Being charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI) can be a stressful experience. The possibility of a criminal conviction and the suspension of your license can seem daunting. However, if it is your first offense, a good attorney may be able to help you secure a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) disposition instead of a DUI conviction.
PBJ means that you are placed on probation before a judgment is entered on your DUI/DWI charge. This means that you have not been found guilty of the charge. If you are placed on a PBJ, there are some requirements that you have to meet to complete the PBJ successfully. You may have to complete an alcohol treatment program or community service, and you have to stay out of trouble for a period of time. Assuming you complete your probation, you don’t receive a DUI or DWI conviction. If you violate the terms of your probation, you face the entire original sentence when you are back in court.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR PBJ?
While certainly not a guarantee, PBJ may be available for first time DUI or DWI offenders or if you haven’t had a PBJ or DUI conviction in the last 10 years.
WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR PBJ?
It is almost impossible to get a PBJ if you are a repeat DUI offender. PBJ may also not be available if you have a very high BrAC at the time of your arrest, or if you were involved in an accident as the result of your DUI or DWI.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A PBJ?
There are some significant advantages to a PBJ. The most crucial advantage is that you can truthfully state that you have never been convicted of a DUI or DWI. Because you have never been convicted, you are also not subject to the administrative penalties, such as a license suspension, that come with a DUI. Another advantage is that your car insurance rates won’t skyrocket the way they would if you had a DUI conviction on your record. Insurers won’t find out about the incident because you never formally pled guilty.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED MARYLAND DUI ATTORNEY
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI or DWI, you need an experienced attorney on your side. At Alpert Schreyer, LLC, our attorneys will work hard to get you the best possible outcome. Contact us online or call us at (301) 321-7277 to schedule your free consultation.