Facing any type of criminal allegations can be disheartening. The outcomes of such accusations could considerably impact a person's life, and if you have been in such a situation and moved through the criminal court process as necessary, you may feel relieved to have such an issue behind you. However, if you find yourself charged with DUI for a second or subsequent time, you may wonder how the additional offense could impact you.
Often, individuals who are considered repeat offenders face harsher punishments if convicted for charges than those who have been charged for the first time. If you wonder whether the court may see you as a repeat offender for DUI, you may wish to find out what stipulations could lead to this classification.
Who is a repeat offender?
In Maryland, just because you have had multiple DUI charges brought against you in your life, it does not necessarily mean you will automatically fall into the category of a repeat offender. In order to obtain this status, you must have been charged with DUI more than once within a five-year time frame. If the court does consider you a repeat offender, you will likely face a license suspension for one year.
Notice of suspension
If you find yourself in such a situation, you should receive a notice of suspension. After obtaining this notice, you should take your most current license to the Motor Vehicle Administration office. You may wish to pay particular attention to the information in this notice as it could inform you how to combat the repeat offender status or how to potentially obtain a different suspension outcome.
After you have completed your designated license suspension, you will likely have to utilize an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This device measures your blood alcohol concentration level after you provide a breath sample. If the sample indicates an acceptable BAC level, the vehicle should start. If your BAC level is over the limit, the device should keep your vehicle from operating.
Defending against charges
Though wondering what consequences you could face as a repeat DUI offender is understandable, you do not have to feel that you are resigned to such a status. Even if you do have DUI charges brought against you within a five-year period of a previous conviction, you have the right to defend against the allegations. A successful case could allow you to avoid negative consequences.