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Frederick First Offense DUI Lawyer

When someone is pulled over for their first offense DUI charge, they may not know how to build a strong defense case. They should immediately attain an experienced Frederick first offense DUI lawyer right away. Even if they have extensive knowledge of drunk driving laws, these cases can have long-term impacts on someone’s driving record. It is especially important to have a lawyer for someone’s first drunk driving offense.

Courts treat first-time DUI charges seriously. They recognize that many times, a first-time DUI charge could mean that the person simply made a mistake. The remedy could be a brief amount of alcohol education to make sure they understand the seriousness of the situation and never find themselves in that situation again. If you are facing drunk driving charges for the first time, it is important that you consult a dedicated Frederick DUI lawyer.

Prosecution Process

First time DUI charges are typically heard in the District Court for Frederick County, which is located at 100 West Patrick Street in Frederick, Maryland. There are three courtrooms in the district court and that court system hears DUI cases Monday through Friday.

Most first-time DUI offenses are generally prosecuted by the State’s Attorney’s Office. When all matters are equal and things are prepared correctly, DUI charges for first time offenders should not result in jail time unless there are exacerbating circumstances such as an extremely high breathalyzer score, a lack of cooperation with the police officers to the degree of being offensive, a serious car accident, or a child in the car. These factors are enough to prosecute or take a first-time offender more seriously.

Potential Penalties

Penalties for a first-time DUI can be up to 12 months of incarceration, up to 12 points on a person’s driver’s license, and up to $1,000 in fines. A Frederick first offense DUI lawyer can help someone mitigate and try to lower the potential penalties of the charges.

A jury never has the ability to be lenient or not lenient. The jury’s task is determining whether the state proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. A judge has the ability to be lenient with respect to sentencing for DUI offenses. The judge considers many factors when determining a sentence including the person’s criminal history, whether this is their first alcohol-related offense and the breath test results. The judge also looks at whether the person completed alcohol education or treatment, whether they were cooperative with the officers, any contributions they made to the community, their employment, whether they are in school, and whether they have a family. The judge considers whether the person takes the situation seriously and demonstrates that this does not happen again.

Diversion Programs

There are no diversion options available for first-time DUI. Probation options include things like community service, completion of an alcohol education program, perhaps participation in a Mothers Against Drunk Driving program, participation in the Ignition Interlock Program through the Motor Vehicle Administration, or no conditions at all other than the person remains charge or arrest-free during the period of time specified by the judge.

Driver’s License Penalties

The status of a person’s driver’s license after a first time Frederick DUI charge depends on the results of the breathalyzer test and the court’s ruling. For example, a person with a breathalyzer test less than 0.15 might have their license suspended for six months or modified for work purposes. A person with a DUI for the first time who has an alcohol level of 0.15 or higher might lose their privilege to drive for six months and can be required to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program. Similar penalties such as a lengthier suspension for somebody who refused their breathalyzer test might also be appropriate. Additionally, if a judge ordered points on a person’s driver’s license, they might suffer additional suspensions or a revocation of their privilege to drive.

Challenge Suspension of License

The best way to challenge a suspension is to request a hearing with the Motor Vehicle Administration. At the hearing, presentations can be made to the court about the basis to challenge the results of the breathalyzer or the refusal of the breathalyzer or to challenge the points issued as a result of a DUI. A judge from the Office of Administrative Hearings decides whether it is appropriate to take further action against the person driving.