A DUI is a very serious offense which carries severe penalties and often has lasting consequences for the person charged. If you have been charged with a DUI over the Labor Day weekend, or during any other time of year, it is important that you understand the types of penalties you will face as well as the possible associated long-term consequences. You should also understand your legal rights and how an attorney can assist in furthering those rights and defending against criminal charges.
First-time DUI offenders in Maryland may face up to a $1,000 fine and 12 months in jail. Additionally, a first DUI signals the addition of 12 points on a driver's record and the revocation of a license for up to six months. In cases where an individual is convicted of a subsequent DUI, he or she may face up to a $2,000 fine and 24 months in jail. A second DUI conviction also includes the addition of 12 points to a driving record and the loss of a driver's license for up to 12 months. Additionally, a second DUI signals a mandatory alcohol abuse assessment and, if a second offense is within five years of a first offense, participation in Maryland's Ignition Interlock Program upon regaining driving privileges.
Long-term Consequences of a DUI
A DUI can negatively impact an individual's future in numerous ways. For example, without a driver's license, it can be difficult to find or keep a job. For commercial truck and delivery drivers, a DUI will likely force a career change. Additionally, the ripple-effect of a DUI can put added strain and pressure on a spouse, partner or others upon whom an individual must rely for transportation.
For individuals who are facing DUI charges, the outcome of a case is important for both their present and future lives as well as those of their family members. For these reasons, individuals who are facing DUI charges would be wise to contact a criminal defense attorney. An attorney will investigate and assess evidence, address questions and concerns and provide options for how to proceed. In some cases, charges may be reduced or dropped altogether.