Maryland DUI Lawyer
If you are charged and convicted for DUI in Maryland, you face serious consequences. Hiring a knowledgeable DUI lawyer as soon as possible is advisable to ensure your opportunity to minimize the fall out or dismiss the charges altogether.
The penalties you are likely to face include license suspension and maybe time in jail for repeat offenders or those with extenuating circumstances such as injuries to a third party. It goes without saying that if your are charged with DUI or DWI, you should immediately go to work preparing your defense.
First, you need to understand that if you are charged with a DUI/DWI in Maryland, you will be subject to two proceedings. One is administrative and the other is criminal. Most people are aware of the criminal aspect as familiarized by TV shows and movies, but less is known about the administrative proceedings.
The administrative proceedings are conducted before an administrative law judge at the Office of Administrative Hearings in Hunt Valley or a local Department of Motor Vehicle location. For example, in a recent case, I subpoenaed the arresting officer, which resulted in the hearing being rescheduled in Frederick because it was closest to the officer’s barracks.
As you can expect, the penalties you face in the administrative proceedings differ from the criminal proceedings. In the administrative hearing, you are faced with:
- Suspension of Driving privileges: If found guilty at the administrative hearing, the judge can order that your license is suspended from a minimum of 45 days up to 120 days.
- Ignition interlock: The judge can also require that you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle before your license is re-issued. Essentially, you have the device installed and take your paperwork to the MVA to re-issue your license. You bear all the costs associated with installing the interlock and maintenance, which includes a monthly fee.
At the criminal proceedings, which are held in the District Court, you can expect to face, in order of escalating seriousness:
- DUI probation: It is possible for you to receive probation as part of the resolution of your DUI/DWI charge. You need to ensure that you follow through with the probation requirements or risk more adverse consequences.
- DUI fines: The Court can order a fine as a stand alone penalty or in addition to probation or jail time. The maximum monetary fine is established by law, depending on the actual DUI/DWI charge, but the Court can assess a lesser amount.
- DUI Jail time: As with most crimes, there is the likelihood of jail time if you are found guilty.
- Driving Under the Influence conviction carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine.
- The lesser offense of Driving While Impaired carries a maximum penalty of two months in jail and/or a $500 fine.
It is important to remember that the facts of your case are going to drive the strategy and outcome of your case. Therefore, it is important that you consult a knowledgeable lawyer and thoroughly discuss everything that happened before, during, and after the arrest. You never know what could useful to your defense.