Maryland criminal defense attorney and partner at Zide Siegel Tabor & Spigel, Robert A. Siegel is advising the state’s drivers on the protocol to follow if they are pulled over by the authorities and charged with a traffic violation.
Zide Siegel Tabor & Spigel is urging those who have been accused of a traffic violation in Maryland to seek out legal representation and not go at it alone. In Maryland, a driving infraction can either be a civil penalty, a misdemeanor, or a felony, depending on the severity of the driver’s actions. Civil penalties carry fines and penalty points, but misdemeanors and felonies have additional consequences, such as loss of license and jail time. Maryland drivers who accumulate too many penalty points on their license will have to pay much higher insurance premiums. Carrying too many points on the license also puts them at risk of suspension the next time they’re ticketed.
Some of the more serious traffic violations include driving under the influence (DUI), driving while impaired (DWI), fleeing a police officer, reckless driving, running a stop sign or traffic signal, speeding, unsafe lane change, following too closely (tailgating), passing violations, and failure to yield. If the driver causes an accident due to their negligent driving that results in wrongful death or personal harm, they could be subject to severe civil penalties as well as criminal proceedings.
Robert A. Siegel gives his thoughts on the best way to approach the interaction with a police officer when pulled over by saying, “First, it is imperative to not lose your cool regardless of the circumstances. Your demeanor with the police has to be calm and non-confrontational. We recommend going through the suggestions on the ACLU’s website on what to do when you are stopped by the police. You don’t want a simple traffic violation to turn into something much more serious. With the help of an experienced law firm such as Zide Siegel Tabor & Spigel, you have a good chance of fighting the penalty and coming out the other side with a clean driving record. However, those chances evaporate if you are charged with disorderly conduct.”
Maryland defense attorney Josh Tabor, who is also a partner at Zide Siegel Tabor & Spigel, talks about how to deal with a DUI charge by saying, “You should never drink and drive. This is non-negotiable. However, there are several reasons why a police officer might erroneously suspect that you are engaging in risky behavior. To ensure that you don’t end up paying for a law enforcement official’s bad judgment, there are certain steps that you can take at the moment to preemptively build your case. Apart from the usual recommendation of always being polite with the officer, you are also legally required to share your name, license, registration, and insurance information. However, you also have the right to not answer any question that would incriminate you. Next, refuse a field sobriety test or hand-held breathalyzer test. The former relies on the subjectivity of the police officer and the devices used for the latter are notoriously inaccurate. Upon refusing those, you will be required to take a chemical test at the police station where you can choose between a blood test or a breath test, the latter of which is suggested by most DUI lawyers. Upon release, when you can freshly recall all the details of your interaction with the police, write down everything you can remember about it. This includes how you were driving, how the officer behaved, the location of the stop, whether the officer read you your Miranda rights, and the times when these events happened. Finally, contact an attorney and share all the details with them so that they can better help you through the upcoming legal process.”
Legal matters can be challenging to confront, let alone resolve. At Zide Siegel Tabor & Spigel, we assist individuals across Maryland with divorce-related issues, overwhelming debt and criminal charges.
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