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

Rear-end collisions are avoidable disasters

Unless you are backing up or changing lanes, what is happening behind you as you drive may be an afterthought. Of course, you occasionally glance in your rearview mirror out of habit or when coming to a stop, but mostly your eyes are forward watching where you are going. When you do look back and see another vehicle racing toward you, it may fill you with dread. In many cases, there is little you can do to avoid a rear-end collision

Rear-end collisions can result in devastating injuries, and certain factors can increase the severity. For example, a vehicle that strikes you from behind at a high rate of speed while you are sitting still in traffic may push your car into the vehicle ahead of you, multiplying your injuries. In this same situation, a tractor-trailer can bring tragedy to your family. The sad fact is that rear-end collisions are almost always preventable.

How to deal with the administrative consequences of a DUI

Are you facing charges for driving under the influence? You know you can expect to face criminal penalties for doing so if convicted. Do you know about the administrative consequences typically tied to a DUI?

If you fail or refuse sobriety testing, Maryland police are likely to arrest you on the spot. At the same time as your arrest or upon your release, you'll receive an Officer's Certification and Order of Suspension and an Advice of Rights form. These documents provide a lot of valuable information that you should read carefully.

Reasons why law enforcement may make a DUI traffic stop

When you are driving home from dinner or perhaps driving to your next stop on a fun night out with friends, it can change the course of your entire evening to see flashing lights in your rearview mirror. You may not think you've had much to drink at all, and you may be unsure of why the police are pulling you over. Regardless, you know that you need to pull over and cooperate with law enforcement. 

There are specific reasons why a police officer may initiate a suspected DUI traffic stop. If you are displaying certain types of behavior, even if you don't realize it, it could land you in trouble. It can be helpful for all Maryland drivers to know what counts as reasonable suspicion and what they can do in the event they find themselves facing DUI charges.

Distracted driving-related accidents are a problem in Maryland

Distracted drivers can be seen on Maryland roads every single day with great frequency. This means that distracted driving-related accidents are a problem. Although, statistics show that these types of collisions are on the decline -- at least in this state. Still, every year, numerous individuals suffer injuries or lose their lives because of the actions of individuals who choose not to pay attention when behind the wheel of an automobile.

What exactly is distracted driving? How big of an issue is this in Maryland? What can victims of distracted driving-related accidents or -- in the event of fatality -- their surviving family members do to seek compensation for their losses?

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.

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