Sentencing for DUI in Maryland

Will I go to Jail for DUI in Maryland?

The actual sentence imposed by a judge will depend upon the unique facts of each case, and the offender. In sentencing for DUI in Maryland, courts consider a wide variety of factors in sentencing for DUI in Maryland. Most judges do not sentence a person to jail for a DUI in Maryland, unless someone is seriously injured or killed. These are some of the factors considered:

  • The nature and circumstances of the offense.
  • Age of the offender.
  • Family circumstances.
  • Employment.
  • Education.
  • Prior criminal record.
  • Prior alcohol or drug related offenses.
  • Driving record.
  • The nature and extent of any alcohol or drug problem.
  • Efforts to obtain treatment for an alcohol or drug problem.
  • The prosecutor’s recommendation.
  • Aggravating factors.

An “aggravating factor” that might increase the sentence includes whether or not there was an accident, including the presence of injuries; abusive conduct at the time of the offense; an excessively high blood alcohol level (e.g. 0.20 or more); and any prior alcohol or drug related offenses. Most courts in Maryland routinely impose incarceration (jail) for second or subsequent drunk or drugged driving offenses in sentencing for DUI in Maryland.

What is Probation for DUI in Maryland?

Maryland judges often impose probation. The maximum period of probation in district court cases is three years. The maximum period of probation in circuit court cases is five years. Judges may and often do impose shorter periods than the maximum. Probation may be supervised or unsupervised. Probation typically involves certain “standard” conditions of probation, as well as “special” conditions of probation. Standard conditions of probation include the following:

  • Report as directed and follow the probation supervisor’s lawful instructions.
  • Payment of a monthly supervision fee.
  • Work or attend school regularly as directed.
  • Get permission before changing your home address, changing your job, leaving the State of Maryland, owning, possessing, using or having under your control any dangerous weapon or firearm of any description.
  • Obey all laws and incur no serious motor violation.
  • Notify your probation supervisor if charged with a criminal offense and/or jailable traffic offense.
  • Permit your probation supervisor to visit your home unannounced.
  • Do not illegally possess, use, or sell any narcotic drug, controlled substance or related paraphernalia.
  • Appear in court when notified to do so.

In sentencing for DUI in Maryland, the court may also impose one or more special conditions of probation. Examples include the following:

  • Payment of all fines, costs, restitution, and fees as ordered by the court.
  • Totally abstain from alcohol and abusive use of any drug.
  • Submit to alcohol and other drug testing as directed by your probation supervisor and pay any required costs.
  • Completion of a designated number of hours of community service.
  • Submit to alcohol and drug evaluation, testing, and treatment as directed by your probation supervisor and pay any required costs.
  • Refrain from driving or attempting to drive after consuming alcohol.
  • Attending and successfully completing a drug treatment program and pay any required costs.
  • Attending and successfully completing an alcohol treatment program and pay any required costs.
  • Attendance at self-help group meetings (e.g. Alcoholics Anonymous) weekly.
  • Obtaining an alcohol restriction on your driver’s license.
  • Attending a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel Meeting.
  • Submit to evaluation and attend counseling for psychiatric or psychological treatment.
  • Attend and successfully complete the MVA Driver Improvement Program.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock.

Many judges have their own unique special conditions. For example, some judges in sentencing for DUI in Maryland will require the offender to read a book on drunk driving, and then write an essay applying the content of the book to the driver’s life.

What is Probation Before Judgment for a DUI?

Maryland judges have discretion to grant “probation before judgment“. This involves a verdict of guilty, but the withholding of a formal conviction. If a judge were to grant probation before judgment, the offender is treated like any other convicted driver. However, no points will be imposed. There will, however, be a record on a confidential page of the driver’s Maryland driving record.

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Contact DUI Lawyer Experienced in Sentencing for DUI in Maryland

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