If you are found guilty or convicted of drunk driving in Maryland, the penalties can be extremely harsh and may include steep fines and jail time. Those penalties are expected to become even more severe with the passage of a recent bill in the Maryland Senate.
Governor Larry Hogan recently introduced a bill in the Maryland Senate that will allow for harsher criminal sentences to be imposed on drunk drivers who have prior drunk driving convictions on their records. Specifically, the law will apply to those who have three or more similar offenses. Since the bill has passed the Maryland Senate, it will now proceed to the Maryland House of Delegates.
If you have recently been charged with drunk driving in Maryland, you should not wait to seek legal representation. The experienced drunk driving defense lawyers at Alpert Schreyer Poe can review the circumstances of your arrest with you and may be able to represent you throughout your case and in court.
CURRENT MARYLAND LAW
Under current Maryland law, an offender who has a fourth or subsequent drunk driving conviction may be subject to a maximum penalty of three years in jail, along with a $3,000 monetary fine. Moreover, under the current law, if a minor is riding in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, the offender may receive one additional year of incarceration, along with a $1,000 monetary fine.
WHAT THE NEW LAW WILL CHANGE
The current Senate bill was introduced by Governor Larry Hogan’s administration. Assuming the newly passed bill becomes law, the potential penalties for repeat drunk driving offenders will change significantly. If you are charged and convicted of a fourth or subsequent drunk driving offense, a judge could sentence you to 10 years in jail, along with a $10,000 fine.
It is also important to note that when considering prior drunk driving offenses, the new law will not just consider prior DWI or DUI convictions. Rather, the new law will consider other prior convictions including the following:
- Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of illegal drugs
- Operating a boat or other watercraft while under the influence of alcohol
- Operating a boat or other watercraft while under the influence of illegal drugs
CONTACT A MARYLAND DUI CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY TODAY FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION
A Maryland drunk driving conviction can land you in serious hot water – especially if you are a repeat offender. Upon conviction, you can face long periods of incarceration, not to mention heavy monetary fines. Moreover, you will have a criminal record which could place a damper on your ability to find and keep a good job, go to school, or find a decent place to live.
The knowledgeable Maryland DUI lawyers at Alpert Schreyer Poe can meet with you to discuss your case and can review all of your legal options and potential defenses with you. To schedule a free case evaluation, please call us today at (301) 321-7277, or contact us online.