Dealing with the Maryland legal system can be a daunting experience for almost anyone. This can especially be true for individuals who are suddenly facing charges of driving under the influence of alcohol. Thoughts of losing one’s license, potential fines and even the possibility of serving jail time may cause a lot of sleepless nights.
Differences between a first and second offense
The penalties for a DUI conviction in the state of Maryland can vary significantly based on whether the individual found guilty has any prior offenses. For a first offense, the accused could potentially serve a jail sentence of one year or less and be fined up to $1,000. One’s license could also be suspended for up to six months.
In the case of a second conviction, the person found guilty could potentially serve up to two years in jail while also facing a fine up to $2,000. There is also a five-day mandatory minimum jail sentence, and the revocation period for driver’s license suspension is up to a full year. If both convictions take place within a five-year time period, the accused will be required to complete the Ignition Interlock Program once the mandatory license suspension is over. For offenses beyond a second conviction or in situations where a minor was a passenger in the vehicle, much harsher penalties typically apply.
Seeking help and support
Facing charges of driving under the influence of alcohol in Maryland is something to take seriously, but still far from an actual conviction. Fortunately, there are professional resources readily available to those going through these challenging times. An experienced attorney can carefully analyze the details of one’s arrest, including if any missteps were made by law enforcement, explore all potential legal options given the unique circumstances, and build the best criminal defense case possible if ultimately needed.