Prince George’s County Second Offense DUI Lawyer

Second DUI charges in Prince George’s County are heard in the district court located in either Hyattsville or Upper Marlboro depending on which area of the county your citation was issued in. If you receive a citation for a second offense DUI it is imperative you consult with a Prince George’s County DUI lawyer as soon as possible, as your case will be treated very seriously by law enforcement officers, judges, and prosecutors.

For more on second DUI offenses and what you should know, read on before calling and schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney today.

P.G. County Prosecutors & Second Offense DUI Charges

Second offense DUI charges are handled much like first DUI offenses but with even more vigor. A state’s attorney that knows this is a second offense is truly going to prosecute this as tough as possible because a second offense implies that the defendant allegedly didn’t get the message the first time around.

In order to prove a second DUI offense, the first step for a prosecutor is going to be providing documentation showing that you actually have a first DUI offense in some jurisdiction, which is not restricted to only the state of Maryland. You may have a first offense from Washington DC or another state if the prosecution can prove that there was a prior they can request that as a subsequent offender you should received enhanced penalties.

What Assumptions Are Made About People Charged With Second DUI Offenses?

When judges and prosecutors see someone being charged with a second offense they see that there is a consistent pattern of dangerous behavior and that you’re endangering the greater public. Your actions put people at risk and property at risk when you remain behind the wheel of a car. As a result, if you’re back for a second time, you have to be punished until the message gets through. The best way to do that in some judge’s minds and the greater public’s mind is to put you in jail.

Penalties For Second Offense DUI Convictions

For a Second offense DUI, if the state’s attorney’s office is aware of the first offense and if they have proper paperwork to prove a prior offense did in fact occur would enhance a one year and $1000 fine and increase it up to two years $2000 fine. It doubles in the intensity because there’s a prior.

Does The Amount of Time Between DUI Offenses Matter?

Most occasions, yes. If it’s been greater than ten years, the statute says that you may be eligible for what would be a second disposition of probation before a judgment (PBJ) or a first if you weren’t given the benefit of probation before judgment over ten years ago.

But the more time between the DUI shows a little bit of what’s called “waste” which is a term to say that there has been substantive time between these offenses and you should be given a little benefit because it isn’t something that’s happening consistently and there’s been time with good behavior. You should get credit for all the good behavior and accomplishments since that prior.

Will Any Sort of Diversion Program Be Offered For a Second Offense?

The prosecutors won’t offer you anything short of jail. They will even fight you on probation for priors greater than ten years ago. They will push for everything they can because they see a second offense. They don’t care how much time has lapsed between each offense.

How MD Courts Treat Second Offense DUI Charges

The court looks at a second DUI as a habitual offense, a second time that you’ve been in for a very high profile traffic crime. Judges will immediately presume that you may have an issue that went untreated the first time and that you need significant treatment with substantive punishment to motivate you. If we’re looking at this from the perspective that you have been convicted Judges want to see that your treatment has been taken seriously and you’re not just someone who  has undertaken the same program as their prior offense. Judge’s want to see progress and serious hard work in substantive, well respected programs.

In What Situations Will a DUI Not Be Heard in District Court?

With respect to DUIs, there are occasions where you may choose to have the trial removed from district court and transferred to the circuit court by entering what’s called a jury trial prayer. This is done by a motion filed by the Office of the State’s Attorney for a repeat offender. Now, instead of it being a maximum penalty one year and $1000, now you’re looking at two years. Given the seriousness of offense and penalty, you may choose to have this matter brought before the circuit court where more serious matters are held on a regular basis.

A DUI is generally one of the highest forms of citation or criminal traffic acts heard in the district court. In the circuit court they’re not. They are further towards the bottom, though they are treated very seriously. There are occasions where you are better suited to not appear in district court because, you have judges who will punish you to the maximum that they’re allowed because  you are a repeat offender.

Building a Defense For Second Time DUI Charges

When you’re looking at a second offense and the evidence, you’re looking for a lot of the same things you would look for in a first time DUI offense. The strength in that prosecutor’s case is going to be very important. The evidence that they’re looking to introduce would include:

  • That you were operating the vehicle
  • That there was good cause for the traffic stop
  • That there  were properly administered standard field sobriety tests
  • That there was a breath test secured and done properly to show that there was some level of alcohol in your system that was above the legal limit

You’re looking for those basic elements, in addition to the proof that this is a second offense. All of those elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. That State must properly provide those discoverable items and provide proof of a prior offense.

Working with a DUI Lawyer

You have to have a lawyer in any legal matter but now that you’re facing a second DUI a lawyer is essential to protecting your rights and putting forth the strongest possible defense. Even if it is a second offense, it is  still the state’s obligation to prove their case. With this in mind, you should not be treated unfairly and should only be treated as an innocent person. Many people think if they’re walking in for a second DUI, they’ve already been convicted and that is not true. That is not the case.

You need to be protected by an attorney to make certain that the focus is on the case in front of them today not something that happened last year or ten years ago. This is the only matter in front of them right now. You need a lawyer that can effectively do that and make certain that the evidence presented for trial has to do with now and not something from the past.