If you have been arrested for DUI in Maryland, chances are that you are feeling very overwhelmed and confused. You have been processed at the police station, your car has been towed, and you will lose your driving privileges if you don’t act fast.
A DUI charge carries several penalties, including, but not limited to, driver’s license suspension, a jail sentence of at least one year, and a fine of at least $1000. There is another option, however; one which an experienced Bowie defense attorney may attempt to achieve in lieu of a drunk driving conviction and penalties: Probation. There are two main circumstances under which a person arrested for DUI may be given probation. The first is Probation before Judgment, and the other is Probation after Judgment.
Probation is always preferable to DUI conviction and penalties, which typically include both imprisonment and fines. If you have been arrested for DUI in Maryland and want to learn more about avoiding DUI penalties and lowering the impact of the DUI on your life, contact a knowledgeable defense lawyer with Alpert Schreyer, LLC. Without the assistance of an experienced attorney, you will face an aggressive prosecution and strict judgment of the criminal court alone.
Probation in Maryland
Probation Before Judgment
Under § 6-220 of Maryland Criminal Procedure Code, if an individual charged with DUI or another crime pleads guilty or nolo contendere or is found guilty, a court may stop the passing of judgment and defer additional proceedings by placing the defendant on probation, as long as:
- The court determines that that is in the best interests of the defendant and the public welfare; and
- The defendant gives his or her written consent after a no contest or guilty plea, or determination of guilt.
A Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) is not a conviction. Probation After Judgment of Guilty for a DUI creates a permanent criminal conviction record.
In the case of DUI, if the court grants probation before judgment, the defendant would likely be required to undergo an alcohol evaluation after which he or she would typically be required to participate in a state-approved alcohol or drug treatment or education program. Furthermore, the defendant may be prohibited from operating a motor vehicle without the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Probation may also be granted after judgment in place of imprisonment and/or fines. If the penalties include both a fine and imprisonment, then the probation will take the place of the imprisonment, as per § 6-225 of Maryland Criminal Procedure Code, but the defendant may still be responsible for the fine. The actual probation program would be along the same lines as described in the “Before Judgment” section above. Violations of probation, either before or after judgment, would not only remove probation from the table, but reinstate the penalties prescribed by law as well as potentially others.
Avoiding Unnecessary Penalties
A DUI conviction can affect your job, your family life, and your financial security. If you have been charged with DUI in Maryland and would like to learn more about avoiding unnecessary penalties, contact the experienced Maryland DUI probation lawyers at Alpert Schreyer. As attorneys who have successfully handled more than 1,000 DUI cases in Maryland, we understand that each drunk driving case is different, calling for different innovative and effective defense strategies. Let us put our advanced training in Maryland DUI laws to work for you to help protect your legal rights and aggressively push for reduced charges, probation and/or dismissal.