Maryland DUI Vehicle Searches

Preserving the sanctity of your future should be your number one goal after receiving a charge of driving under the influence. Alleged offenders need to consider every possible defense when building a case. With the help of an experienced attorney, this could be done. An attorney could cross check your arrest with the standards set for officers preforming Maryland DUI vehicle searches. An attorney could review your case and determine if there is sufficient evidence to combat the state’s charges against you.

Would the Officer Want to Search the Vehicle?

The officer would probably want to search the vehicle because officers always want to try to find evidence of new crimes. They would likely want to search the vehicle to find their evidence to support an allegation of drinking and driving like any empty or open containers of alcohol in the vehicle or evidence of anything else that may point to the driver. If the vehicle is going to be impounded, the officer, based on Maryland Police Department policy, have to search the vehicle. They are supposed to if the car is being impounded and taken into police custody.

The officers would do an impound inventory in which they search the vehicle and keep track of everything that is in it, not only any illegal contraband but all property. This is done to protect both the officer and the driver’s personal property so when the car is released from the impound lot, there is a record to ensure that all of the person’s personal property is accounted for throughout the entire process.

Do People Have to Consent to a Search during a Traffic Stop?

People never need to consent to a search of their vehicle during a traffic stop. If the officers have a warrant to search a vehicle, they have to comply with that. However, during a DUI traffic stop, they are not going to have a warrant, so they would probably ask to search the vehicle and people never have to give consent. There may be another basis for a lawful search of the vehicle. For example, if a person is being arrested and the car is being impounded and taken as police property, the police have a lawful basis in which to search a vehicle and they do not require consent.

Implied Consent Explained

Implied consent has to do with having driving privileges in the State of Maryland. As part of the licensing process, any person who obtains driving privileges in Maryland has implied consent to submit to certain testing based on the fact that they are driving the vehicle in Maryland with a Maryland driver’s license. It is in the paperwork that they complete when applying for and obtaining their driver’s license. They are expressively agreeing to giving implicit consent to submit to the testing. That means if a person is pulled over while driving in Maryland, they have consented to submit to a test. They could still refuse the testing, but there are consequences because of their implied consent. The Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) could suspend their driver’s license if they refuse to submit to a breath test, blood test, or urine test to detect the presence of alcohol or other substances. If they refuse, they would automatically face 120 days suspension to their driver’s license and it could be used to support the arrest. The refusal may not be used in a criminal case to imply anyone for guilt or any other level of criminal liability.

Connect with an Experienced Legal Professional Immediately

Having a blemish on your driving record could impact your future in a number of less-than-ideal ways. Without a clean record, obtaining loans, applying for an apartment, and daily life as a whole becomes stigmatized. Fortunately, legal defenses include cross examining witnesses and officer that take the stand. During Maryland DUI vehicle searches, officers are supposed to follow a code of conduct when collecting evidence. An attorney could help by challenging how and what an officer searched and better your odds for a favorable outcome in court. However, this could only begin by reaching out to an attorney. Call today for a confidential consultation.