License Suspended? Know Your Options.
One of the most common penalties for a DUI is a license suspension. There are a few factors that help determine how long your license will be suspended. Let’s take a look at these factors and how you can avoid severe punishment when charged with a DUI.
Two Types of Penalties for DUI
When you are charged with a DUI, you will face two criminal proceedings: a criminal hearing in court and an administrative hearing that assesses penalties to your driving record and license. In the criminal hearing, your lawyer will defend your case in order to reduce penalties, which can include fines and jail time.
Administrative Penalties & License Suspension
Administrative penalties for DUI are assessed by the Motor Vehicle Association of Maryland. The state asserts that if you are charged with a DUI, your license will be confiscated and you will be given a temporary Maryland driver’s license to be used until administrative penalties have been decided.
DUI offenders receive a suspension of driving privileges for a specific amount of time depending on their BAC at the time of DUI charge, their criminal history and driving record, and other important details regarding the circumstances of the DUI. The general length of driver’s license suspensions and points assessed for this crime are:
- 1st Offense: Suspension up to 6 months + 12 points added to your license
- 2nd Offense: Suspension up to 12 months + 12 points added to your license
If, at the time of your arrest, you refuse the breathalyzer test, your license can be suspended for up to 120 days for your first offense and one year for a second offense.
In addition to license suspension and points, the MVA can assess further penalties, such as requiring participation in alcohol abuse classes and/or enrollment in Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program. The latter is a program that requires the placement of an alcohol breath testing device inside your vehicle that keeps the car from starting unless the test concludes that you have had no alcohol before getting in the vehicle. This is also known as an ignition interlock device.
How to Avoid Harsh DUI Penalties in Maryland
The first way to avoid penalties for a crime is, of course, to not commit one in the first place. However, we all make mistakes and deserve a fair trial when our DUI or criminal case goes to court. Albers & Associates is here to coach you through the legal process involving your DUI, and will use our abundant experience in legal defense and DUI to ensure you are not treated unfairly or assessed unjust penalties for your crime.
Contact us for more information on how we can help with your case today.
Will I Lose My License?
You might. Depending on the type of license you have and whether or not you are convicted, your license may be suspended or even revoked depending on the circumstances of your charges. However, even being charged with a DUI can result in the suspension of your license, which can affect your life substantially.
Will I Lose My Job?
It depends on your job. At the time of your arrest, the police officer will confiscate your license and provide you with a paper license that you can use until your MVA Hearing. However, for people who hold commercial driver’s licenses, also known as CDLs, this will not replace the license you need to do your job. So, until the charges are cleared, you will not be able to work. Getting on the phone with a lawyer as soon as humanly possible is essential for your continued employment.
Am I Going to Jail?
You might. If you are found guilty of a DUI, particularly if this is your second or third offense, you may face jail time. One possible outcome of DUI court proceedings, a Probation Before Judgment, can be sought. If you are able to secure a PBJ, you will be able to avoid going to jail.