Maryland Second DUI Charges
Below, a Maryland second DUI lawyer answers questions about cases involving a person’s second, third, or subsequent charge for driving under the influence in the state of Maryland. To learn more about the penalties for repeat offenders, call and schedule a free consultation with a Maryland DUI defense lawyer today.
What Are The Laws Surrounding Repeat DUI Offenders?
If an individual receives their second DUI conviction, the state can seek subsequent offender penalties. That excludes cases in which someone had probation before judgment (PBJ) because most first offenders in Maryland receive PBJ, which is not a conviction. That means that from the court’s perspective, if the individual received a PBJ on their first DUI, a second DUI does not qualify for subsequent offender penalties. Subsequent offender penalties apply to maximum sentences; they don’t usually apply to sentences received. The DUI penalties for a first DUI offense in Maryland is one year of incarceration. The maximum penalty for a second offense where there have been subsequent offender notices filed is two years of incarceration.
Penalties for Repeat DUI Offenders
In reality, second-time offenders do not usually get sentenced to even a year in jail, which is the maximum for even a first offense. In cases where an individual received PBJ for their first offense and they get a second offense, the typical sentences range from a weekend of incarceration up to 20 days of incarceration. That is much less than the maximum.
For third-time offenders, the statutory maximum goes up by another year, so it becomes three years. Somebody who qualifies as a third offender for subsequent offender purposes is generally on their fourth actual DUI charge. At that point, maximum sentencing can come into play depending on the jurisdiction. There are some jurisdictions in which it is very unlikely to receive over a year in prison, even on a fourth offense. There are other jurisdictions where that is a very realistic possibility.
There Is More At Stake in Repeat DUI Cases
For multiple offenders, there is a lot more at risk in a DUI case. On a second offense, it is very unlikely that someone would receive another PBJ, therefore they are going to get a criminal conviction if they are found guilty. They will get points added on to their driver’s license and their insurance rates will probably increase. Future employers will ask if they have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor and the answer will be yes.There is a lot more at stake in terms of the person’s livelihood and future career possibilities.
Additionally, there are more penalties in terms of their driver’s license. First-time license suspensions tend to be shorter than second or subsequent suspensions. Additionally, multiple convictions can result in a mandatory ignition interlock device or complete revocation of their driving privileges. There is a lot more at risk in multiple offense cases than there is in first offense cases. The law remains exactly the same but the penalties are very different.
Restricted Licenses after Second Offense DUI Charges
One of the conditions to receiving a work permit in Maryland is that there have been no prior license suspensions or alcohol convictions within five years. If an individual has a prior offense within the last five years, they are not eligible for a work permit in their DUI administrative case.
Second or subsequent offenders can often qualify for ignition interlock, but that is a much more restrictive type of license than a work permit. A work permit allows an individual to drive their own vehicle, without an ignition interlock device, to and from work or any work-related activities, school or any school-related activities, medical appointments, and alcohol treatment. An ignition interlock restriction allows people to drive for all of those purposes, but it requires them to install a very expensive and unreliable piece of technology in their car and blow into it every time they want to drive.
Maryland Prosecutors and Second Offense DUIs
Second offense DUI charges are much more aggressively prosecuted. The state is aware that an individual has multiple DUI offenses and is much more interested in getting a conviction, so they are less likely to drop the case. They are more likely to make sure that all their officers are available. They are definitely more aggressive in the prosecution of second or subsequent offense cases.
Maryland DUI Defense in Second Offense DUI Cases
The difference in the way that a DUI attorney in Maryland may handle second or subsequent offenses does not come down to trying to get a not guilty for a client. The goal is to try to get a not guilty verdict for all clients, first offenders, second offenders, and third offenders. The differences in handling second or third DUI offenses depend on what the client does. There is usually a different recommended approach for people who are in their first DUI versus their second, third, or fourth.
Benefits of Alcohol Treatment Programs
For a first DUI, I often recommend that an individual do an outpatient alcohol treatment program or an alcohol education class. For a second offender, I would recommend at least a brief period of inpatient treatment. For people who are on their third or subsequent offense, I recommend a longer period of inpatient rehabilitation. The reason for that has nothing to do with how I handle the case, because I handle the case exactly the same way as I handle every other case.
I look for any possible way to get my client a not guilty verdict, a reduced charge, or a better disposition than what the state wants to give them. The treatment prepares the client for the possibility that I’m unsuccessful. Going through treatment as a third or subsequent offender makes a big difference when it comes to sentencing. When people go in front of a judge for a third or fourth DUI offense, plead guilty, and tell the judge they’ve been doing zero in terms of treatment, that is a big mistake.
They get sentenced much more harshly than if they had done inpatient treatment. They end up losing more time by going to jail than they would have if they had done inpatient treatment. That is the big difference between what I would advise second or subsequent offenders and what I tell first offenders. I strive for not guilty verdicts for all of my clients. I look at all of the evidence and all of the steps in the process to find anywhere that I can create some reasonable doubt.