Having a criminal record can affect many different areas of your life depending on the crimes you have been convicted of. Though many people are not aware of this, it is possible to have a wide variety of previous crimes expunged from your record after a certain amount of time with no additional convictions has passed. However, this is not the case for DUIs in Maryland. You can not get a DUI expunged from your record here, but what can you do?
Before Your Conviction, Rally Your Defenses!
The best thing to do to ensure that a DUI doesn’t ruin your future is to not get convicted of one in the first place. If you have been charged with a DUI, then you will need a lawyer on your side to address both the criminal charges and the MVA hearing. Depending on your situation, a probation before judgment may be appropriate for you. A PBJ will essentially keep your record private from employers, land lords, and other such people. Law enforcement, however, will be able to see it in the event that you are charged with another DUI within 5 years.
Why Do Those 5 Years Matter?
If you get convicted of a DUI and then another one within 5 years, your charges will escalate. You will pay higher fines, spend more time in prison if that occurs, and will not be eligible for a PBJ. However, when enough time has passed from one crime to the next, each crime will be counted as a first offense and the penalties will be lower. The state of Maryland is cracking down on DUI-related offenses with higher penalties and vigilance across the board, which makes avoiding a conviction all the more important.
Here’s How a Lawyer Can Help You.
There are many times in our lives where we make mistakes, but an honest mistake should never ruin your life. When you work with a trusted DUI lawyer, you can ensure that one mistake won’t cost you everything.
If you have questions about how we can help you, contact us today for a free consultation.
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.