Towson DUI Lawyer - First Offense DUI in Maryland

What will happen with a first offense DUI in Maryland? Most first offense DUI charges in Maryland result in a PBJ as the outcome.

A PBJ is an acronym for “probation before judgment.” A PBJ is defined in Maryland Criminal Procedure 6-220(b).

Benefits of a PBJ in a DUI Case

A PBJ means that the defendant has not been found guilty. The law states, “a court may stay the entering of judgment, defer further proceedings, and place the defendant on probation subject to reasonable conditions…” When the Court “stay the entering of judgment” it is not entering a guilty finding and instead enters a PBJ for the charge or charges.

If the Court “stays” the entering of judgment, then the Court has not found you guilty and you can say in the future that you have not been convicted.

Another benefit of a PBJ is points will not be assessed to the driver’s Maryland driving record. Maryland Transportation Article 16-402 states, “After the conviction of an individual for a violation……or of the vehicle laws or regulations of this State or of any local authority, points shall be assessed against the individual…”

Since the driver has not been convicted and the judgment of guilty has been stayed, points will not be assessed to the driving record for the driver.

First Offense DUI in Maryland

A PBJ for a first offense DUI in Maryland is not automatic. The driver/defendant must appear in Court with a lawyer that presents mitigation on behalf of the defendant. If the defendant appears without a lawyer or “pro se,” the likelehood of receiving a PBJ for a first offense DUI is must lower. In addition, if a defendant does not has an attorney at trial, Judges will typically increase the fines and conditions of probation.

A lawyer may also be helpful is litigating your DUI/DWI charges. This means challenging the State’s evidence and pleading “not guilty.” If a defendant pleads not guilty, they can elect a bench or Judge trial or a jury trial. When this happens, the Judge or jury must determine if the driver violated the law.

What will happen when you go to Court for a DUI in Maryland.

If it is your first offense DUI in Maryland, the following maximum penalties apply.  If you need a lawyer for a DUI in Maryland, call attorney Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 or email the office for immediate legal help and to schedule a FREE consultation.

What are the Maryland DUI Laws for a First Offense?

The following list provides the maximum penalties for a first offense DUI in Maryland.  Look at your citations and find the transportation section you are charged with and then find in the list below.

  • 21-902(a)(1) driving while under the influence of alcohol:
    • Fine of not more than $1000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year or both.
  • 21-902(a)(2) driving while under the influence of alcohol per se:
    • Fine of not more than $1000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year or both.
  • 21-902(a)(3) driving while under the influence of alcohol while transporting a minor:
    • Fine of not more than $2000 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years or both.
  • 21-902(b)(1) driving while impaired by alcohol
    • Fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or both.
  • 21-902(b)(2) driving while impaired by alcohol while transporting a minor:
    • Fine of not more than $1000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months of both.
  • 21-902(c)(1) driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol:
    • Fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 2 months or both.
  • 21-902(c)(3) driving while impaired by drugs or drugs and alcohol while transporting a minor:
    • Fine of not more than $1000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months or both.
  • 21-902(d)(1) driving while impaired by controlled dangerous substance (CDS):
    • Fine of not more than $1000 or imprisonment for not more than 1 year or both.
  • 21-902(d)(2) driving while impaired by controlled dangerous substance (CDS) while transporting a minor:
    • Fine of not more than $2000 or imprisonment for not more than 2 years or both.

Is DUI in Maryland a Misdemeanor of Felony?

DUI (driving under the influence) in Maryland is classified as a misdemeanor.

If you have been charged with DUI in Maryland, call attorney Randolph Rice, at (410) 694-7291 for immediate legal help.

Learn more about administrative and criminal penalties of a first offense DUI or DWI in Maryland from a trained and experienced drunk driving defense lawyer. Attorney Randolph Rice is a Maryland DUI/DWI defense attorney. He is a former prosecutor and has defended thousands of clients charged with drunk driving in Maryland.

Under Maryland Transportation Law 21-902, there are two separate sections that a person can be charged with if suspected of drunk driving.

The first section is classified as a DUI (21-902(a)), or driving under the influence of alcohol. There are two separate subsections of the DUI laws that includes driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of alcohol per se. The penalties are the same for both subsections for a first offense DUI or DWI in Maryland.

First offense driving under the influence in Maryland

If charged with DUI, a first offense conviction in Maryland may result in one year in jail or a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both. While most first time offenders do not receive a jail sentence, it is possible depending on the facts of the DUI/DWI arrest. Such facts as an accident or injury to an innocent victim can expose an individual to jail time for a first time conviction. Most defendants facing a DUI or DWI in Maryland will receive a PBJ if they complete a number of tasks before Court and hire a lawyer.

First offense driving while impaired in Maryland

Of the Maryland drunk driving laws, driving while impaired can be classified as either

  • Driving while impaired by alcohol
  • Driving while impaired buy drugs, a combination of drugs, or combination of one or more drugs and alcohol.

If an individual is convicted of a first offense DWI in Maryland they could face up to two months in jail and a fine of $500.

DUI and DWI first offense while transporting a minor in Maryland

If an individual is arrested for drunk driving in Maryland and there is a minor in the vehicle at the time of the stop there are enhanced penalties for a first offense Maryland.

If convicted of DUI, first offense while transporting a minor or result in a maximum jail sentence of two years or a fine of $2,000, or both.

If an individual is convicted of driving while impaired, DWI, while transporting a minor, the first offense could result in a six-month jail sentence and a fine of $1,000.

Driving while impaired by controlled dangerous substance first offense Baltimore Criminal Defense Attorney

Any person convicted of driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance in Maryland, for a first offense will result in a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If a person is convicted of driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance while transporting minor they could face up to two years in jail and a $2,000 fine for a first offense.

Administrative Penalties for a first-offense DUI in Maryland

In addition to potential jail time, probation, court cost and fines, an individual may be facing administrative penalties for a DUI or DWI arrest. Administrative penalties are determined by the course of action an individual takes in regards to the breath or blood test.

If an individual refuses to take a breath or blood test, the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will suspend the driver’s license or allow the person to participate in the ignition interlock program.

If a driver chooses to take the test and returns a result of .08 to .14, that driver may be eligible for a restricted or modified license. If a driver elects to take a breath or blood test and provides a test result of .15 or more, the administration will suspend the driver’s license or allow them to participate in the ignition interlock program.

Getting help from Maryland DUI lawyer for your first offense

First-offense DUI arrests are serious in Maryland and it is important that you seek the advice and representation from a skilled and accomplished DUI lawyer. The emotional strain and worry about the long-term effects can wreak havoc on your life.

Concerns about your loss of license, how will affect your job and your reputation are normal concerns for anyone charged with drunk driving in Maryland. I facing a first offense DUI/DWI in Maryland, it is important that you take the right steps to protect your license to drive and your freedom from criminal penalties.

Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today if you received your first DUI/ DWI arrest to discuss your options and learn how they can help.