Driver’s Licenses & First Time DUIs in Rockville
Though someone who is being charged and convicted of a first time DUI in Rockville might not face punishments as severe as someone facing a third time DUI, there are still serious repercussions associated with a first time DUI. Below, we discuss the potential consequences of being charged and/or convicted of a DUI for the first time. To learn more, call and schedule a consultation with an experienced Rockville DUI lawyer.
Impact of a First DUI on Your Driver’s License
When a person is charged with a DUI, the individual is taken to the station to fill out a DR 15 form, which is called a Waiver of Rights form. This form helps determine whether an individual is aware of their rights to either participate in or refuse a chemical breath test at the station.
If a person decides to participate in a chemical breath test and has an alcohol concentration level of below .08, there will be no impact on their driver’s license if they are over 21 years old. However, if the person has a concentration level of .08 to a .14, the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) could seek to suspend their privilege to drive for up to 45 days. If the person has an alcohol concentration level of .15 or higher, the MVA could seek to suspend their privilege to drive for 90 days. If the person refused the chemical breath test, the MVA could seek to suspend their privilege to drive for 270 days.
These suspensions can be contested at a MVA hearing if an individual decides to contest the level of their alcohol in the breathalyzer test, or to contest that they didn’t refuse the alcohol test when they were asked at the station.
How a person’s license is impacted after a conviction varies. Typically, people who are charged with a first time DUI offense, if handled properly, will not face a conviction. They will face a disposition, which is short of a conviction and known as Probation Before Judgment. It means they should not receive any points for their alcohol level and should not have their driver’s license impacted beyond the original administrative suspension that is mentioned on the form. However, if the judge decides to convict a person, rather than grant them Probation Before Judgment, it is usually because the judge does not feel that they have earned it or it is not in the best interest of the community.
This can happen at a DUI hearing in court because of a high breath test, a serious accident, or having a child in the car. The court may decide to impose a guilty finding, which could result in 8 to 12 points on an individual’s driver’s license. This could also cause the Motor Vehicle Administration to take administrative sanctions that could result in a suspension, or possible revocations of a person’s driving privileges if accused of a DUI.
Challenging Suspension of License & Restricted Licenses in Rockville
You are permitted to challenge suspension of your license using the form that the officer will give you upon arrest, called the DR 15. It will have the appropriate language on the back of the form instructing you on how to challenge the suspension that the Motor Vehicle Administration is seeking. In addition if you decide to challenge the suspension one of the resolutions that the MVA can decide on imposing rather than suspension is a modification of that suspension. This will restrict your privileges to drive to and from work, school, medical appointments or alcohol education classes. This modification is granted in rare situations, so it is important to talk to a licensed criminal defense attorney with experience in handling DUI charges in Rockville and who can help you determine whether you are eligible for this kind of modification.
If Not Convicted, Do You Still Lose Your License?
If you are not convicted of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol, there is no sanction for the Motor Vehicle Administration to take based on how your case was resolved in the DUI stage. It is important to remember that just because you were not convicted in criminal court, does not mean that the administrative sanctions that are outlined on your DR 15 form, as a result of your breath results, are not going to be taken.
These are two separate sanctions that are imposed and have nothing to do with each other. So people could face sanctions from the MVA for refusing their chemical breath test, including a 270 day suspension of their privilege to drive. They can go to court subsequently and have their DUI charge thrown out, but still suffer the consequences of the suspension that was originally imposed by the MVA when they refused the breath test.