FREE Case Evaluation

How Does Salisbury Treat First Time DUI Charges

If you have been charged with your first driving under the influence charge in Maryland it is important you consult with a Salisbury first DUI lawyer to discuss your case and the potential punishments you may face.

The maximum penalty for a first time DUI is one year in jail and/or a $1000 fine, however, this does not necessarily mean that this will be the sentence you actually receive, but rather is the maximum penalty that the court would be able to impose. Additionally, the prosecutor’s office will not offer any sort of diversionary program for a first time DUI charge but will often not object to a driver receiving probation before judgement so that the driver has an opportunity to try and keep their driving record clean by successfully completing the period of probation.

Salisbury Prosecutors in First Time DUI Cases

Prosecutors in Salisbury handle first time DUI charge as a serious offense. They do not have a tendency to offer any sort of diversion program. They do not offer to amend the charges down to some sort of lesser traffic charge. They take them very seriously. There is a great deal of focus placed on the DUI cases, and typically there is a representative from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in the courtroom during the DUI dockets.  So there is a lot of attention paid to how those DUI cases are being handled. In Salisbury, it doesn’t matter to the prosecutor if it is the defendant’s first DUI or fourth DUI, it is going to be taken seriously and handled aggressively.

Salisbury Judges in First Time DUI Cases

The court typically will offer a first time DUI offender the opportunity to keep that person’s record clean through probation before judgement. That is a sentencing mechanism that allows the person to have the conviction removed from their driving record if they successfully complete the period of probation.  It’s important for the driver to realize that the probation before  judgement will always appear on a driving record that the police can get access to and that the courts can get access to. So in other words the probation before judgment never goes away but it will allow the driver to keep his or her record clean in the way that they avoid the points that could be assessed if the person were convicted.

Are Judges and Juries More Lenient in First Time DUI Cases?

If a judge is going to show any leniency it will typically be for the first time DUI defendant.  The courts will give someone the benefit of a doubt at their first DUI and will give that person the opportunity to try and keep their record clean. There are of course some exceptions. If it is a first time DUI, but it also involved an accident, so for example, if somebody else was injured, then the court maybe more punitive in a situation like that. But for a typical first offense, the court will attempt to give a person some sort of leniency and allow them to have the probation before judgment disposition so that they can try and keep their record clean.