Maryland DUI Diversion Programs

There may be options available for individuals accused convicted of a DUI. Maryland DUI diversion programs could be an alternative to jail time and other penalties. If you were charged with driving under the influence, contact a seasoned DUI attorney to discuss your options.

Options for First-Time Offenders

A first-time offender will typically have different sentencing options unless there were aggravating circumstances. In most cases, a person may not end up receiving any jail time for the first offense.

While these guidelines do vary by county and every case is different, the person could receive a suspended sentence. This may also include:

  • Being placed on probation with restrictions to their driving privileges
  • Having to participate in some sort of alcohol counseling or safe driving class
  • Be required to attend at least one victim impact panel administered by the Mothers Against Drunk Driving Advocacy Group

If the individual complies with the conditions of probation, they typically will not be required to spend any time in jail.

What is Probation Before Judgment?

First-time offenders in most Maryland counties may be able to receive Probation Before Judgment (“PBJ”), which could accompany a plea deal or even a guilty verdict. At the conclusion of a trial, the judge could choose to hold the guilty verdict in abeyance and provide a PBJ.

The person will be on probation and required to complete and comply with any conditions of probation. The guilty conviction will not go on the person’s record while they comply with those requirements. When asked if they have ever been convicted of a crime for employment applications, housing applications, security clearances, et cetera, they could honestly say they have not. While the PBJ will show up on their record as a PBJ, it is not a conviction. A defendant could speak to an attorney about what Maryland DUI Diversion Programs may be available for them.

Impact on Driving Record

If a person receives a PBJ, they will not receive any points on their driving record since they have no conviction. Driving under the influence typically carries 12 points on a license, and a conviction automatically results in a suspension or revocation. The PBJ verdict means a person could receive no points and their driver’s license and driving privilege may not be impacted.

Violating the Terms of Probation

If a person violates their probation, the judge may rescind the PBJ and order the guilty verdict. At that time, the person will be entitled to a hearing in court to argue why they should be given a second chance or why they did not actually violate probation.

The defense could highlight any other positive actions the person has taken and may be able to ask the judge to reconsider the verdict by striking the guilty verdict and replacing it with a PBJ.  While the person is being convicted at that moment in time, the judge may agree to do this ahead of time and could advise the person at sentencing that if they return to court after a certain period of time and show good behavior and compliance, the judge will strike the guilty verdict and order the PBJ.

Speak to an Attorney about Maryland DUI Diversion Programs

If you were accused of driving under the influence, consider reaching out to an experienced criminal defense attorney. A knowledgeable lawyer may be able to outline any Maryland DUI diversion programs you could pursue, and could champion your case. Call today to set up a case review.