Maryland DUI Penalties
Below, Maryland DUI lawyer Seth Okin answers questions about DUI penalties in the state of Maryland.
Penalties for a DUI Conviction
A conviction could lead to probation before judgment or possibly jail. If you get a suspended sentence, you’ll still be put back on probation afterwards. There are very few potential outcomes for a DUI charge and jail is always potentially an option. If you’re an individual with no legal experience and no legal background, you cannot fight a DUI, which carries a 180-day to two-year sentence. If you don’t have the proper training, you’re not going to be able to succeed alone in a court of law.
Probation Before Judgmenet
PBJ is probation before judgment. If you’re a first-time offender then you’re eligible for PBJ. With PBJ, you are given a probationary period before the judgment is entered. You may have been found guilty but the judge would strike that guilty plea and enter probation before judgment. The probationary period could be supervised or unsupervised; it depends on your charge and your attorney.
License Suspensions and MVA Hearings
If you are in Maryland carrying a Maryland license and you are stopped for DUI, the officer will seize your license and return it to the Motor Vehicle Administration. You will be issued a piece of paper to sign and that becomes your paper license for 45 days. You may use that paper license for 45 days. If you want to get an ignition interlock system put on your vehicle, you can have that done and take proof of that back to the MVA office. As long as you are enrolled with a company that is authorized to produce and install an ignition interlock system in your car, then they will issue you a restricted license. That restricted license only applies to the vehicle in which the ignition interlock is installed. You should never be driving any other vehicle for the next year.
Penalties for a DUI if You Have Prior DUI/DWI Convictions
If you have a prior DUI on your record, the prosecution can ask for an enhancement of the penalty, which can double the penalty from one year to two.
In other parts of the site, we cover the penalties for a first time DUI offense. In Maryland, however, the penalties are starkly different if a driver charged with a DUI has prior convictions for driving under the influence or driving while impaired. As such, it is important that you seek legal representation from an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer. Below, we discuss:
Second DUI Offense in Maryland
Your initial arrest for a drunk driving charge can be a terrifying experience, and the second is no less traumatic. Penalties can increase, and you’re unlikely to escape conviction (even if you did so the first time). If you are concerned about a second Maryland DUI conviction, choose a legal representative who understands the system and knows your options for defense.
Many individuals are not aware, but they can remain silent when a police officer pulls them over and asks questions. If an officer demands to know how many drinks you had, the officer is trying to start a case against you. The investigation begins the moment that law enforcement sees you driving. Each action that you take after that can be used against you.
A Maryland DUI attorney will make sure that your rights are protected at every step of the criminal justice process. For instance, he or she can question the legality of your pull-over, and examine the circumstances of the arrest and field sobriety tests.
If you face a second DUI conviction in Maryland, you may be looking at penalties such as:
- Up to two years in prison
- Up to $2,000 in fines
- The revocation of your driver’s license
In addition to the legal consequences, a second offense DUI conviction in Maryland can complicate your personal life and career. You might miss work due to a jail sentence, or be unable to drive to your job because your license was revoked.
A skilled attorney understands the issues that you face, and knows you need an advocate in the legal system. Since repeat DUI offenders can feel isolated when they are arrested for the crime, help from their defense attorney also needs to be supportive and meaningful.
Call Seth Okin today to go over the details of your case, and learn how this qualified attorney and his staff may be able to help you.
Third DUI Offense in Maryland
Have you acquired more than one Maryland DUI conviction on your criminal record? If so, your situation becomes more severe if you are charged with another offense. Facing a third charge can be anxiety-provoking, since the penalties from a conviction are stricter. The possibility of such penalties can cause you a great deal of stress.
A third offense of DUI in Maryland is taken seriously by police officers and judges. Because they wish to keep the roads safe, protecting the public from deadly accidents, prosecutors in these cases penalize repeat offenders vigorously. You need an experienced attorney for your day, or days, in court. Having legal representation may minimize the charges’ impact, and increase your odds of being treated justly by prosecutors.
If you faced penalties for your first two convictions, they were probably substantial. But there are even more serious consequences if a third conviction goes on your record. The maximum penalties for a third DUI conviction include:
- Up to three years in jail
- Up to $3,000 in fines
- The suspension of your driver’s license by the DMV
And it’s not only legal consequences that you may have to endure. Increased insurance premiums and loss of employment can also result from a Maryland third offense DUI charge or conviction. You may even see more stress on your personal relationships because of these legal issues.
Many individuals drive every day after having a few drinks. They seldom believe they will be the ones that get caught and go to prison. Unfortunately, this happens every day in our state. But unlike those charged with only one DUI offense, first time “forgiveness” is not an option if you’re repeatedly arrested for intoxicated driving. Such limited options make it imperative to have legal advocacy when you are looking at a third charge or conviction. Make sure the attorney you choose has an intimate understanding of criminal defense law.
A local and skilled Maryland DUI lawyer like Seth Okin can help you understand the case against you. Do not take the chance of being without an attorney under such important circumstances. Contact Seth Okin and ask how he can help you build the strongest defense possible for your case.