Anne Arundel County Third Offense DUI Lawyer
Third offense DUI charges are heard in the district courts at Annapolis or Glenn Burnie, depending on where you were stopped. These charges are prosecuted more vigorously than a second offense and more vigorous than a first offense because of your prior bad records. For this reason it is imperative you consult with an Anne Arundel DUI lawyer as soon as possible if you are charged.
How Third DUI Charges Are Treated
Third offense charges are treated very harshly. The second time was maybe just a mistake. Now three times, you’re likely facing an unforgiving judge who feels compelled to punitive punishment.
Three times indicates a pattern and in the judge’s mind there is something that they need to do to prove to you that penalties come along with these actions. Since you haven’t taken care of the issues at this point, since they have tried to allow you to help yourself, a judge is now going to help you. A lot of judges in Anne Arundel would put you in jail and some of these locations have treatment programs or they would try to put you into an inpatient program. There is a lot at the discretion of the judge that can be done and there is a lot that attorneys can do to put you in these programs prior to a judge mandating it.
Does The Time Between DUIs Matter?
It does for purposes of mitigation, but as far as the penalty process goes the state will ask for what they believe to be a righteous disposition. If it gets to a penalty phase, it is up to the Anne Arundel DUI attorney, and a good attorney will know how to present their client in the best light showing that there is a substantive gap between the first and second offense. A good attorney will also show the court things that you were doing proactively to help prevent this and things that you have done with regards to care for yourself so that you are not looked at as a public threat.
Third Offense Penalties
With a properly filed motion by the Office of the State’s Attorney, they can enhance penalties to three years and $3,000 fine. That is the maximum.
Penalties Against Your License
It is no different than any other DUI offense. Your license is taken away, so long as it is a Maryland license. It is taken by the officer and returned to the MVA. You will be given paperwork—DR 15 and DR 15A forms—that explain you refused or submitted to an alcohol breath or blood test. These forms will also, more importantly, show if you are eligible for a hearing and what you need to do to file for a hearing request before a MVA’s Office of Administrative Hearings. At those hearings they would determine the eligibility for your license, whether it could be restricted in some fashion or if you will be given ignition interlock or a straight suspension.
A properly filed motion can enhance the penalties, which are three years and $3,000 maximum fine. If there were minors in the vehicle or if there was an accident, there are penalty enhancements that come with that as well.
Building a Defense For 3rd Time DUI Charges
It will be no different than you would build a defense your first or second DUI. Every DUI is addressed based on the offense that took place because that is the event that must be proven in court and not that there were priors. They can get to that eventually but they will still have to prove the case before them and that is the one case you need to address. Don’t get distracted as an attorney that there were other matters that occurred. Your focus should be on the fact that you are here for this event only.
Things To Look For in a DUI Attorney
An attorney with local knowledge of Anne Arundel courts and prosecutors, someone who appears in this county regularly, will know certain judges that you would ideally want to have this case in front of or perhaps judges that would be bad option and you would want to avoid. You want an attorney who is a fighter for all that needs to be done both in court and outside of court with administrative matters as well as someone who is sensitive to the circumstances of the client, who may have a substantive issue that needs attention.
You need someone that directs you to the right programs. Someone who is available and will talk to you. You are under enough pressure knowing that you are walking in there for a third DUI. While some of these can be honest mistakes, honest mistakes that may add up more than once or twice are very, very tough to break from a judge’s mind that this is just a mistake or this is just an accident.
You have to have someone that knows exactly how to present you as an individual and your case in front of the right judge, knowing them based on the experience in the Anne Arundel County and being there in person.