Maryland DUI FAQ
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 are a few of the most common questions that we get here at The Law Office of Ross W. Albers.
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, and whether or not you are convicted of the charges.
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.
However, 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. Here’s more on is a DUI a Felony?
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 monthly.
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 a probation before judgment.
What is probation before judgment or PBJ?
Maryland’s probation before judgment, or PBJ as it is commonly referred to, is a possible outcome in a criminal, DUI/DWI and traffic case in Maryland. A PBJ can be obtained during plea negotiations with the assistant state’s attorney and court or by sentence of the court after a guilty plea or finding of guilty after a trial. In order to receive a PBJ, the defendant must first be found guilty. Then, the court will strike the guilty finding and grant the defendant the benefit of a PBJ. Not everyone is eligible for a PBJ and it can include a period of supervised probation, unsupervised probation, fine, and/or time served.
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.
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).
I have already been arrested and am looking for a DUI lawyer. What questions should I be asking?
There are three questions that you should ask every Maryland DUI lawyer before selecting legal representation:
Are Maryland DUI cases a major area of your practice?
Maryland DUI law is a complex and constantly evolving legal arena. Continual research, training, and experience in court is required to stay current on the best available DUI defenses and trial tactics.
An experienced Maryland DUI Lawyer will understand how to position your case for the best possible outcome. Because the bulk of cases Ross W. Albers represents are DUI cases, he is always up-to-date on the evolving and changing DUI laws and complexities in Maryland.
What are the possible factual and legal defenses of my Maryland DUI case?
Maryland DUI cases can be won in court due to factual and legal issues with the stop, field sobriety tests, arrest and breathalyzer results. Inexperienced DUI litigators may overlook such defenses and not be ready to take your case to trial.
Are you willing to take a Maryland DUI case to trial?
When fighting a DUI case, it is essential that your Maryland DUI Lawyer have the courtroom skills and experience necessary to successfully defend your case. Just because you’ll get a probation judgment doesn’t mean you should plead guilty.