Maryland First-Offense DUI Lawyer

Aside from the potential jail time and fines a person accused of driving under the influence may need to pay, a DUI conviction may follow them for the rest of their lives. A criminal record could bar individuals from current and future career opportunities. A Maryland first-offense DUI lawyer could help an accused person understand their rights and legal options. Consult an aggressive attorney to represent you.

Where Are First Time DUI Charges Heard?

The first time DUI charge are typically heard in the District Court. If the case goes to trial in District Court, it is typically heard in front of a judge and not a jury. Since the penalty for DUI is one year, a person may the right to ask for a jury trial and have the case moved to the Circuit Court. That decision is up to the accused.

How Prosecutors and Courts Handle First Time DUI Charges

DUI charges of any kind, whether they are first, second, or third, are taken very seriously by prosecutors and courts. In Maryland, driving while impaired or driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a threat to public safety simply due to the nature of the offense. Because of the large number of people potentially driving at any given time, DUIs could affect many people. Someone who is operating a motor vehicle while impaired may put other people on the road potentially at risk.

Potential Penalties

For a first time DUI in Maryland, the maximum penalty is typically one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A conviction for DUI could automatically place 12 points on their driver’s license, which may result in an automatic revocation of their driving privileges. In Maryland, 12 or more points on a person’s driver’s license is an automatic license revocation. While most people do not receive a year in jail or a $1,000 fine, those are the maximum penalties allowed under Maryland Law. A Maryland first-offense DUI attorney may be able to explain which penalties a defendant might face in court.

Applying for a Restricted License

Maryland DUI charges automatically lead to temporary license suspensions, but a person is allowed to request restricted driving privileges. After being charged with a DUI, the person has 15 days to apply to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (“MVA”) and ask for a hearing. They could claim that they need to support themselves and have no other way to get to their job other than driving a vehicle. They could also argue that they need the restricted driving privileges to allow them to continue supporting themselves and their family.

Mistakes to Avoid for First Time DUI Defendants

A defendant may tend to be overly voluntary in terms of information and talking to the police. A person typically does not need to assist the police, law enforcement, or the State in their prosecution. While they may be required to comply with some police commands, that does not mean they have to answer their questions or give them information.

People may also wait too long to hire an attorney. Depending on the type of situation, there may be evidence that the defense might wish to retain. This may include surveillance footage, medical records, and other time-sensitive. Any delay in attempting to get those materials could be harmful to the case later on.

Defendants might think that they could pay a fine and the case is resolved because it may be in the form of a traffic citation. In contrast to speeding tickets or other moving violations or traffic infractions that may be resolved simply by paying a fine, a DUI carries fines and jail time.

Speak to a Maryland First-Offense DUI Attorney

If you were accused of drinking and driving, consider speaking with a Maryland first-offense DUI attorney. An attorney could work with you to build a credible defense and fight tirelessly for a positive outcome to your case. Call today to set up a consultation.