DUI Lawyer Baltimore, MD
Driving under the influence (DUI) is an extremely serious crime, regardless of whatever pop culture myths may exist surrounding its alleged inconsequential nature. The most recent available data show nearly 1,000 fatalities in one year that can be traced back to either the decedent’s or the driver’s usage of alcohol. The state of Maryland takes such matters extremely seriously. This is one of the reasons that DUIs, even first-time DUIs, are considered worthy of harsh penalties.
Very Little Leniency
Because of the potential harm done by drivers operating under the influence, Maryland elected to mandate significant penalties even for first-time offenders who have been convicted of DUI. These penalties are both administrative and criminal in nature, though the judge in an individual case does have some discretion as to whether or not to institute all of the specific punitive measures or not. (Generally, the judge will elect to institute all possible punishment, if only because the potential danger is very high if someone chooses to re-offend.)
While the consequences for a first DUI and a later DUI are not identical, they are in much the same vein. The criminal penalties for a first offense are up to 364 days in jail (as opposed to much longer for a second offense, which would be a felony) and a fine of up to $1,000 – in addition to court costs. Twelve points will be assessed on your driving record and your license may be revoked for up to six months.
Administrative and Civil Penalties
In addition to the criminal consequences of a DUI, there are also administrative costs and hurdles to overcome. A first offense will result in a license suspension of at least six months, though it may wind up being even longer if the driver does not consent under the state’s implied consent laws. However, the suspension does not immediately start upon arrest or conviction – a person with an attorney may petition to avoid it. If it is granted, the driver’s license will not be suspended, but if it is, it must remain suspended for a specific period of time (usually 45 days), with all or some of the time requiring an ignition interlock.
It is important to keep in mind that just because one is found guilty of DUI, it need not result in a conviction. It is possible to petition for what is known as court supervision – in such a situation, the case is continued, usually for one year. During that year, the person will have to comply with any directive the court hands down – for example, completing alcohol abuse training – and if such requirements are met and no other laws are violated, the case may be dropped. Check with your DUI lawyer to see if this might be a possible option in your situation.
Seek an Experienced DUI Lawyer
Regardless of the understandable tendency one might have to downplay its seriousness, being arrested for a DUI is significant and potentially carries extremely serious consequences.
Seeking a knowledgeable attorney to assist in one’s defense should be the first step taken. A skilled DUI lawyer Baltimore MD clients recommend from the Greenberg Law Offices is ready, willing, and able to assist. Contact the office today to schedule an initial consultation.