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Ocean City DUI Lawyer

Arrests for driving under the influence or DUI can have immediate criminal, administrative, and financial repercussions that you might not realize. Even before you have your first court date, you likely will lose your driver’s license due to an administrative suspension of your license by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

Since you may be facing jail time, fines, license suspension, and more, consulting an Ocean City DUI lawyer may be highly beneficial to you.

The penalties for a DUI arrest and conviction may be extremely harsh, even for a first-time offense. As a result, contacting an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent your interests in your DUI case may be wise.

Defining DUI

Under Maryland Trans. Code § 21-902, individuals may not drive or attempt to drive any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or under the influence of alcohol per se, which constitutes having a blood alcohol content (BAC) measurement of .08 percent or higher; this violation is referred to as DUI.

This code section also prohibits individuals from driving or attempting to drive while impaired by alcohol or while impaired by any drug, combination of drugs, or combination of one or more drugs or alcohol, to the point that they cannot operate a vehicle safely.

Additionally, individuals may not operate a vehicle while impaired by any controlled dangerous substance that they are not entitled to use legally.

This code section also makes it illegal to drive while under the influence of or impaired by alcohol when individuals are transporting minors. These offenses are separate from general DUI and DWI charges because they carry the potential for more severe penalties upon a conviction.

A DUI lawyer in Ocean City may be able to more clearly explain the distinctions between the various offenses listed under this code section, as well as their potential penalties.

Criminal Penalties for an Ocean City DUI Conviction

A first DUI offense can result in up to one year of incarceration and a fine of $1,000. Second and third DUI offenses will result in two years in jail and a $2,000 fine, and three years in jail and a $3,000 fine, respectively. A prior conviction may be for either DUI or DWI when determining whether individuals have a prior conviction.

If the offense occurred while individuals were transporting a minor, then the potential maximum penalties double to two years in jail and a fine of $2,000 for a first offense. A second offense can result in up to three years in jail and a $3,000 fine, and a third offense may result in up to four years in jail and a $4,000 fine. A DUI attorney in Ocean City may be able to assist individuals in seeking reduced charges or penalties in a DUI case.

Collateral Consequences of DUI

A DUI arrest or conviction triggers administrative penalties that affect driving privileges, as well. A first-time DUI also adds 12 points to the driving record of individuals. When individuals are arrested for DUI, the MVA almost immediately suspends their licenses, even though there has been no admission of guilt, court hearing, or conviction.

Individuals have ten days to request an MVA hearing to contest the suspension, or the suspension will remain in place until they go to trial on the DUI charges. Aside from the administrative license suspension, individuals also may face a separate license suspension as part of their sentence in the criminal case.

A DUI conviction also is likely to result in higher insurance premiums, which can last for several years after the conviction. In some cases, individuals also will be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device (IID) for several months, which can be costly.

Between the payment of fines, high-risk insurance premiums, IID fees, and license reinstatement fees, individuals with a DUI conviction may experience a significant financial impact.

Talk to an Ocean City DUI Attorney Today

When you are searching for legal counsel, experience in regularly handling DUI cases, and practicing in the local court system is paramount. By enlisting the services of a qualified Ocean City DUI lawyer, you may place yourself in a better position to overcome or minimize the impact of the charges against you.

Focus on your future by getting the legal assistance that you need today. Otherwise, you risk a permanent criminal record that could inhibit your personal and professional opportunities.