DUI/DWI? Know Your Rights.
Being charged with a DUI or a DWI can have a catastrophic effect on your livelihood and your future. The penalties are serious, but before you panic, call on a Maryland DUI lawyer to take a look at your case and help you. You may be able to avoid certain penalties or have your charges reduced based on a wide variety of factors.
What are the Legal Penalties for a DUI or DWI?
Years of Jail Time
One of the most frightening penalties for a DUI/DWI is jail time. For a 1st DUI offense, you may face up to a year in jail for a DUI and up to two months for a DWI. On a 2nd offense, you may face up to two years for a DUI and one year for a DWI. Subsequent offenses may result in up to three years of jail time for either a DUI or a DWI.
Fines that Hit Where it Hurts
Financial penalties often accompany a DUI or DWI offense. For a 1st offense, you may face fines up to $1,000 for a DUI and $500 for a DWI. After a 2nd offense, you could face up to $2,000 for a DUI, though the fine for a DWI is still $500. Third offenses and beyond could mean fines up to $3000 for both DUIs and DWIs.
A Suspension of Your License
Many, if not most, Americans need their license to get to work, handle small tasks, and to enjoy a meaningful quality of life. However, a license is not a right; it’s a privilege. If you are convicted of a DUI or a DWI, you may face having your license suspended for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on your case.
License suspension will also come into play if you refuse to take a chemical test due to the implied consent laws in Maryland. For your first offense, you can face a 270-day suspension of your license if you refuse a breathalyzer test. For your second offense and subsequent refusals, your license will be suspended for 2 years.
Following your arrest, you will need to seek a hearing with the MVA to dispute the suspension or revocation of your license.
An Ignition Interlock System
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a breathalyzer that is integrated into your vehicle’s ignition system. They are required to be installed after a DUI conviction in the State of Maryland, even for first-time offenders. Though the IID program was only required for offenders with multiple DUIs in the past, Noah’s Law has expanded the program.
If you are required to invest in an IID, you will have to pay not only to have it installed, but to maintain it, and then have it removed from your vehicle when the time comes.
What Constitutes a DUI Vs. a DWI in Maryland?
The penalties for a DUI are much heftier than the penalties for a DWI. The difference is in your BAC levels. You will be charged with a DUI when you test for a BAC of .08 or higher. For a DWI, your test will come in between .04% and .08%.
For drivers under the age of 21, you can be charged with a BAC of .02% or higher. The state of Maryland has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving, so even one drink can lead to serious consequences.
The situation is similar for drivers of commercial vehicles. If you are in operation of a commercial vehicle at the time of your arrest, your BAC can be no higher than .04% or you will face DUI charges.
Work with a Trusted DUI Lawyer in Maryland
If you’re looking for someone who works with you to secure your future, call on Albers & Associates today for a free consultation.