First Annapolis DUI Offense

Prosecutors are very strict in they way they handle DUI charges, even for a first-time offender at the Annapolis Courthouse. Maryland spends a lot of time and money advertising “do not drink and drive, do not drive buzzed,” and they do it seriously because if an individual is caught driving under the influence, they are going to be punished in some capacity. And as recent as 2016, the penalties for DUI will be increased due to the passing of Noah’s Law. Due to these factors, if you have been arrested for a DUI, even if it is your first offense, contact an Annapolis DUI lawyer right away.

Penalties

The maximum penalty for a first-time DUI under MD Code 21902-A1, is a maximum of one year in jail and/or $1,000.00 fine. A judge can give one, both depending on the severity of the offense.

There is no diversion program for first-time offenders. They may offer or they may not object in court to the granting of probation before judgment, which is generally not a conviction so long as you comply with the conditions of probation that are set forth by the judge, but it is the judge’s decision, not so much the state’s attorney that has any say in that.

Effect on Driver’s License

Driver’s license penalties are handled by the Motor Vehicle Administration or MVA. when a driver is stopped, if they were a Maryland-licensed driver, their license is taken from them at which time the driver is handed a couple of forms including their temporary paper license.

The driver then has two options, one is to request a hearing to challenge the license suspension or, two, elect into the ignition interlock program. Everything is dependent on what the driver’s breath score is and if they submitted one.

Challenging a License Suspension

After an individual is stopped and is a Maryland-licensed driver, they should look closely over all their paperwork. This is best done with a DUI lawyer in order to get an opportunity to go over every bit of detail of what all the paperwork means. Time is of the essence because certain things must be done and mailed out in time to request the MVA hearing.

By requesting a hearing, the individual stays any execution on a suspension of their license because they will be paying $150 to have a hearing and contest it. They will simply allow the individual to continue driving and mail a second certificate allowing them to drive after the 45 days of the first paper license until such time that a motor vehicle hearing can take place, at which time an administrative judge would make a ruling.

Mistakes to Avoid

The number one mistake is not hiring a lawyer and not taking it seriously from the very first day. These charges are very serious, and it is vital to have an attorney on your side right away.

Talking with a lawyer when all the information is still fresh in your mind is important because you can recall the event clearer than at any other point in time. This way we better know all the details of why the officer stopped you, things that were said, and what you said, if anything. Statements made to an officer will be used against you, which is why it is so important for a lawyer to be prepared to defend what you have said.

Any statements made will be used against you in the court of law, and if any video or audio was taken from your scene, we want to know that that is available right away. The biggest mistake to make is not taking an Annapolis DUI offense seriously and not calling a lawyer.