When you face criminal charges, your main concern may be, “Will I go to jail?” For a first-time offense of driving under the influence (DUI) in Maryland, you could face up to one year in jail, though many defendants receive a probation sentence instead of jail time unless there are aggravating circumstances. However, there are many other consequences of a DUI conviction other than jail time, many of which can significantly affect your finances. To make matters worse, the financial consequences of a DUI can continue long after you complete probation or a jail sentence. The following are some of the financial effects of a DUI conviction.
FINES AND FEES
The court can order DUI offenders to pay costly fines under Maryland law. A fine can be up to $1,000 or $2,000 if you had a minor in the car at the time of the alleged DUI. For a DWI, which applies to blood alcohol levels between 0.04 percent and 0.08 percent, you may have to pay a $500 fine. This is in addition to any court costs charged or any fees related to probation or jail time.
First-time DUI offenders may lose their driver’s licenses for at least six months, if not longer. During this time, you should never drive, as driving on a suspended license because of a DUI can result in additional serious charges and consequences. You will need to find alternative transportation, and if you cannot always rely on friends or family members, you will have to regularly pay for Uber, Lyft, taxis, or public transportation.
In order to get your driver’s license back once the suspension period ends, you will have to apply to the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). You will need to pay a fee before they will reinstate your license.
A DUI conviction will certainly make it more challenging to obtain the required auto insurance in Maryland. In order to reinstate your driver’s license, you will have to provide proof of an SR22 insurance policy, which reports to the state that you have the minimum coverage. SR22 policies are more costly than traditional insurance policies, and your insurance company may further inflate your premiums because they consider DUI offenders to be high-risk drivers.
LOSS OF INCOME
Many people may lose their jobs temporarily or permanently due to a DUI. This could occur because your job requires you to have a valid driver’s license, a valid commercial driver’s license, or a clean driving record. Some companies may have a policy not to employ anyone with a criminal conviction of any kind.
CONTACT A MARYLAND DUI DEFENSE LAWYER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FOR HELP
The DUI defense attorneys at Alpert Schreyer Poe, LLC know that there are lasting financial consequences of even a first-time DUI conviction. We can defend against DUI charges to avoid a conviction and minimize penalties whenever possible. Call (301) 321-7277 or contact us online to discuss your DUI defense for free today.