In most cases, a DUI is considered a misdemeanor in the state of Maryland. However, there are situations in which a DUI charge is escalated to a felony. A felony is a much more serious situation not only in terms of the penalties you face, but for the impact it may have on your future.
If you’re charged with a DUI in Maryland, your best bet to avoiding a felony charge is working with an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer.
What Kinds of Factors Can Escalate DUI Charges?
There are a few different factors that may escalate your DUI charges in Maryland. For example, if a minor was either in your vehicle or in some way involved in the situation, your charges may escalate.
Furthermore, there are also situations in which an elevated BAC can also result in harsher judgment. Though .08 is the BC required to qualify for a DUI, if your BAC is measured to be higher than .15, a judge is going to take your crime more seriously.
The logic dictating these escalations is that the more dangerous your drunk driving was, the more serious your crime was, and thus the more serious your penalties must be. If you find yourself in one of these above situations, it’s possible you will be facing a felony DUI charge.
Vehicular Manslaughter and Drunk Driving
Another factor that may escalate your charges is whether or not your actions resulted in the death of another driver, passenger, or pedestrian. Homicide by a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is a felony carrying a maximum of $5,000 in fines and a potential for five years in prison for a first conviction. The penalties can be exponentially worse if you’re on your 2nd of 3rd DUI charge.
If your actions result in the death of another person, you will need to contact a Maryland DUI Lawyer as soon as possible to figure out your options.
Albers & Associates Can Help You
If you are facing felony DUI charges in Towson, Westminster, Columbia, or any other region in Maryland, seek out the aid of an experienced Maryland felony DUI attorney who specialized in DUI cases.
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.