DUI or DWI convictions in Maryland carry harsh penalties, including hefty fines, lengthy driver's license suspensions, and the possibility of jail time. A first time DUI conviction carries a maximum possible jail sentence of one year and a DWI conviction of up to two months.
Although most individuals understand these obvious consequences of such a conviction, they often fail to appreciate the indirect effects of having a DUI or DWI on their record. The unseen penalties associated with a DUI or DWI, in some circumstances, can be as severe as the potential criminal penalties, and may have a substantial impact on the manner in which a DUI or DWI charge is defended.
Licensed Professionals - Certain professionals, such as lawyers, physicians, cosmetologists, and daycare workers, must obtain licenses to practice in their field. Generally, professionals are required to report criminal convictions to their licensing board and may face sanctions for such misconduct, including fines, counseling, probation, license suspension or revocation.
Auto Insurance - A DUI or DWI conviction is almost certain to result in an increase in an individual's auto insurance premiums, and some insurers might even drop the motorist's coverage altogether.
Commercial Drivers - Commercial drivers face some of the most severe consequences for being convicted of DUI or DWI. An individual convicted of DUI or DWI in Maryland may lose their CDL for a minimum of one year, and a second conviction may result in a lifetime revocation. Further, refusing to submit to chemical testing, such as a breathalyzer, may result in harsher penalties than taking and failing the test. A first time refusal can result in an administrative license suspension for up to one year and a second refusal results in an automatic lifetime disqualification.
Pilots - Any pilot holding an FAA Airman's Certificate must report a DUI or DWI conviction to FAA within sixty days. A DUI or DWI conviction can be punished by an FAA suspension or revocation of the pilot's license.
Immigration - A criminal conviction may negatively impact a person's immigration status.
Restrictions On Travel - In 2011, Canada adopted the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which gives border officials the authority to prevent individuals convicted of DUI or DWI from entering the country.
Child Custody/Adoption Issues - A DUI or DWI conviction may have a negative impact on child custody or adoption proceedings. Courts and adoption agencies may consider a DUI or DWI conviction when determining what is in the child's best interests.
Enhanced Sentences - In Maryland, DUI's and DWI's are subject to enhanced sentences for repeat offenders. A second DUI conviction carries a jail sentence of up to two years, a $2,000 fine, and a minimum one-year license suspension. A second DWI conviction carries a jail sentence of up to one year, a $500 fine, and a minimum sixty day license suspension.
The criminal defense attorneys of Brassel, Alexander & Rice, LLC have extensive experience defending individuals charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you or someone you know has been charged with DUI or DWI in Maryland, contact our attorneys today.