Law Offices of Randolph Rice

Mar 21
A drunk driving arrest can be alarming and make you worry about what will happen to your license and freedom as the trial date approaches. Most individuals who have been charged with a first time DUI often ask; do you go to jail for a first time DUI? It depends on the facts and evidence in each case to determine if you will go to jail for a first offense DUI.
DUI and DWI are the acronyms for “driving under the influence” (DUI) and “driving while impaired” (DWI). They are used interchangeably and mean almost the same thing. The difference between DUI and DWI are:
The elements to prove the offense; and
The maximum penalty.
A DUI requires that a person drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This level of intoxication may be determined by clues observed by the police officer of the tests results from a breath or blood test. A DWI requires that a driver is impaired by either alcohol, drugs and alcohol or a controlled dangerous substance.
The penalties vary for each offense. A first offense DUI carries the maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $500 fine. Whereas a DWI carries the maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Incarceration for a first offense DUI or DWI in Maryland is not unheard of, but there is a greater chance that a defendant will receive a probation before judgment (PBJ) for a first offense DUI in Maryland. With a PBJ comes the requirement of probation. That probation can be supervised or unsupervised. Either of these types of probation can last from 1 day to 3 years if handed down by a Maryland District Court Judge. A Circuit Court Judge may place a defendant on as much as 5 years of probation in Maryland. While jail is not the first punishment for a first time DUI, it has and can happen. If the defendant causes an accident, their blood alcohol content (BAC) is higher than average DUI cases, or other exasperating circumstances, then a Judge may decide that jail is appropriate.
The best bet to avoid jail for a first time DUI in Maryland is to hire an experienced Maryland DUI lawyer. A lawyer advise the best course of action pending the trial date. That lawyer will also investigate your DUI arrest and determine if your case should be contested in a trial. A trial can be had before a Judge or Jury in Maryland. The Judge or Jury will determine if the State has met the elements of the crime and proven beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving while impaired or under the influence.
There are a number of things you must consider after a DUI arrest. You have to make a decision regarding your license if it was taken by the police officer. You may have to elect to participate in the ignition interlock program or accept a suspension of your license. Drivers charged with DUI or DWI should meet with a lawyer as soon as possible to determine what steps they should take to improve their chances of staying out of jail when they appear in Court.
If you’ve been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland, contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at 410.288.2900 to schedule a free consultation.
Law Offices of Randolph Rice
1301 York Rd #200
Lutherville, MD 21093
Phone: (410) 929-8241
Fax: (410) 288-2988
Toll Free: 800-470-7423

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