With just 10 days after your DUI arrest to request a hearing to save your license, a Maryland DUI requires your immediate attention. Of course, if you have never been charged with a DUI before, you might not know what you need to do.
Your first step should be to find an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer who can guide you through this sensitive time. It’s important to remember that not all attorneys routinely practice this area of the law. That’s why you need to find a lawyer who specializes in DUI cases, and who practices Maryland DUI laws daily.
You should also take an active interest in your case by spending time learning more about Maryland DUI laws. As the saying goes, knowledge is power. The more you know about the state’s drinking and driving laws, the better understanding you’ll have about how your case should be handled.
Maryland DUI Basics
Before we discuss the specific penalties you could be facing, it’s important that you first understand the basics of Maryland DUI laws. In Maryland, you can be charged with drunk driving under two different methods.
First, if you’re operating a motor vehicle and your BAC is .08% or higher, you will be charged immediately with a DUI. In cases like these, body chemistry is the only thing that really matters. Even if your driving shows no signs of impairment, if your BAC exceeds the legal limit, you’ll be charged with a DUI.
But even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you could still be slapped with a DUI. For a BAC between .04 and .07, drivers may be charged with a DUI if an officer determines they’re impaired. This means things such as your driving pattern, your performance on field sobriety tests, and your overall behavior can influence an officer’s judgment. Of course, these cases are much more subjective, and a good Maryland DUI lawyer can scrutinize this evidence for accuracy.
Maryland DUI Penalties
Now that you have a better understanding of why you received your DUI, it’s time to discuss the penalties you’re up against. Like other states, Maryland’s DUI penalties get more severe with each additional offense.
If this is your first DUI, your license will take a hit of 12 points. Additionally, it will be suspended for at least 45 days, and you could spend up to a year in jail. You’ll also have to pay up to $1,000 in fines (not including court fees and other related costs.)
If this is your second DUI, you are required to spend at least 5 days in jail. Your license could be suspended anywhere between 90 days and one year. You’ll also have another 12 points on your license, and they could decide to install an ignition interlock device on your car. Again, the fines will be hefty.
On your third DUI offense, you could face up to 3 years in jail. Fines average around $3,000, and your license will be taken away for at least 18 months.
Other factors that could increase your Maryland DUI penalties include refusing to take BAC tests, driving with a minor in the car, or getting in an accident while under the influence.
Maryland DUI Lawyer
With an experience Maryland UDI lawyer on your team, you might be able to lessen or avoid many of these strict penalties. More importantly, if you weren’t guilty in the first place, the attorney will fight flimsy evidence to construct a solid defense on your behalf.