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Being convicted of a DUI or a DWI in Maryland will have serious repercussions on your life and your future. During this difficult time, you will probably have a lot of questions about what will happen to you and the potential, specific impacts that DUI or DWI charges will have.

Though we recommend coming in for a one-on-one consultation, here is some more information to help you understand your circumstances, starting off with the 3 biggest questions we get about DUI/DWI cases.

dui questions

Will I lose my license?

After you have been arrested for a DUI in Maryland, you may be wondering whether or not you will lose your license. This will depend on a few different factors. If you’ve been pulled over for drinking and driving, then you may have your license confiscated by the officer.

You may face the loss of your license if you refuse to take a chemical test, have previous DUI/DWI charges, were involved in an accident, or if you are convicted of the charges. Your license’s status may also be affected by the nature of the crime, whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor. A felony DUI is going to have more serious consequences, as it usually includes loss of life or property.

How Will a DUI Affect my CDL?

Punishments for a DUI in a commercial vehicle are even more serious than those of a personal vehicle. For starters, because your license is suspended, this means no work. Not to mention, the legal limit for driving a commercial vehicle is half that of a regular DUI. Here’s more information on how a DUI will affect a CDL.

Will I lose my job?

Once again, this is highly dependent on not only the specifics of your employment but also the details of your case. For example, if you are a commercial driver, then a DUI charge could have serious consequences for the future of your employment. This is also true if your job requires a security clearance, which may be affected by criminal charges.

We usually recommend that our clients do not disclose the information of their arrests unless they are obligated to. Though a DUI may not affect your job, not being able to drive to and from work may greatly affect your ability to maintain employment. We can discuss the specifics of your case when you come in for a free consultation.

Will I go to jail?

Whether or not you serve jail time is also based on a variety of factors that include, but are not limited to, previous offenses, your age, and your BAC at the time of your arrest. If you think that you may face jail time in any amount, it is of the utmost importance that you consult an experienced Maryland DUI attorney as soon as possible.

Is a DUI a Felony or a Misdemeanor?

That depends on the nature of your DUI. Most DUI cases are considered misdemeanors, but if there is a loss of human life as a result of driving under the influence, then the charges may be escalated. You can learn more here. 

Will my car be fitted with an ignition interlock device?

It is highly possible that you will need to have an ignition interlock device installed within your vehicle if you wish to keep driving. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest and your case, you may be eligible for a hardship license. However, in many cases, an IID will be required to qualify for such a provision.

Who pays for the ignition interlock device and how much will it cost?

In almost all cases the convicted driver must pay for the installation cost and the monthly fees associated with maintaining an IID. The price will vary but you can expect to pay over $100 for installation and anywhere from $50-$100 a month to lease.

Do I have to plead guilty?

No, you do not have to plead guilty in the state of Maryland. There are many DUI defenses: you can take your case to trial or attempt to suppress a lot of the state’s evidence. For example, you can challenge the stop, the field sobriety test, and also the breathalyzer test. If you are interested in taking your case to trial and not pleading guilty, contact the office to discuss the details of your case with us.

What can I do to help my case before the trial?

Before your trial, there are a few things that you can do to improve your chances of having favorable outcomes for your DUI arrest in Maryland.

  • Abide by any restrictions placed on you and your license.
  • Seek out an Alcohol Assessment and enroll in education courses.
  • Work with your Maryland DUI Lawyer and follow their advice.

How many points will I get for a DUI in Maryland?

It depends on your case but generally speaking Maryland’s law is 12 points for a DUI and 8 points for a DWI unless you get probation before judgment. The PBJ is often a very attractive option for new drivers facing DUI charges. 

Will I have to pay fines for getting a DUI?

The different levels of Maryland DUI Penalties are as follows:

  • DWI — The maximum penalty for driving while impaired (DWI) in Maryland is 60 days incarceration and/or a $500.00 fine.
  • DUI — The maximum penalty for driving under the influence (DUI) in Maryland is 1-year incarceration and/or a $1,000.00 fine.
  • DUI Per Se — The maximum penalty for driving under the influence per se (DUI per se) in Maryland is 1-year incarceration and/or a $1,000.00 fine.

Can I get a DUI if I was under 0.08 BAC?

In Maryland the blood alcohol content, or BAC, to receive a DUI is 0.08 or over. If a driver’s BAC is 0.04-0.08, the driver is most often charged with a DWI, which usually carries a less severe penalty. It is most common for a driver with a BAC under 0.08 to receive a DWI when an accident or bodily injury is also involved.

How many drinks are required to reach the Maryland BAC limit of 0.08?

It is impossible to determine a set number of drinks required to reach the Maryland BAC limit for DUI. A person’s body mass, sex, tolerance, time frame in which drinks were consumed and even if they have eaten, all play a factor in the BAC formula. The best answer is, if you are drinking alcohol, do not drive.

How much will my DUI trial cost?

As always your case evaluation will be free. Because each case has its own set of determining factors and because we handle each case individually, the cost per DUI case will vary from client to client. We do believe that everyone has the right to affordable and effective representation, so call us or schedule a case evaluation so that we can better understand your situation and provide you with a quote.

What if I don’t request an MVA hearing?

If you do not request an MVA hearing within 10 days, your Maryland driving privileges will be suspended as follows:

  • Blood Alcohol Content: 0.08 – 0.14
    1st DUI – 45-day suspension
    2nd DUI or more – 90-day suspension
  • Blood Alcohol Content: 0.15 or more
    1st DUI – 90-day suspension
    2nd DUI or more – 180-day suspension
  • Blood Alcohol Content: Refused test
    1st DUI – 120-day suspension
    2nd DUI or more: 1-year suspension

What is the difference in penalties between DUI and DWI?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is the more serious crime. It requires that the alcohol you consumed has substantially impaired your normal coordination. Driving while impaired by alcohol is the less serious crime. It requires that the alcohol you consumed has impaired normal coordination to some extent. Here’s more on the differences between a DUI and a DWI.

What is the Difference Between a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Offense?

As you accumulate more DUI convictions, the penalties for subsequent offenses is going to become harsher over time. To learn more about the specifics of what you may be facing, check out our “The Differences Between a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd DUI Offense” page.

Can I Get My DUI Charges Dropped?

It is possible to get DUI charges dropped depending on the nature and circumstances of your case. We’ll need to sit down with you to learn more about your particular case, so contact us today to set up a free consultation.

Can I Have My Records Expunged?

We’ll answer that question on this page, in more depth. However, the short answer is no.

What is driving under the influence of alcohol per se?

Driving under the influence of alcohol per se is the more serious crime. It requires that you took a test that showed an alcohol level at the time of .08 or more. This arrest will carry some of the heftiest penalties and fines.

If you have been charged with the crimes of driving under the influence of alcohol per se, then the State of Maryland must prove that you drove, operated or were in actual physical control of a vehicle and also that, at the time of testing, you were under the influence of alcohol per se (above the legal limit in Maryland).

Can You Get a DUI If You’re Underage?

The short answer is, yes. You can get a DUI/DWI whether you’re 9 or 99. However, there are special penalties and parameters that underage DUI/DWI cases may face. Make sure you get the facts. 

Should You Refuse the Breathalyzer?

When you get pulled over, you may be asked to take a breath test to determine your sobriety based on probable cause or while passing through a sobriety checkpoint. Though you have the option to opt-out of the test, you will face penalties. In many cases, it is best to take the test, even if you will fail it. Learn more about this situation here. In some cases, you may even fail the breath test without any impairing substances in your system. False positives happen and here’s what you need to know. 

DUI/DWI FAQs

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.

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