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Penalties for a Third Offense DUI Charge in Maryland

Courts treat third-offense DUI charges in Maryland seriously. When someone is charged with a DUI offense after acquiring other offenses, the court may perceive the person as a danger to themselves or to the community. The person faces serious consequences like lengthy periods of incarceration, periods of probation, increased fines, and greater levels of supervision.

To help reduce or dismiss such penalties associated with a third-offense DUI charge in Maryland, it is imperative that you consult with a knowledgeable third offense DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

Possibility of Jail Time

For a first-offense charge, it is unlikely that a person is going to jail. Some people may face incarceration in a second-offense case, however, it is less often than in other circumstances. Third offenders for a DUI charge in Maryland are much more likely to face a period of incarceration than first or second offenders.

Driver’s License Penalties

After a third-offense DUI in Maryland, a person will be penalized in the same way it was after their first or second offense. Their driving privilege might be suspended if they have an out-of-state license even though the license is not confiscated.

A Motor Vehicle Administration hearing allows a person the opportunity to challenge any suspension brought against them with the help of a Maryland defense attorney. A person’s suspension has a great deal to do with the timeline of the prior offenses. Depending on the time that elapsed since the last offense took place, the sanctions that the Motor Vehicle Administration imposes are different.

If five years or more goes by without a prior offense, the Motor Vehicle Administration may treat the offense as a first offense instead of a repeat offense. That is not the case for criminal proceedings in court, but it can minimize the length of time and the suspension when considerable time elapsed between the last offense and the current one.

Challenging the Suspension

Challenging the penalty of a license suspension after a third-offense DUI charge in Maryland is the same as it is for a first or second offense. The issue of the offense number only applies to the sanction phase, not to the question of whether the Motor Vehicle Administration has a right to seek a suspension against a person for the DUI.

The challenges to address at the Motor Vehicle Administration hearing are whether the breathalyzer test was taken properly and whether the machine was properly calibrated to give an appropriate reading. In a refusal case, the attorney questions whether the refusal was a willful refusal of the breathalyzer test.

Applying for a Restricted License

Drivers can have a restricted license after having their license taken away as a penalty of a third-offense DUI charge. It depends on any prior offenses they have and the timeline of those offenses. When a great deal of time elapses between a previous offense and the current offense, it is far more likely that a person is granted a restricted license.

Impact of MVA Hearings at Trial

When someone is acquitted of a DUI, it has nothing to do with the sanctions of the Motor Vehicle Administration. The administrative sanctions at a Motor Vehicle Administration hearing are completely independent of the sanctions that might take place in criminal court.

Therefore, a person can win their case or have their charges thrown out in criminal court and still face the same penalties from the Motor Vehicle Administration as a result of their third-offense DUI charge in Maryland.

The Motor Vehicle Administration sanctions are based on a preponderance of the evidence standard as opposed to guilt beyond a reasonable doubt standard in criminal court. The proceedings at the Motor Vehicle Administration are held to a much lower standard than the criminal court proceedings.

Aggravating Factors

Aggravating factors for third-offense DUI charges in Maryland are a car accident, a small child in the car, whether the driver was cooperative with the officer, and the period between the person’s current DUI and the previous one.

If the previous DUI took place a decade or two decades before, the penalties for a third-offense DUI charge in Maryland is not as serious as if a person has a prior a few months or a few years back.

Minors in the Vehicle

Having minors present in a vehicle is a huge problem when it comes to DUI cases. Additional DUI charges can be filed against someone for having a minor in the vehicle. They can also be charged with other things like child neglect or contributing to a dangerous condition of a child.

Courts view DUI charges more seriously when a child is in the car and there is the endangerment of a child. They might impose more significant penalties for a third-offense DUI charge in Maryland than if a person did not have any minors in the car with them.