Maryland Second Offense DUI Penalties
Second-time cases are heard no differently than a first DUI offense. All DUIs will originate in the district court. However, the prosecutors are just as harsh, if not harsher than the first. They are not going to show much mercy across the board regardless of how many times a person has been charged. If they can put a stop to DUIs by sending a strong message the first time, they can. If not, they will send a stronger message the second time. They are in control of how they make suggestions to judges and there are plenty of judges who will listen to the discretionary requests of the state’s attorney.
If you have been charged with a DUI for the second time, it is very important to consult with an experienced DUI lawyer that can fight the prosecutor’s argument and evidence. Since the prosecutors are much harsher on second-time offenses you will need a skilled lawyer to represent you in court.
Prosecution of Second Time Offenses
Charges are prosecuted more vigorously because there is a prior offense and while they will not essentially bring that up in the trial if a person is considering taking the stand in their own defense, it is certainly something they can have. In the penalty phase, it is something that will be brought up and the person will have a large job ahead of them to show a judge that once may be an aberration of character but twice is either bad luck or simply poor mistakes. It is difficult to show a judge why a person should benefit from any type of non-jail disposition when they have already been penalized one time before. Now, also the timing of them, the distance between the first and second, is important as well but still, a person has a lot of work that they have to do and that is why getting an attorney right away is so important in these matters.
The way that the Maryland first offenses come in, the penalty is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine and that is for the DUI and a DUI per se. If it is driving while impaired, a person is looking at 60 days and they are looking at a $500 fine. But once a person has a second offense, things change slightly. With regards to that, the maximum penalty can increase. That could be a two-year, $2,000 fine; for any of the DUIs that will double. The driving while impaired actually goes up to a year and a thousand. It is important to look at those second offenses and understand that the extra jail time certainly comes into play; the extra fine definitely goes up.
With regards to penalties, when a person is looking at these increases if they look under the Maryland Code and it is under 27-101, if a person is convicted of a second DUI within a five-year period, they could face some form of a mandatory sentence of five days in jail. Again, there is alcohol education that is generally ordered by judges at a stricter level. Also, with the MVA as well, there are harsher penalties that increase the length of suspensions.
The likelihood is if a person has got a prior within five years and especially within ten years that they will be found guilty; a person is not eligible for probation before judgment until it has been more than ten years. Once a person is convicted, that will hit their driving record as well. The MVA will certainly act on that and they will be fully aware of the prior. The penalties can be substantial.
Benefit of an Attorney
DUI charges can make you feel very helpless, especially if it is your second-time offense. If you have been charged with a DUI for the second time in Maryland, it would be in your best interest to contact a Maryland DUI lawyer to represent you.