By far, most DUI or DWI cases in Maryland involve a person arrested for a first offense of driving while intoxicated or impaired. Many special provisions within the State of Maryland allow judges and prosecutors to use special procedures to deal with a first offense.
A skilled criminal defense attorney can be particularly helpful when seeking the absolute best result in these cases involving a first-time offender.
First DUI / DWI Offense Attorney in Baltimore
If you were arrested for a first offense of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Baltimore, Annapolis, Arbutus, or Catonsville, Maryland, contact a skilled defense attorney at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates. During the initial consultation, you can talk with our attorneys about the pending charges, their potential penalties, and the best possible resolutions of your case.
Call James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates at 443-709-9999 to discuss your legal options as soon as possible.
Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) for DUI / DWI
The term PBJ is an acronym for “Probation Before Judgment.” PBJ is allowed for main first-time offenders after a DUI or DWI arrest in Baltimore, Maryland. The PBJ allows a person to be put on probation before any criminal judgment has ever been entered against them. A PBJ disposition of the case means that rather than pleading guilty to an offense, a person is immediately placed on probation.
To be eligible for a PBJ disposition in a DUI or DWI case, this arrest must be your first offense within the last ten years. The rules regarding a probation before judgment can be found in Maryland Code of Criminal Procedure at Section 6-220.
If your criminal defense attorney is successful in negotiating a probation before judgment disposition with the prosecutor and judge in your case, then the judge will place you on probation before you ever enter a plea. If you successfully complete all the special conditions of probation, then you will never have to have the incident recorded on your publicly available criminal record, although law enforcement officers will be able to see the record.
The special conditions to resolve a DUI or DWI case through probation beforethe judge including completing alcohol treatment, community service, and paying costs.
After the case is resolved through PBJ, you are allowed to say you were not “convicted” and that you never even entered a plea to a crime. Also, a resolution for PBJ will keep your insurance rates lower. Also, a PBJ resolution can help you would face a disciplinary hearing or licensure issue after a “conviction.” Many professionals are better off fighting the DUI or DWI case aggressively instead of just agreeing to enter probation through PBJ.
For instance, for a commercial driver and CDL holder in the State of Maryland, a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) is considered a conviction, even for a first DUI or DWI arrest, a first DUI or DWI arrest, under federal regulations and MD-TA § 16-803(d).
If you were arrested for a first-time offense of DUI, contact an experienced attorney to learn more about the pros and cons surrounding a resolution of your case through probation before judgment.
Penalties for a First DUI
The maximum penalty for a person accused of a first DUI, DUI per se, or DWI by a controlled dangerous substance is subject to the following maximum penalties: a fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for up to one year or both. Twelve (12) points will be assessed on your driving record, and your license may be revoked for up to six (6) months. You may be required to participate in an alcohol abuse assessment and program.
Under § 27-101(k), for purposes of determining these second or subsequent offender penalties, any prior conviction for driving while under the influence of alcohol or impaired by drugs or alcohol may count as a prior conviction if it occurs within five years of the subsequent violation.
Keep in mind that a first offense includes any DUI/DWI offense throughout the United States. For purposes of determining the second or subsequent offenders penalties, a conviction in another state or federal jurisdiction would constitute driving under the influence, or driving while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance is considered a prior conviction.
The law in the State of Maryland also provides for certain mandatory minimum penalties for a first offense which includes imprisonment for not less than five days. These penalties are not subject to suspension or probation. The offenders are also required to undergo alcohol and drug abuse assessments and may be required to participate in drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs.
Penalties for a First DWI
In Maryland, a person who drives a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or while impaired by a drug, a combination of drugs or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol is subject to the following penalties for a first offense: a fine of up to $500 or imprisonment for up to two months or both.
Additionally, eight (8) points will be assessed on your driving record, and you face a 6-month license suspension. If this conviction is the result of a driver under 21, you will face a 1-year suspension.
Lawyer for a First Offense DUI in the City of Baltimore
With offices conveniently located in Arbutus and Catonsville, Maryland, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates serve clients throughout the entire state. They have successfully represented clients facing legal trouble in Baltimore, Bel Air, and Annapolis, Maryland.
The attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our attorneys represent people accused of DUI and DWI regardless of their criminal history.
If you have been arrested for DUI or DWI in Maryland, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates at 443-709-9999 today.