What are the penalties for a first-time Maryland DUI?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2024 | Uncategorized

Drivers in Maryland can get arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) infractions for a variety of reasons. Some people get arrested because of their involvement in a motor vehicle collision. Many others face DUI charges after a targeted traffic stop. A police officer notices something unusual about an individual’s driving and pulls them over to investigate. How they answer questions or their performance on tests might lead to their arrest.

Many drivers accused of drunk driving in Maryland decide to plead guilty rather than to defend against those allegations. There are two main risks to that response to a DUI arrest. One is the impact that a criminal record can have on someone’s job. The other is the potential sentence the courts might impose.

There are several penalties possible

Not every DUI case leads to the same penalties. Factors including a history of other criminal infractions or certain aggravating circumstances could influence how the courts respond to a DUI conviction.

Generally, the sentencing imposed after a conviction must align with state law. There are maximum penalties, and exactly what consequences someone faces depends on the situation. A first-time DUI conviction can result in a judge imposing a fine of up to $1,000. The defendant may also need to serve up to a year in jail. The conviction also adds 12 points to someone’s driving record, and the courts can revoke their license for up to six months.

Anyone with a prior offense could face even more serious consequences. Having a DUI on a criminal record and 12 points on a driving record could theoretically make a major difference in someone’s insurance costs.

In some cases, people may not be able to fulfill their job responsibilities if they cannot drive after a conviction. Losing driving privileges can cause a host of expenses as well, such as the cost of rideshare or taxi transportation. Finally, having a criminal record can affect someone’s career development.

Learning about what penalties are possible after a DUI conviction could help people make informed decisions about how to respond to their pending DUI charges. Those who defend against a DUI successfully can avoid both criminal penalties and the damage that a criminal record can cause.