I got arrested for a DUI in Howard County. when I refused to submit to a chemical test. I had already been given the breathalyzer at my car when they stopped me. I just received a Enhanced penalty Notice from the Asst. State's Attornry. What does this mean? Should I be worried?
4 Answers from Attorneys
The breath test that was given at your car when they stopped you was most likely the "PBT-Preliminary Breath Test." This test is not admissible into evidence. It sounds like they are saying that you refused the breathalyzer test and not the PBT.
In Howard County, it is policy to file for enhanced penalties. Under the law, they can request enhanced penalties for a refusal. This is normal in HoCo so there is nothing special aobut them doing that.
Should you be worried? It depends on the facts, your record, etc...Drunk driving cases can be very technical and there are a number defenses available.
I would be happy to discuss the case with you at no charge.
If this is not your first alcohol related driving offense, then the state is required to notify you, in order to be able to seek a longer sentence. Typically, the maximum sentence for dui is a year and $1,000 fine. The state must give you notice if wants the court to be able to impose up to 2 years and a $2,000 fine for a second offense, or 3 years and a $3,000 fine for a third or subsequent offense. In order to assess whether you "should be worried," I would need to know more about your case. I offer a free intial consultation.
The enhanced penalty notice may result in an additional 2 months or up to $500 in addition to penalties for the DUI/DWI offense if you are convicted of the DUI or DWI offense. The issuance of these notices is standard procedure in Howard County for refusal cases. My office is in Howard County and I would be happy to discuss your case with you.
The reason the State's Attorney sent you that notice is because the law requires them to notify you that they seek additional jail for a refusal. If they don't notify you, they can't ask for it after you are convicted. But why worry about being convicted? Get a lawyer (or at least apply for a P.D.) and see if you can beat the charge. Don't assume you will be sentenced to any jail time. You won't know if you don't try.