Worcester DUI Lawyer
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Maryland, a Worcester DUI Lawyer can explain the charges against you and the penalties you face, which depend on your blood alcohol content level and whether you have any previous DUI charges. Because the penalties for even a first-offense DUI are quite serious in Maryland, you will want to have an experienced DUI attorney in Worcester advocating on your behalf.
Maryland DUI Offenses
Unlike in some states, a Maryland DUI charge is different from a driving while impaired (DWI) charge. The two terms are not interchangeable, and a DUI charge is a higher level misdemeanor offense carrying stricter penalties than a DWI.
Anyone with a blood alcohol content level (BAC) over .08 percent will be charged with a DUI, under Maryland Code 2-501. If your BAC was between .07 percent and .08 percent, you will receive a lesser charge of misdemeanor DWI, under Maryland Code 21-902. At the discretion of the arresting officer and the court, you may also be charged with a DWI offense if your BAC was between .05 and .07.
That lesser charge does not apply to minors though, since Maryland has a zero-tolerance policy for minors driving with alcohol in their system. Anyone under the age of 21 can be charged with a DUI with a BAC as low as .02 percent.
Worcester DUI Penalties
Maryland has adopted strict penalties for alcohol-related driving offenses. A first DUI carries a punishment of up to 1 year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines, and a minimum 45 day driver’s license suspension. DWI penalties include up to 2 months in jail and $500 in fines, under Maryland Code 27-101.
Other circumstances could also impact the penalties you face, including whether you were transporting a minor in your vehicle at the time you were charged, or whether you refused to submit to the BAC breathalyzer or blood test.
Because a DUI in Maryland is such a serious charge carrying potentially life-altering consequences, you do not want to go through the legal process alone. A Worcester DUI lawyer can vigorously investigate your case and work to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed.
Maryland “Look-back” Periods
A look-back period refers to the amount of time a charge stays on your record and can trigger increasingly harsh penalties for subsequent offenses. The look-back period in Maryland is five years. This means that if you receive more than one alcohol-related driving charge within the same five-year period, the second or third offense would generate more severe penalties than a first-time offense.
Subsequent DUI charges in Maryland carry penalties of up to 3 years in jail and $3,000 in fines, as well as a potential total license revocation and the requirement than an ignition interlock device be installed on your vehicle when or if your license is reinstated.
Consult an Experienced Worcester DUI Lawyer
Regardless of whether your DUI charge is a first-offense or subsequent offense, you will want an experienced Worcester DUI attorney by your side throughout the legal process. Depending on the circumstances of your case, your Worcester DUI lawyer may be able to get your charge reduced. Your DUI attorney in Worcester can also, in some cases, petition the court for a restricted driving permit while your license is suspended. Call today to schedule a consultation.