If you have been arrested for DUI or DWI in Maryland and it is your first offense, you should not make the mistake of trying to represent yourself at your court hearings. Even if you have never been charged with a crime before, you face harsh penalties and long-term consequences if you are convicted.
What Are the Penalties for DUI and DWI Convictions in Maryland?
In Maryland, drivers arrested for DUI and DWI face both criminal and administrative penalties. You could be sentenced as follows for a first offense:
- DWI. For a first offense, you could be sentenced to up to 60 days in jail and up to $500 in fines. In addition, eight points would be added to your driving record, and your driver’s license would be suspended for six months.
- DUI. The punishment for a first offense DUI can be a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine not to exceed $1,000. You would also have 12 points added to your driving record, and your driver’s license would be suspended for 12 months.
A DUI or DWI conviction would also come with other consequences that would affect your life long after you complete your sentence. You would have a permanent criminal record that can affect your ability to obtain employment, educational opportunities, security clearance, and more. Your auto insurance cost could also increase dramatically.
How Hiring a DUI Attorney Can Help
You may be able to avoid some of these harsh penalties if you hire an experienced DUI lawyer. Here are some of the benefits of being represented by an attorney:
- Raise your defenses. Even if you believe you are guilty, you may have strong defenses that can result in the charges against you being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense. A skilled lawyer who handles many of these cases will be able to identify your defenses and aggressively fight for the best outcome.
- Enter into a plea agreement. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, an attorney may be able to negotiate a favorable plea agreement with the prosecutor so that the charges are reduced to a less serious offense.
- Avoid the loss of your license. Your lawyer may be able to help you avoid the loss of your driver’s license through enrollment in Maryland’s Ignition Interlock Program.
Were you arrested for DUI or DWI in Maryland? Our skilled DUI legal team will build a strong defense strategy so that you achieve the best possible outcome in your criminal case. Read our testimonials to find out how we have assisted other clients charged with drunk driving. Then call our office or start a live chat to schedule your free consultation today.