Maryland DUI First Offense
Although it does not happen often, even a first-time offender can be sentenced to jail time if he or she is convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Maryland. Indeed, under the state’s sentencing guidelines, the maximum penalties for a Maryland DUI first offense include a one-year jail sentence, as well as a six-month license suspension and $1,000 fine.
What’s more, due to the danger of driving under the influence, individuals who are arrested for DUI while carrying a passenger under 16 can expect to face additional punishment for their actions. Along with DUI, a separate charge may be applied for transporting a minor.
As you can probably guess, if you are convicted of both offenses, the court will most likely impose a harsher sentence than what you would receive if you were found guilty of only one of the charges. Unfortunately, that means you could spend up to two years in jail and pay as much as $2,000 in fines if you convicted of DUI and transporting a minor.
It is also important to know that, once you have any type of DUI conviction on your record, you will be treated as a repeat offender if you are arrested for driving under the influence within the next five years. As a convicted drunk driver, the penalties will get even tougher with each subsequent conviction.
As you can see, you will face a number of severe penalties if you are charged with DUI in Maryland. Even if it is your first offense, you could spend time in jail, lose your driving privileges, and/or incur hundreds of dollars in fines if you are convicted.
With such devastating consequences looming before you, it is important to have professional legal counsel when your day in court arrives, as the right attorney can significantly increase your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome to your case.
For example, your attorney may be able to convince the judge to waive many of the penalties mentioned above if you agree to undergo treatment for alcohol abuse and/or complete a driver’s education program—and in some cases, an attorney may even be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed entirely.