Prince George’s County First-Offense DUI Lawyer
Mistakes happen. Sometimes people have a little too much fun at a party and forget to check themselves before operating a motor vehicle. While doing so while inebriated is a serious offense, the charges you subsequently received do not have to spell the end for your future or career. An experienced DUI attorney could help you preserve your future.
A Prince George’s County first-offense DUI lawyer could help you build a defense, take proactive measures, and ready yourself for court.
How Courts Address First-Time DUI Charges
In Prince George’s County, all DUI charges, whether it be the first, second, third, or other amounts, originate in the district courts in Hyattsville or Upper Marlboro.
Any DUI charge is going to be handled to disposition by a judge with a significant amount of attention and care. The judge is often tough on people charged with DUI, but could give them the benefit of a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) should they deserve it. The reason for this leniency is because it is so easy to get a DUI. Merely stepping into their vehicle with keys in hand after having a couple of drinks might get alleged offenders a DUI, without even actually driving.
How Prosecutors Handle First-Time DUI Charges
However, while courts may show leniency for first-time DUI charges in Prince George’s County, the prosecution might not. Strict across-the-board DUIs (whether it be first, second, third, or tenth) are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law that they are allowed. Therefore, it is critical for defendants to obtain a first-offense DUI lawyer in Prince George’s County.
Possible Penalties for First-Time DUI Charges in Prince George’s County
The maximum penalty for driving under the influence is a year in jail and $1,000 fine. The maximum penalty for the DUI per se is also a year in jail and a $1,000 dollar fine. The penalties for driving under the influence are so steep because alleged offenders are no longer in control of their vehicles. That is why their maximum penalty is a year in jail and a $1,000 fine, which is much harsher than driving while impaired.
Importantly, even if a driver has not registered a .08 or higher blood alcohol level (BAC) in Maryland, they still could face charges. While the charge for operating a motor vehicle between a .07 and .08 BAC is not as serious as a DUI, it is still regarded as such by the state. Driving while impaired (DWI) charges could result in up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Diversion Programs or Probation Options for First-Time DUI Charges
There are no Diversion Programs in Prince George’s County or in the State of Maryland. These programs have been disappearing for a number of years from DUI courts and really are not present in most counties. An overwhelming majority of probations from any judge often starts off as a supervised Drinking-Driving Monitor Program (DDMP). It is a branch of probation that focuses purely on DUI events. One of the requirements that the courts always ask offenders to do is go to a “Shock Trauma” or “Mad Victim Impact Panel” so that they could sit in a room of their peers that may have had a DUI or may have been a victim of a DUI, or a first responder officer, just to have a roundtable discussion of how the effects of a DUI have the potential to be catastrophic.
Judges are more likely to require a DDMP for many offenders. Additionally, they might also want them to have an alcohol assessment and complete Alcohol Education if it is the first-time DUI if their blood alcohol content was 0.08 or even 0.14. This program is a 12-hour Maryland State Department of Health program and is done through a local provider or anybody else who provides the 12 hours of education. Its goal is to educate DUI holders to the dangers of these offenses.
If their BAC was something greater, they may have a real problem with alcohol and possible habitual use of it. They may be required to undergo a more intensive outpatient program for 26 weeks or an inpatient program. There are a lot of opportunities to review with a Prince George’s County DUI lawyer. Alleged perpetrators might want to know what program would look best in court so that judges see that they are already taking the steps necessary to address these issues.
Reach out to a Prince George’s County First-Time DUI Attorney Today
When facing the seriousness of a DUI charge, you may feel as though you have no options to preserve your future. Fortunately, a Prince George’s County first-offense DUI lawyer could help you review your courtroom options, draft a defense, and work towards a favorable outcome. Do not let the court intimidate you into thinking you have no options. Reach out to a legal representative today.