DUI - DWI - Drunk Driving Defense Attorney
What is the Impact of a DUI?
Maryland has a reputation of being pretty easy on first time DUIs. Maybe it is, in that a convicted first timer will almost never see the inside of a jail in many parts of the state. But that isn’t the only factor to consider.
True, many if not most first timers will be granted the benefit of Probation Before Judgment (PBJ). That means the judge has stricken the guilty and no points are assessed on the driving record. That may be good, but is that the end?
Depending on the judge, the person will likely be placed on supervised probation for up to three years (in the district court, five in the circuit court), although most judges are between one year and eighteen months. That probation will likely be supervised, which means monthly fees of up to $95.00 per month. Alcohol education classes will almost certainly be ordered. The person will have to report to a Drinking Driving Monitor (probation agent) as often as the monitor wants, which for most is once monthly, but can be more frequent. The monitor usually has the authority to grant or deny permission to leave the state while on probation. They will probably want to visit your home and confirm your employment with your company. In Anne Arundel County the local newspaper prints the names of those found guilty of DUI/DWI. Maryland has a publicly accessible website that includes criminal and traffic charges that would reveal that someone has been charged or found guilty or given a PBJ for DUI/DWI. Friends, family, neighbors and employers/potential employers may well find out. Your ability to rent an apartment or a car may be compromised. Your insurance company may cancel your insurance, even with a PBJ, or may otherwise seek to raise your rates. If you are convicted the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will try to suspend or revoke your driving privilege. If you’re are unable to drive (legally) you may not be able to get back and forth to work, and driving with a suspended driving privilege is a crime punishable by possible incarceration.
The current Maryland legislative session is considering bills that would make it mandatory for judges to order installation of an ignition interlock device upon conviction or granting of probation.
If you work for the federal government, have a security clearance or are in the military, a guilty finding, even with a PBJ for a first offense, can be a career ending experience. The military considers probation, even unsupervised, as inconsistent with continued service. These matters especially must be handled with the utmost care.
Immigrants, even those legally admitted even for a long period of time have particular concerns.
Individuals with a Commercial Drivers License (CDL), have particular issues that may not apply to most drivers, but that can result in the disqualification of the CDL, resulting in possible job loss.
Contact our office today for a free initial consultation.