Anne Arundel Second Offense DUI Lawyer
In Anne Arundel County, second-time DUI offenses—like first-time DUI offenses—are heard in the District Court, which is either in the Annapolis or Glen Burnie courthouse. Local prosecutors handle these cases the same as they would a first-time DUI offense, but with a little bit more in terms of wanting to provide sufficient information about your prior DUI charge to show that you are a subsequent offender. They are going to prosecute it just as harsh as they always have, but with the direct angle that you are a second-time offender. The courts in the area are also unlikely to go easy on someone facing a second-time DUI offense. Consult an Anne Arundel DUI lawyer today to begin building your defense against a second-offense DUI charge.
Second-Offense v. First Offense DUI in Anne Arundel County
Someone coming in with a first-time charge has no priors. They likely have a clean history. They haven’t had a DUI offense before. When you go with a second offense, that typically means you have done the alcohol education, you have done some form of a victim impact panel, and you have gotten through the process of a probationary period before a different judge—but you’ve found yourself in the same situation once again. The judge now sitting in front of you knows that you were penalized before and might think this second offense indicates a need for a strong, harsh penalty to send the message that the behavior in the eyes of the court and the state is unacceptable.
Penalties for Second-Offense DUI
A second offense DUI with a properly filed motion by the state can enhance penalties to a maximum of two years in jail and a $2,000 fine.
The time between offenses does weigh into an Anne Arundel County judge’s decision, should you take a plea or be found guilty of a DUI offense. Had the prior DUI occurred over a decade ago or longer, you can explain to the judge that this is not a pattern of conduct but an isolated mistake, even with a subsequent matter. You are also eligible to receive a probation before judgment on this second matter, as more than a decade has passed since the first offense. You will have to prove yourself to the judge but it is very possible.
Generally, prosecutors and courts in Anne Arundel will not offer a second-time offender a chance to participate in a diversion program. More often than not, you will find that a judge will make you earn a probation before judgment on the back-end, meaning that you would be found guilty and wouldn’t be given it upfront. However, if you complete a probationary period and meet the conditions of probation without any issue then you would be eligible for what could be a back-ended probation before judgment, which you would want to talk to your attorney about.
It is possible to get a probation before judgment upfront as well but it depends on how much effort you put into it and who your judge is on the date of trial. Again, these are worst-case scenarios. We’re talking about cases where there would be a conviction and then you would deal with things in the hopes of showing that there was a substantive period of time between offenses.
Importance of Speaking to an Anne Arundel DUI Lawyer
The immediate assumption about a second DUI offense is that you are someone who has a substance abuse issue; that you cannot seem to separate alcohol from responsibility, and that you are a danger to the general public, to yourself, and even the property of the county.
It is important to speak with an Anne Arundel DUI lawyer as soon as possible because it’s vital to your case to immediately separate yourself from a presumption of alcohol dependence or abuse. You want to establish that you are an individual who made a mistake and that this is not consistent with your general character.