A first-offense DUI or DWI in Maryland results in both criminal and administrative penalties. In, Maryland DUI (when the driver’s BAC is .08% or higher) and DWI (when the driver’s BAC is .04% to .08%) offenses are separate charges with varying degrees of severity. Knowing where you stand, in terms of charges, potential penalties, and defense methods, is important and only possible through consulting with a Maryland DUI/DWI lawyer.
- First-offense DWI, or driving while impaired, results in administrative license suspension of six months. Reinstatement will require completion of an alcohol/substance abuse assessment and treatment program. Additionally, at the discretion of courts, ignition interlock device may be mandated.
- First-offense DUI, or driving under the influence, carries administrative license suspension penalties of six months as well, with the same stipulations regarding reinstatement of license following suspension period.
- First-offense DWI doesn’t require mandatory minimum periods of incarceration, but offenders face potential of incarceration up to two months. However, if the offender was transporting a minor at the time of arrest, the offense carries up to six months in jail.
- First-offense DUI doesn’t require mandatory minimum periods of incarceration, but offenders face potential of incarceration up to one year. And offenders who were transporting a minor at the time of arrest face up to two years incarceration.
- Fines for first-offense DWI carry penalties of not more than $500, or not more than $1,000 with minor present. Fines for DWI first offense stand at not more than $1,000, or not more than $2,000 with minor present. Fines do not include fees, surcharges, and other expenses incurred during completion of sentence or reinstatement process.
- Convictions influence charge and sentencing of future DUI/DWI arrests in Maryland for a period of five years.
Getting Legal Help
Statutory language in Maryland does not outright bar plea options that reduce DUI/DWI offenses into lesser criminal or non-criminal charges. Likewise, defendants, upon advice and representation of legal counsel, are free to negotiate plea deals involving favorable terms, or if case-specific conditions exist, obtain dismissal of charges. For more information and insight, consult with a Maryland first offense DUI/DWI lawyer.