Understanding repeat offender DUI allegations in Maryland

| Feb 17, 2021 | Drunk Driving

In Maryland, driving under the influence is treated very seriously by law enforcement and prosecutors. Because it is perceived as such a dangerous act, there are various penalties assessed if a person is arrested and convicted of DUI. If it is a first offense, the person can be fined as much as $1,000; there can be a year in jail; 12 points will be placed on the driver’s license; and there can be a license revocation for up to one year. Even after a driver has completed his or her sentence, another allegation of DUI and being labeled a repeat offender can result in other penalties. If this happens, it is important to consider the alternatives for a legal defense.

What happens if I face being a repeat offender?

A second DUI conviction will lead to a $2,000 fine and up to two years in jail. At least five days’ incarceration will be required. There will be 12 points on the license and there can be a yearlong revocation. A driver will be a repeat offender if the subsequent DUI conviction happens within five years of the first. After a conviction, there must be an ignition interlock device on the person’s vehicle for one year. The license must be returned to the Motor Vehicle Administration. If the person wants a hearing to show that two violations did not happen in the five-year period, information on how to proceed will be on the Notice of Suspension. There are fees associated with the ignition interlock device.

There are legal options when charged with DUI

With any DUI charge, there are alternatives to fight the case. It becomes especially important to understand the available avenues of defense if there is the possibility of being categorized as a repeat offender. Often, a DUI charge hinges on the arresting officer’s assessment of factors including the breath test and the driver’s behavior. There might have been a breach in protocol with the investigation, the breathalyzer machine may not have been properly calibrated, or the driver could have a legitimate reason for appearing under the influence. The case could be dismissed or the charges reduced. Considering the possible strategies to fight the charges may require legal assistance.

Having legal advice may be crucial to a successful outcome

Being arrested for DUI is undoubtedly intimidating and worrisome. The potential personal, professional and financial penalties are challenging and could cause long-term damage to a person’s life and reputation. Fortunately, it is often possible to achieve a positive result and avoid the worst penalties. Consulting with a legal professional experienced in DUI cases can provide guidance with how to formulate a defense.