Driving While Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI) is against the law in all 50 states in our nation, although each state has the autonomy to define exactly what constitutes impaired driving and how the crime should be punished. In Maryland, Driving While Under the Influence (DUI) can have serious consequences, including jail time. If you have been charged with a DUI offense in Maryland, call our experienced lawyers today for your free consultation. We can help you defend yourself against charges.
Penalties for a First-time DUI Offense in Maryland
As explained by the Maryland Department of Transportation – Motor Vehicle Administration, a first-time DUI offense can result in both criminal penalties and license sanctions. These penalties include:
- Fine of up to $1,000;
- Up to a one-year incarceration period; and
- 12 points added to your driving record.
In addition to the above, you may also be required to attend an alcohol education program. If you refused to submit to the arresting officer’s request to take a breathalyzer test, you will also face an automatic license suspension for your failure to adhere with the state’s implied consent laws. If you are under the age of 21 and are found to have purchased or consumed alcohol, you may also face $500 fine for your first offense.
Secondary and Subsequent DUI Offenses
Being arrested, charged, and convicted of a DUI offense a single time is a big deal and can have large repercussions; being arrested and charged a second or subsequent time carries even bigger penalties. If you are convicted of a second DUI offense, the fine will increase to up to $2,000, and the incarceration period will increase to up to two years with a minimum of five days. While the number of points added to your driving record will remain the same–12–your license may be revoked for up to one year. What’s more, if your second conviction happens within five years of your first, your license will be suspended and you will be required to have an interlock ignition device installed on your vehicle.
For a third offense, your license will be suspended for 18 months, you may face jail time of up to three years, the installation of an interlock ignition device will be required, and you will face a fine of up to $3,000.
DUI vs. DWI in Maryland
The state of Maryland recognizes both DUIs (driving under the influence of alcohol) and DWIs (driving while impaired by alcohol). A DUI crime is more serious, and means that the person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was at or above the legal limit of .08 percent. But even if your BAC was below .08 percent, you could still face DWI charges. DWI penalties are less harsh than are DUI penalties, but the charges warrant the assistance of a lawyer regardless.
Commonly Asked Questions About DUI/DWI Penalties
If you have questions about DUI/DWI penalties, we have answers. Call our lawyers today to get answers specific to your case.
- Will my license automatically be suspended? If you are convicted of DUI/DWI you will have 12 points on your license and you will have to go before the MVA and have an administrative hearing regarding the status of your driver’s license privileges. A skilled attorney may be able to avoid a conviction and convince a judge to give a case disposition of Probation Before Judgment (PBJ). A PBJ disposition is not considered a “conviction” for MVA purposes and no points will be awarded to your driving record, thus avoiding the need for further action with the MVA.
- Will I go to jail? The biggest fear that most people have is that of going to jail. Fortunately, there is no minimum jail sentence for first offenders. Unfortunately, depending on the facts of your case, there may be mandatory minimums for a subsequent DUI conviction. For these reasons, it is important to remember that each case is fact dependent and you should contact a skilled and experienced attorney to discuss the facts of your case.
- Can I drive while my case is pending in Court? With most DUI/DWI cases, there is a criminal and MVA component to the case. That means that while your case is pending in court, your driver’s license privileges are also affected and need legal attention as well. Usually, the police officer will confiscate your driver’s license when you are charged with DUI/DWI and you will be given a paper temporary license. It is during this time, that it is imperative that you contact an attorney immediately to discuss your case and learn what your rights are with regard to requesting an Administrative Hearing before the MVA, entering an ignition interlock program or even accepting the suspension. Failure to address the MVA/driver’s license privilege aspect of the case can result in lost remedies, additional expenses and even lost driving privileges.
Our Maryland DUI Lawyers Provide Aggressive Legal Defense
If you have been charged with a Maryland DUI/DWI, please call Robert Grabo immediately for the aggressive representation you can count on. We are highly skilled criminal defense lawyers with years of experience winning cases on our clients’ behalf. Robert Grabo is available 24/7 by phone at 301-938-7652 or send a message by filling out the form on our contact page today. You can also stop by our office in person at your convenience.