Maryland Third Offense DUI Lawyer
A third-offense DUI charge is a red flag to the courts because it indicates that the person who received the DUI charge did not learn their lesson for the DUI allegations brought in a previous case.
These kinds of charges are treated seriously by the court system. A prosecutor looks closely into the circumstances surrounding the case. The length of time that prior incidents took place is important. If they are closer in time to the current event, that is more serious than a previous DUI charge that took place further back in time.
Third offense DUI charges in Maryland are not viewed positively for any court system in Maryland with respect to how the person is criminally prosecuted and sentenced. It is important to fight these charges quickly with the help of a skilled Maryland DUI lawyer.
If the previous convictions occurred within five years, then the person would face a mandatory minimum incarceration of five days. If a person has three DUI convictions within five years, then the mandatory minimum incarceration is increased to 10 days. Depending on the age of the prior offenses, the enhanced penalty could include an increase in the potential sentence, as well as mandatory minimum days in jail.
The described penalties are potential consequences. Just because the state files a subsequent offender notice and indicates to the court that the defendant is eligible for a three-year sentence, it does not necessarily mean that is the sentence a judge will impose. For example, if this was the person’s third offense but the two prior offenses were 20 and 10 years ago, then the court is going to look at that differently than if the prior offenses had taken place within the past two or three years.
If the person is not convicted of the DUI, then the MVA cannot take any actions as if the person were convicted. However, the suspension possibly could be related to something else, for example, the suspension could be related to the fact that the person refused to take a breath test or perhaps took a breath test, and it was of a certain result which requires suspension.
The person may be able to get their license back if they are not convicted of the DUI, but only if there is no other basis by which their license could be suspended. Consult with a Maryland third offense DUI lawyer for more information.
Third offense DUI charges in Maryland are heard in a district court in the county in which the matters took place. For example, if the DUI charge took place in Montgomery County, it is heard in the Silver Spring District Court or the Rockville District Court. It does not matter whether the charge is a first, second, or third DUI. It is heard in a district court system because it is a misdemeanor case.
Penalties for third-offense DUIs are enhanced from first-offense DUI charges. First-offense DUI charges carry only a maximum penalty of up to 12 months in jail or a maximum fine of up to $1,000. A second or subsequent offense can multiply those fines and periods of incarceration in terms of the maximum penalty.
More importantly, if the prosecution does not file the proper paperwork to charge somebody as a subsequent offender, the person may not be exposed to those enhanced penalties. Talking with an attorney who understands subsequent offender rules can ensure that an individual is exposed to the least amount of jail time possible.
Building a Defense
DUI lawyers build defenses for third-offense DUI charges in Maryland as they do any other DUI charges, which is by evaluating the evidence against their client, determining the procedures the officer followed, and building defenses for each of those issues.
Even if a person is charged as a subsequent or third-time offender, the burden of proof for the prosecution is the same. They are still held to the same standards of proof, which is proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt for any criminal case that comes before the court.
Contacting a Lawyer
A lawyer with local experience understands the temperament of the prosecutors and the judges in any particular case for legal arguments and for the facts of the case.
It is important to work with a DUI attorney who understands the temperaments of all parties involved who can make certain that an individual gets the fair and reasonable forum to have the case heard for the most appropriate sentence.