Second Offense DUI Charges in Annapolis

Second offense DUI charges are treated very sternly, both by the prosecution and the judges in Annapolis. The court is going to look for whether the defendant has made any progress since their first offense, and if they have done a weekend intervention program or a vigorous alcohol education program for a minimum of 26 hours.

Due to the significance of stressing progress to the court, it is very important for a person facing a second offense DUI charge to retain an Annapolis DUI lawyer as soon as possible. There are a lot of things that come into play in a second offense DUI that are not considered in a first offense.

An experienced attorney can help show the court that this was simply a mistake by the person, and not a pattern where they will come to court with the same case in the future. An attorney can also help a person build a defense and determine the best steps to take to show the court this progress, such as which alcohol education class to take.

Where Cases Are Heard

Generally, second-time offense DUI charges are heard in the Annapolis District Court, although, a person does have a right at all times to do a jury trial, which is to take the case out of District Court and move it to Circuit Court.

This is something that a person may consider on a second offense. However, given the judges that are sitting on the bench in all of Anne Arundel County, especially in Annapolis, there is usually no need, unless a person wants to have a jury trial.

Penalties

A second offense DUI has a maximum penalty of two years and a $2,000 fine. However, it is on the officer and the state’s attorney to file the subsequent offender notice. The only way this goes up to two years and $2,000—instead of the one-year and $1,000 fine that it lists—is if the state files the subsequent offender; if they do not do it, then the maximum stays at one year and $1,000.

Prosecution

The prosecution of a second offense Annapolis DUI charge is incredibly stern, no different than a first offense but with a little bit more backing behind what they say and maybe a little bit more sting in their words. This is because the person had been given an opportunity after their first offense, but they did not learn their lesson and now they are back in the courthouse. What is important to understand, however, is even though it is a second offense, it is still treated as an isolated incident.

The prosecution can also investigate when the person’s prior offense was. If it was greater than 10 years, the person may still be eligible for a second probation before judgment and, ideally, an attorney would be able to get that granted upfront or they may have a hearing to do it at the end.