compensation you deserve. To get in touch with us, don’t hesitate to call us at (410) 988-4956 today.