Montgomery County First Time DUI Penalties
Charges for first time DUI offenses might not be as serious as the charges for repeat offenders but, that does not mean that the penalties should be taken lightly. The penalties for a first-time DUI in Montgomery County, depending on what somebody is charged with, could carry up to 12 months in jail, up to 12 points on their driver’s license, up to $1,000 in fines, and up to three years of probation. If you want to know more about what you can do to mitigate the severity of these penalties, speak with a capable DUI lawyer today.
Treatment of First Time DUI Offenses in Court
A jury would never be lenient towards a defendant based on their record, and Maryland juries are not entitled to know things like a person’s prior DUI history when making a determination because a jury does not sentence. A jury just determines whether facts exist to prove the charge. Judges do have a different level of leniency towards people who have prior DUIs or other criminal charges on their record versus people who do not.
A first-time offender would be treated better under most circumstances than somebody who has a lengthier criminal or DUI history. However, there may be exacerbating circumstances or factors that could ruffle feathers in a case, such as if somebody had a particularly high breathalyzer test, a car accident, injuries as a result of the car accident, property damage, or a small child in the car at the time the person had their DUI. All of those things could create reason in the judge’s mind to take one matter more seriously than another.
Diversion Programs for First Offenders
There are no diversion programs for first-time offenders for DUI or DWI in Montgomery County. Probation options are available for first-time offenders, which would require the person to participate in some alcohol education, perhaps community service, and other things a judge might order to keep them out of jail, potentially keep the points off their license, and maybe even strike the criminal conviction against them by granting them a probation before judgment disposition.
What Happens to a Person’s License After a First Offense?
What happens to a person’s driver’s license after a first-time Montgomery County DUI charge depends on what actually took place. There are administrative sanctions, depending on what state a person’s license is from as well as if they have an alcohol concentration level of 0.08 or above, in which case they could be facing a six-month suspension for the first offense.
If they have an alcohol level of 0.15 or above, they could be facing a six-month suspension, as well. If they refuse a chemical breathalyzer test, they could be facing up to a nine-month suspension of their privilege to drive for a first-time alcohol-related offense. Those Montgomery County first time DUI penalties could also become enhanced or extended, depending on how a judge sentences a person with respect to a particular case and how many points are assessed after the case comes before the court.
Consulting a Lawyer About a First Time DUI in Montgomery County
A DUI could carry up to 12 points on their license, which could mean a revocation of driver’s license and driving privileges as well as other Montgomery County first time DUI penalties. That is why it is so important to work with an attorney who has experience handling these kinds of cases.
A lawyer could assist someone by trying to mitigate the penalties and keep points off the person’s driving record so that they do not face the consequences of potentially losing their privilege to drive. In order to learn more, individuals who have been charged with first time DUI offenses should seek the services of a skilled lawyer that could help.