Some states call it DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and some call it DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), but no matter what it’s called, it’s illegal in every state. Many people have heard the term DUI in passing, and may have a basic understanding of it, but oftentimes we’ve found that people are ignorant of the true meaning of the term and its implications.
Ross W. Albers has provided DUI attorney services to Maryland for years and knows the ins and outs of DUI law. We wanted to take some time to use this knowledge and dive a little in-depth to just what exactly a DUI is.
Both Alcohol and Drugs
When thinking of a DUI, most people think of “drunk driving” but it could also be “high driving”. Driving under the influence of marijuana, cocaine, or any narcotic is dangerous and puts you at risk to receive a Maryland DUI. The test for alcohol is your blood alcohol content (BAC), which can’t be higher than .08 percent. But when it comes to narcotics and drugs, there isn’t anything like the BAC to measure your levels, so instead a field sobriety test (FST) must be administered. FSTs are a series of tests and tasks that the officer will ask you to complete (walk in a straight line, recite the alphabet backwards, touch your nose and your head, etc.). Failure to complete these tasks correctly could result in a DUI.
Felony Vs. Misdemeanor
There is a big difference between receiving a misdemeanor DUI and a felony DUI. Being given a Maryland misdemeanor DUI charge usually means that no one was injured and no property damage was caused. The penalty for a misdemeanor is typically 6 months of jail time. Felony DUIs are much more serious and are most often given out when someone is hurt, if you have prior misdemeanors, or if you’ve received a prior felony DUI within the last 10 years. You could face up to 3 years in jail and fines up to $3,000.
The entire process of being charged with and receiving a DUI is difficult and trying enough, but you may not know that having a DUI on your record can have longer-lasting effects. Receiving a Maryland DUI charge can make seeking future employment next to impossible, and can make renting or buying a home very difficult. Additionally it will also raise your insurance rates significantly, in some cases as much as three times. The best way to avoid all of these consequences is to avoid the Maryland DUI charge all together
Work With an Experienced Maryland DUI Lawyer
If you want to beat your Maryland DUI charge, then you need the aid of an experienced Maryland DUI attorney. Ross W. Albers has been helping Maryland residents for years, and we know we can help you with your charges. If you need help with your Maryland DUI case, or if you just have any questions, feel free to give us a call today. We’re standing by ready to help you in any way we can.
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.