Columbia DUI Defense Lawyers
Protect Your Future with Award-Winning Representation
Don’t let a DUI ruin your future! There are a number of time-sensitive things in Maryland DUI cases that one must be aware of. If you have been arrested for or charged with DUI, now is the time to get the help of the Columbia attorneys at Shapiro Zwanetz & Associates.
As a result of focused practice in the concentrated area of Maryland/Howard County DUI and Maryland/Howard County Criminal Law, the attorneys at Shapiro Zwanetz & Associates impart significant experience and proven results in defending their clients’ charges in Maryland and Howard County’s Criminal and Civil Courts. Call us now and get the info you need to return to normal life.
An arrest and subsequent criminal charge for a DUI or DWI expose you to a host of potential punishments:
- The most serious charge carries a maximum penalty of three (3) years of incarceration and possibly a $3000 fine.
- Additionally, if charged with a Maryland DUI or DWI, one can lose his or her privilege to drive for up to one (1) year or more regardless of guilt or innocence.
- Following a DUI arrest and charge, it is critical that defendants become informed of Maryland Vehicular laws and take action immediately.
Counseling Is Imperative!
Any defendant facing charges for a Howard County DUI must take steps prior to appearing in the District or Circuit Court for an evaluation by a Maryland Certified Alcohol Treatment Center. Most first time DUI offenders will be considered for a probation before judgment disposition, which serves to strike a guilty finding.
However, the Judge’s and State’s Attorney’s decision-making process will surely focus on the Defendant’s actions post charge and pre-sentence. Getting involved in counseling voluntarily and contemporaneously with the date of offense is one major step in the right direction to a lenient disposition.
All Maryland treatment providers begin with an initial evaluation where standardized tests are given to place an individual in an abuse category.
The categories typically run from “social drinker” to “addict,” and based on the level of risk, the provider will make a recommended course of treatment:
- a “social drinker” will be recommended to complete twelve hours of alcohol education
- an “addict” can be requested to participate in open-ended counseling. Patients of any Maryland alcohol treatment provider can expect to be requested to submit to random urinalysis and to participate in both group and individual counseling.
Most treatment is done on a weekly basis in an outpatient capacity. At times, however, an evaluation can reveal a problem so grave that inpatient treatment is recommended. Costs can range from $450 (for outpatient) – $3000 or more (for inpatient).
Dealing with Financial Challenges
Understandably, some cannot afford a premium private counseling center. For those individuals, the Howard County Health Department’s Substance Abuse Service is a great option.
The Howard Health Department is the only publicly funded addictions, prevention, and treatment program in Howard County that treats patients regardless of ability to pay. Fees for treatment at the Health Department are based on a sliding scale, and the only requirement is residency in Howard County.
For non-Howard County residence, each county in Maryland runs a similar service. If charged with and DUI in Howard County along with finding the right legal counsel, counseling should be a top priority.
Contact Shapiro Zwanetz & Associates for Help!
Although our office is located in Columbia, we serve Howard County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Frederick County, and Queen Anne’s County. We have successfully handled, and will handle, cases in counties not listed - on a case-by-case basis.
We approach every case as a team.
Every initial consultation is free and no-obligation.
We are available for you 24/7.
We are a team of former prosecutors and know how the other side thinks.
We have in-house lending options to retain us with no money out of pocket.
We are highly recommended and awarded by various associations.
“My case was resolved with essentially a perfect outcome.”- Z.P.
“The way you handled my case with honesty and sincerity was what we needed.”- R.M.
“Thank you all so much!”- LR
At Shapiro, Zwanetz & Associates (SZA) we believe in thinking differently from most lawyers and law firms. We help our clients understand and accept their legal situation; we work with them to confront and improve that situation, while seeking the best outcome available at law. We recognize that each client is a unique individual, each deserving of the highest client/customer service; and we just happen to get our clients excellent results while we deliver that exceptional service.