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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do I need to hire a lawyer for my DUI? - Yes. An experienced lawyer can greatly assist you understand the charges, defenses, criminal and administrative consequences, and help navigate the judicial system. You want a lawyer who will fight for you, knows the law, and knows the system.
  • Do I have the right to a jury trial for my DUI? - It depends. In Maryland, a person charged with a traffic or criminal offense that carries more than 90 days in jail typically has the right to a jury trial. If you are charged under Transportation Article § 21-902(a) for driving under the influence, the maximum penalty is one (1) year in jail and you have the right to a jury trial. If you are only charged under Transportation Article § 21-902(b) for driving while intoxicated, the maximum penalty is 60 days, and you do not have the right to a jury trial, unless you are in the circuit court on a de novo appeal.
  • What is the best and worst case scenario for my DUI? - For first offenders, driving under the influence of alcohol under Transportation Article § 21-902(a)(1) carries a maximum penalty of one (1) year in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine, as well as 12 points on your Maryland driver’s license and the possibility of a revocation of your driver’s license. For first time offenders, this is the worst case scenario. The best case scenario depends on the particular facts of the case, priors, case specific defenses, and affirmative mitigation steps taken before going to court. The best case scenario may include acquittal, or probation before judgment with a period of probation, fine, and no points on your driver’s license.
  • Will my license get suspended if I get a DUI? - The Maryland Transportation Article and DR-15 Advice of Rights form you received from the police officer lay out the potential administrative sanctions associated with a DUI. If you submitted to the chemical test, and the test result is an alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 but less than 0.15, your driver’s license will be suspended for 45 days for a first offense, and 90 days for a second or subsequent offense. If your test result is an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more, your driver’s license will be suspended for 90 days for a first offense, and 180 days for a second or subsequent offense. If you refuse to submit to a test, the suspension will be for 120 days for a first offense, and one (1) year for a second or subsequent offense. There are exceptions to the general rules, which is why you should consult an experienced DUI attorney. For example, if the test result was between 0.08 and 0.15, the suspension may be modified or a restrictive license issued at a hearing. This MVA hearing, however, must be requested within 30 days of the date of the Order of Suspension. I highly recommend consulting an experienced Maryland DUI attorney as soon as possible after the stop to determine the options.
  • Can a preliminary breath test be used against me in court? - No. Under Transportation Article § 16-205.2(c), the results of a preliminary breath test administered at the scene of the stop shall be used as a guide for the police officer in deciding whether to make an arrest for a DUI, but may not be used as evidence in court by the State. Do I have the right to talk to a lawyer before I decide whether to submit to the breath or blood test? Yes. The Maryland Court of Appeals in Sites v. State, 300 Md. 702, 481 A.2d 192 (1984) determined that individuals suspected of drunk driving have a Fourteenth Amendment due process right to consult with an attorney, either on the phone or in person, to help decide whether to submit to the breath or blood test. This right is important as the administrative sanctions for a refusal include a 120 day suspension of your driver’s license for a first offense, and/or a one (1) year disqualification of your commercial driver’s license.

  • What if I wasn't "driving"? - You may have a defense. In Atkinson v. State, 331 Md. 199, 627 A.2d 1019 (1993), the Maryland Court of Appeals recognized the “shelter doctrine.” As a matter of public policy, we want to encourage potentially intoxicated individuals who cannot safety operate a motor vehicle to use their vehicle as a shelter to sleep off the intoxication. Whether the individual was in actual physical control of their vehicle will depend on a number of factors, including without limitation, whether the vehicle’s engine is running, whether the ignition is on, where the person is found in their vehicle, whether they are awake, where the car key is located, whether the headlights are on, and where the vehicle is located on the roadway. In Thomas v. State, 277 MD. 314, 353 A.2d 256 (1976), the Maryland Court of Appeals reversed Thomas’ conviction for a DUI because Thomas was not driving. The Court stated, “When the day arrives, however, when a person may be convicted upon the basis of suspicion only, liberty will have vanished from the land.” Contact my firm today to determine whether you have a potential defense to your DUI.

  • What is the standard for a DUI arrest? - The police officer must have probable cause that you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs to arrest an individual for a DUI. This decision should be based on the officer's initial observation of the vehicle in operation, the officer's observation of the stop, the officer's observation of the individual's exit from the vehicle, the officer's face to face interview, standardized field sobriety test results, and a preliminary breath test.

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  • Perfect is the only thing I can say

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  • Great Lawyer!

    “Whew, I was really worried. He did a wonderful job in court and reduced my BIG speeding ticket. I highly recommend Mark Scheuerman.”

    Frank Grassi

  • Mark works great!

    “Mark G Scheuerman is friendly and shows that he honestly cares for his clients and that its not about the money. A lot of my other experiences with lawyers have left me feeling like they just wanted to get in your pockets, Mark doesn't give you that feeling at all. Mark gives you a sense of security always checking up and you and making sure that both parties are taking the proper steps in your case. He also gives great recommendations to accommodate your appearance in court and to help you present yourself at the highest standard. On top of being friendly and very professional he gets the job done, and from my own personal experience, getting me exactly what I asked for and a lot of times, lawyers cant make that happen for you. I have the upmost respect for this man and if I ever needed a lawyer in the future I will be returning to employee this gentleman and referring any friends or family to this man. Thanks again Mark, you helped me to keep my life on track, You sir are amazing.”

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    “I just wanted to thank you from the "bottom of my heart", you are an incredible, amazing person, and a powerfully skilled Attorney. Words can't even describe how important that outcome meant to me, I hope to go forward with my life, I realize, that would have NOT been possible, 🙏without God and your presence on that day. This whole situation has altered my life forever, my career as a RN and a future Psychologist, was all in your hands that day, and you wheeled it, you kept your word...as promised. You remained honest with me about my case...and that is priceless. "Some mistakes take on the form of eternity". I am a little tearful writing this, forgive me if I miss words. You where blessed by God, with a team of Attorneys that found you Mark, you are genuine, stay that way! I was gifted with reading people, in my journey through I came across some intense deceivers, especially, some that I even treat. I saw compassion during our eye to eye contact, and I knew I could trust you. I know you meet many, of unfavorable in character, but your gift to decipher is an attribute, one that becomes of you. My father loved this quote by Aristotle, he passed in 2005, I thought...it fits you. I shall pass on your name for years to come, even though this is one incident in my life that I would like to forget! Thank you again, and God Bless you and your family. Mark, you are building a responsible team of Attorneys, Keep up the great work! YOU ROCK MARK!”

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  • Best lawyer!

    “Mark is an excellent lawyer. He helped me beat my case. I didn't get any points on my license or any violations. Everyone should go to him for help, he will beat any case! Very thankful for his help.”

    Nurillo Ismailov