Getting arrested for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge can be stressful and embarrassing. Sometimes, a DUI charge stems from a mistake, such as leaving an office party after a few drinks. Other times, it could be the result of a medical condition or even a problem with how a breath test was administered. It is common for people to face DUI charges in Maryland when they weren’t actually impaired at the wheel. Regardless of your personal situation, your best chance for a positive outcome is directly tied to working with an attorney who can help create a strong DUI defense.
While you may think that pleading guilty is the fastest way to resolve this issue, it could have serious consequences. Your employer may fire you once you have a criminal record. Even if you don’t lose your job immediately, losing your license after a DUI charge could result in a lot of missed work. Finding a new job or in some cases, housing, can be difficult after a DUI charge. Many employers and landlords won’t consider anyone with a criminal record. Pleading guilty can end up costing you a lot in the long run. Defending yourself against DUI charges represents your best option in this situation.
Maryland DUI penalties can change your life
Whether you plead guilty or get convicted in court, the penalties for a DUI are the same. The state increases the penalties for each subsequent DUI offense after your first. First time offenders face a fine of up to $1,000, loss of driving privileges for six months and up to one year in jail. Second time offenders could receive a $2,000 fine, revocation of their license for a full year and between a minimum of five days and two years in jail. If you’re convicted twice in five years, you will also be required to install an ignition interlock system in your vehicle when you get your license back.
Between the lost time due to court and jail and the expenses involved with the fine, a DUI charge can be incredibly expensive. Worse, it can completely change your life. Not being able to drive can affect your job, your ability to care for your children and even your ability to do basic household chores like buying groceries. Pleading guilty isn’t your best option. Mounting a rigorous defense is.
The right attorney can help you fight DUI charges
Every situation is different, but an attorney is always your best option for fighting DUI charges. Your attorney can review the scenario and documentation from law enforcement to help you decide what defense strategies would be best for you. Don’t risk your job and your mobility by working with a public defender or pleading guilty.