Jimeno & Gray
Criminal Defense Law Firm - The ABCs of DWIs

Maryland DUI – First Offense vs. Second Offense

dui lawyer offense -featured

In the state of Maryland, you can be convicted of four different types of driving under the influence charges: Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Impaired (DWI), Driving Under the Influence of a Controlled or Dangerous Substance and Driving Under The Influence Of Drugs And Or Alcohol. The penalties vary for each charge.

DWI Penalties

You can be convicted of Driving While Impaired (DWI) if your normal coordination is impaired by the consumption of alcohol. Further, if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is .07 the State has a prima facie case that you are impaired by alcohol. The penalties for a DWI are:

First Offense - DWI

  • Maximum two months in jail
  • Maximum $500 fine
  • 8 points on your license
  • Potential suspension of your license

Second Or Subsequent Offense - DWI

  • Maximum one year in jail
  • Maximum $500 fine
  • 8 points on your license
  • Potential suspension of your license

DUI Penalties

You can be convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) if your BAC is .08 or more or if your normal coordination is substantially impaired by the consumption of alcohol. The penalties for a DUI are:

First Offense - DUI

  • Maximum one year in jail
  • Maximum $1,000 fine
  • 12 points on your license
  • Potential suspension and/or revocation of your license

What Kind of Sentence Can I Expect from My First DWI?

The sentence in each case depends on the facts of the case, so it’s impossible to say for sure. However, persons charged with a fist DWI are eligible for what is known as Probation Before Judgement (PBJ).

Whether a person pleads guilty or is found guilty after trial, the court could grant a PBJ. The PBJ will take the finding of guilt off of a person’s record so long as the person does not violate his or her probation. As such, no points would be assessed against the person’s driving record. However, there would be a notation on your record so that a second offense within ten years will normally not be eligible for a PBJ. It is up to the discretion of the judge as to whether to grant a PBJ. Circumstances where a PBJ would not be granted include:

  • If the driver underage.
  • If there was an accident, especially with injuries.
  • If the driver was travelling at a high speed or in a dangerous manner.

Second Offense - DUI

  • Maximum two years in jail, minimum five days if both convictions occur within a five year period
  • Maximum $2,000 fine
  • 12 points on your license
  • Potential suspension and/or revocation of your license

Driving Under the Influence of a Controlled or Dangerous Substance Penalties

A controlled or dangerous substance is anything other than alcohol or certain non-prescription drugs that impairs your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. This can include illegal drugs as well as certain prescription drugs. The penalties are:

First Offense - Dangerous Substance

  • Maximum one year in jail
  • $1,000 fine
  • Potential suspension and/or revocation of your license

Second Offense - Dangerous Substance

  • Maximum three years in jail
  • $3,000 fine
  • Potential revocation and/or of your license

The penalties for all of these charges become more severe if you are transporting a minor.

Common Mistakes to Avoid After a Maryland DUI/DWI Arrest

A DUI or DWI in Maryland can have serious ramifications on your life if not handled properly – and quickly – after your arrest or charge. A Maryland DUI/DWI charge can not only land you in jail or leave you with steep fines, but it can also strip you of your driving privileges. Speak with an Annapolis DWI defense lawyer who will fight to ensure the state meets every burden of proof required by law.

After your arrest, avoid the following mistakes:

  • deciding to represent yourself instead of hiring an Annapolis DWI defense lawyer;
  • failing to file for an MVA hearing to fight for your driving rights;
  • failing to take the proper steps to prepare for your case, such as preserving evidence;
  • relying on the advice of your non-attorney friends;
  • ignoring your court date or not appearing at your MVA hearing;
  • representing yourself at your MVA hearing – an attorney can represent you both in court and at your MVA hearing;
  • hiring an attorney who does not traditionally handle Maryland DUI/DWI cases.

If you have been arrested for a Maryland DUI/DWI, do not waste any time in contacting an Annapolis DWI defense lawyer. Your rights and driving privileges hang in the balance, and the worst mistake you can make is to delay the process of restoring your rights.

Court Needs Evidence to Prove Your Maryland DUI Arrest was Valid

At your DUI hearing, the officer will have to cite the reason he or she suspected you of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Without a valid reason for pulling your car over, it’s difficult to accuse you of DUI in Maryland.

Types of Evidence Used to Prove Invalid Traffic Stop for DUI

  • dashboard camera footage;
  • witness testimony;
  • nearby surveillance camera footage; and
  • red light camera or toll booth records.

In the event that none of this evidence is available, it all boils down to your word against the officer’s. These situations are rarely in the advantage of the accused, and without professional legal help, you may find yourself on the losing end of your DUI battle.

The evidence listed above can work in favor of either side. If the officer says you were weaving between lanes, but his or her dashboard camera footage can’t prove this, you have a fighting case. Likewise, if you claim there was nothing wrong with your driving, but the footage shows suspicious driving behavior, your case may be lost.

You’ll want to speak with an experienced legal professional about your Maryland DUI charges before you attempt to defend yourself. It’s highly unlikely that a defendant can prove his or her traffic stop was invalid alone, but an attorney can help. Don’t let your rights as a Maryland driver be violated by an invalid traffic stop that leads to DUI charges!

Appealing a DUI Case in Maryland

maryland-duiProsecutors in Howard County are planning to appeal an alcohol-related DUI case in which charges were dismissed against a woman who was accused of driving under the influence, The Baltimore Sun reported January 19.

It had been ruled that law enforcement personnel had an illegal quota in place for citations to be issued. The deadline for the appeal is within 30 days of the ruling, which was handed down on January 5 by Sue-Ellen Hantman, a district judge. A Circuit Court will handle the appeal.

Mary V. Murphy, a deputy state’s attorney for Howard County, said prosecutors will outline the details of their grounds for the appeal when it is filed.

The case in question involves a Howard County woman, 22, who was accused of speeding at 38 mph in a 25 zone. Her blood alcohol content, according to police was 0.17; the legal limit is 0.08.

The officer who arrested the woman was on “saturation patrol,” which targets aggressive and drunk drivers. A grant, which financed saturation patrol, requested 2-4 citations per hour, per officer. If this request was not met, future funding would be at stake, said William McMahon, police chief for Howard County. He insists the department does not use quotas.

Jimeno & Gray, P.A., Can Help

At Jimeno & Gray, P.A., we have worked on both sides of DUI cases. As former Assistant State’s Attorneys, we have prosecuted many DUI cases and understand the tactics used by the state’s attorney’s office to obtain a conviction. This knowledge has greatly helped us in our defense of DUI cases, and has enabled us to provide our clients with the highest quality service and the best possible strategies for reducing your sentence. We recognize that each case is different, and we strive to cater our defense to each individual client’s particular situation.If you have been charged with a DUI, please contact Jimeno & Gray, P.A., today to schedule an initial consultation.