Prosecution of Second-Time DUI Charges in College Park

Prosecutors in College Park handle second offense DUI charges very seriously. The reason a driver will get a much harsher response from the State’s Attorney is because they already have a DUI on their record. If it was a recent offense, the driver is not going to find much mercy from the State’s Attorney because their policy is to request jail. If it has been a very long time since the first DUI, then the driver may find some leniency. Still, if it is a second offense, the prosecution will see some pattern of conduct. If there is more time between charges that is the best scenario, but there is still some pattern of conduct which is why they will ask for harsher penalties than for a first offense, and why it is wise to have the aid of a College Park second DUI lawyer in fighting these charges.

Penalties for a Second DUI Offense

Penalties for a second-offense DUI charge can be enhanced by the State’s Attorney’s office to two years in jail and $2000 for DUI, and one year in jail and $1000 for DWI.

For a second-offense there will not be any diversion programs offered. As far as probation, it is not called Probation Before Judgment. At this point the driver is convicted and it is probation. They have to check in with the probation officer and they have a series of conditions with which they have to comply. In cases like that, more often than not they will get a judge who will put a substantial amount of jail time over their head to motivate them to complete probation. The prosecution does this so that if the driver does make a mistake, they understand that they will be put in jail.

How Courts Treat Second-Time DUIs

The courts treat second-offense DUI charges very sternly. Judges will know at that point in time that the driver is back a second time. If the driver is entering a plea of not guilty, they are not going to believe them. The judge will motivate them by hanging jail time over their head. For instance, the judge may put them in jail for a week. They will do it because they do not feel that they have to give the driver a second chance. It is important that an individual hire a lawyer very early, because a lawyer will give that person advice or turn them to the right resources to show the judge that the jail option should not be the considered option, and that there are other ways to resolve the matter.

Other Penalties from the MVA

The MVA acts on a DUI in the beginning before a trial, and then if an individual is convicted they can act a second time at the end. Administrative law is very unique. The Office of Administrative Hearings is the judicial courtship and they adjudicate the hearing. In the Motor Vehicle Administration they do not send the individual a record. It is a little bit less formal. It is not a big courtroom. It is a closed hearing, so it is just the driver and the judge. It is at that hearing that the evidence recorded by the officer is transferred to the MVA.

The MVA gets that record and then at the first hearing for a DUI they will simply determine the status of the driver’s license. They will then decide if the individual should be suspended, given a restriction on a suspension for a limited window of time, or subject to participation in Ignition Interlock.

If the driver is convicted, the conviction will go back to the MVA. If a person is a Maryland-licensed driver, they may get points on their license. Once they get eight points they are eligible to be suspended. If they get over 12 points their license can be revoked. Also, because there is an alcohol conviction, the individual’s record will be marked with an alcohol conviction.

Restricted Licenses

The driver will get a letter from the MVA saying that they intend to suspend the driver’s license for some period of time based on the points on their license and that they are on alcohol conviction. However, the individual retains the right to request a hearing and at that hearing they can ask for a restricted license, Ignition Interlock, and some form of leniency on the administrative penalty because they have to drive to work. It will often be considered if the driver has gone 20 – 30 years without ever having anything on their license and they happen to get just this one DUI. Under those circumstances there really is not good cause for suspension of license and driving privileges.

When a person has the ability to drive they want to protect it. It is important to have a lawyer all the way through, because if the driver is found guilty, the repercussions for going back for a second DUI administrative hearing in College Park can be very tough.