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Is DUI a Serious Crime in Waldorf, Maryland?

Yes, but DUI in Maryland is not as serious a crime as in other states. DUI is still a misdemeanor crime in Maryland with a one-year potential jail term and a $1,000 fine for a first-time offender. If you have been arrested for DUI in Waldorf, Maryland, in Charles County, or in any other part of Southern Maryland, call the experienced and courtroom-proven Maryland DUI criminal defense lawyers at the Law Office of Robert Castro. Call us at (301) 705-5137. We are available around the clock, 24/7, and have offices in Waldorf, Maryland.

For DUI to be considered a misdemeanor crime, several additional circumstances must be true. First, DUI is a misdemeanor in Maryland as long as, while you were driving under the influence, you did not have an accident that involved a fatality or serious bodily harm. Under those circumstances, you might face charges of negligent homicide or manslaughter. If convicted, those crimes carry the potential for lengthy terms of incarceration and very high fines. Second, it is important that you were not caught with minors in the vehicle with you. Again, those circumstances will result in felony charges, which will entail long prison terms and high fines if convicted. Third, we assume that your level of intoxication — your blood alcohol content (“BAC”) — was in the “normal range.” That would be a BAC of less than 0.15%. These — and other aggravating factors — will make the charges much more serious.

Just as importantly, aggravating factors might eliminate the possibility of obtaining some sort of diversionary sentencing. Often, a first-time DUI offender can plea bargain with the prosecuting attorneys to obtain diversionary sentencing that will avoid jail time. These are often sentencing involving probation, community service, substance abuse counseling, etc. The conditions imposed can be very challenging to meet, but they are better than serving a year in prison.

It should also be noted that your DUI should not involve any other crimes that could be charged. These might include resisting arrest, assaulting the arresting officers, having the police officers find open bottles of alcohol or illicit substances — like drugs — in the vehicle, the seizure of weapons, etc. Those crimes — charged separately — will make the resolution of your DUI much more difficult.

Finally, it should be noted that “first-time offender” means FIRST time. That is, there should be no previous ARRESTS for DUI, regardless of whether there was a subsequent conviction.

DUI in Waldorf, Maryland, is also a serious crime for its impact on your driver’s privileges and your car insurance. A DUI conviction will result in a suspension of your driving privileges for a few months to two years. Likewise, 8 to 12 points will be added to your record, which will have a big impact on your ability to obtain car insurance and its cost.

Contact Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions, contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer at (301) 705-5137. We are Waldorf, MD, Criminal Defense lawyers. Our address is 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601.