Third-Offense DUI Charges in Baltimore
Due to the severity of third offense DUI charges and the serious consequences that accompany these charges, it is imperative that those accused consult with a Baltimore DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss their case and begin building a defense. An experienced attorney will be able to help the accused navigate through the legal system, while also advocating on their behalf. To learn more call and schedule a consultation today.
Location of Third-Offense DUI Trials in Baltimore
Third-offense DUIs, like first- and second-offense DUIs, are native to the district court in Baltimore. There are three district court locations in Baltimore City: Patapsco Avenue, North Avenue and Wabash. Patapsco Avenue and Wabash both have parking on site and North Avenue has street parking surrounding the courthouse. A defendant does have a right to a jury trial in a DUI case in Baltimore City, and he or she can exercise that right by having the case transferred to the circuit court of Baltimore City, which is in downtown Baltimore.
Standard Procedure for Third-Offense DUIs
Third-offense DUI charges are prosecuted extremely vigorously in Baltimore. Even if it’s a very weak third-offense DUI charge, the prosecution will not drop it. Prosecutors will nearly always take somebody who has been charged with a third DUI to court, even if he or she does not expect to make the case in trial. Prosecutors would rather take a loss at trial on a third offense than dismiss it for any reason.
Aggravating DUI Factors
Any seasoned DUI defense lawyer will tell you that the time between DUIs does matter. Having two twenty-year-old priors is better than to have two priors in the past five years. That being said, even if the priors are old, the court is not very likely to treat a third offender like a first offender. Even with two twenty-year-old priors, most judges in Baltimore City will not give probation before judgment for a third offense.
Baltimore prosecutors never offer diversion programs for DUIs, and they won’t offer probation before judgment on a third offense. Prosecutors will almost always ask for jail time on a third offense, which is why you will need a dedicated Baltimore criminal defense attorney to help serve your case.
Courts treat third-offense DUI charges more seriously than they would a first or second offense. On a third-offense DUI charge, the court is likely to impose some period of incarceration, which they may or may not allow to be served on weekends. There will also be a significantly longer period of probation than there would be on a first or second offense.
By the time an individual is on a third offense, it is very unlikely that he or she has received two probation before judgment findings, which means that at least one of the prior DUIs resulted in a conviction. If there is a prior conviction, the state can seek enhanced penalties based on that conviction. The enhanced penalties increase the maximum period of incarceration, but because the actual received period of incarceration is typically so much lower than the maximum, that does not have a significant practical effect for most people during sentencing for a third-offense DUI.
Specifically, if an individual has one prior conviction, the state can seek the enhanced penalty of an additional year of incarceration. So the maximum penalty goes from one year to two years of active incarceration. If there are two prior convictions, the state can seek enhanced penalties of up to two years additional, meaning that your one-year maximum incarceration on a first offense goes up to three years on a third offense, though maximum sentences are uncommon.