The Law Office of Matthew E. Bennett
A Maryland Law Firm Based in Silver Spring And Serving Surrounding Communities
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Silver Spring Maryland Criminal Defense Legal Blog

Could a conviction send you to jail or prison?

Some people do not always consider the consequences of their actions when they are carrying out those actions. Unfortunately, some behaviors could be unlawful, and as a result, you could end up facing criminal charges. In this type of scenario, it is important to start looking at the potential repercussions.

In particular, you may have concerns about whether a conviction for the charges you face could lead to incarceration. Beyond that, you may wonder whether you could go to jail or prison. Gaining answers to these concerns and others is important during this time.

The risks you take on Maryland roads

The fear of dying in a car accident is very real. If you worry about this possibility, you are not alone. Hundreds of people die on Maryland roads each year, so it is a reasonable concern and one that should impress upon drivers the need for caution and care.

However, in addition to the tragedy of fatal accidents, thousands of other accident victims suffer serious injuries that radically change the course and quality of their lives. You may be fortunate to escape a motor vehicle accident with some bumps and bruises, but certain injuries can mean you will be facing years of expensive medical care and perhaps adjusting to a life of pain and struggle.

If you fail these tests in Maryland, you might go to jail

When a Maryland police officer pulls you over in a traffic stop, you can never predict how the situation will unfold. Sometimes, the officer in question might simply inform you that you have a brake light out and issue a warning with instructions to get it repaired right away. You might also receive a warning in some situations to slow down a bit or risk getting a traffic ticket.

Flashing red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror is all it takes to make your heart beat faster. When a police officer approaches your driver's side window, you might feel nervous and afraid. If the officer asks you to exit your vehicle, you can assume he or she thinks you have committed a crime -- most likely, driving while impaired. The next request might be for you to take a field sobriety test, in which case it's critical to know your rights and how to protect them.

Causal factors that up your chances of a collision

Driving in Maryland can be downright dangerous. High-speed highways, distracted drivers and numerous other issues can reduce your chances of arriving safely to your travel destination. Any number of factors can lead to a collision. Like all licensed drivers, you're legally obligated to adhere to traffic laws and safety regulations. However, no matter how cautious and alert you are behind the wheel, a moment of negligence on another driver's part is enough to cause you serious injuries.

The more you know about such issues ahead of time, the likelier you can stay safe when you travel. For instance, as a pedestrian it's best to cross the road in a designated crossing zone. At intersections, it's important to understand the right-of-way rules and to act with the utmost caution. Sometimes, you can do nothing to avoid a crash. A drunk driver could cross into your lane, or a distracted driver could T-bone your vehicle after failing to stop at a traffic light.

What might life be like after a serious traumatic brain injury?

When you woke up on the morning that it happened, you figured it would just be another normal day. Then disaster struck, and you received a call that your loved one was involved in a motor vehicle accident that left him or her suffering from a serious traumatic brain injury.

While Maryland doctors worked to stabilize your loved one, you probably didn't give much thought to what life would be like from this point forward. All you cared about was that he or she would live and be able to go home at some point. Now that those goals were accomplished, you begin to think about it.

Are you being charged as a repeat DUI offender?

Do you have a driving under the influence conviction on your record? Did a recent traffic stop result in you facing another DUI charge? If so, the state of Maryland may consider you a repeat offender, which means the consequences if prosecuting attorneys achieve a conviction this time around can be far more severe than what you experienced last time.

According to state law, anyone who has more than one DUI put on his or her record in a 5-year period is by definition a repeat offender. The consequences for this type of offense include an automatic one-year license suspension followed by the required installation of an ignition interlock device. This device has to remain in one's vehicle for at least a full year.

Whiplash is commonly experienced following rear-end collisions

You have likely heard of whiplash, maybe have even experienced it yourself. Most people associate it with pain in the neck following a rear-end collision. The truth is, it can be so much more than that.

In many car accident cases, whiplash is a common injury. Most people only experience minor symptoms that eventually go away on their own. There are some Maryland residents who feel that they are never going to recover, though. If that describes you, know that you may seek compensation for any resulting losses this seemingly minor injury has caused you.

Passing can be helpful, but when is it illegal?

Knowing your roadway directions and instructions is important, even if that information is only a display through lines on the road. If you understand what lines, signs and symbols mean, you could help yourself become a safer driver and, hopefully, avoid crashes on the road.

Take passing for example. You may find yourself in certain instances while on the road when a slow-moving vehicle is in front of you or someone in front of you is driving erratically or otherwise unsafely. As a result, you may want to go around that vehicle and get on your way. However, do you know when you can pass safely?

A DUI can destroy your commercial driving career

Do you drive a commercial vehicle for a living? Are you facing accusations of driving your commercial or personal vehicle while under the influence of alcohol? If so, a lot is riding on how you choose to approach your DUI charge in a Maryland criminal court.

Driving under the influence is a significant violation for any driver. For those who operate commercial vehicles, the consequences can be far greater than they are for the average driver. Why? The damages caused when a commercial vehicle is involved in an accident are usually significant.

College students, peer pressure and underage drinking

For many Maryland teens, college is the first real taste of freedom and adulthood they get. As they struggle to find their footing, they may end up at a party or with new friends who drink alcohol. Even though you probably talked to them about these types of scenarios, it is now up to them to make the right choice.

The problem is that peer pressure doesn't disappear when you graduate from high school. In some cases, it only gets worse. Intoxicated college students could put unbearable pressure on your teen to join in on the "fun." Unless your child understands how to deal with this type of barrage, you could receive a phone call from a police station.

Contact

The Law Office of Matthew E. Bennett
8720 Georgia Avenue
Suite 701
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Phone: 301-960-5347
Fax: 301-589-1585
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Attorney Matthew E. Bennett