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Maryland Drunk Driving Criminal Defense: Can I Be Charged With Both DUI and DWI?

Yes. If you are arrested in Waldorf, Maryland, or any other part of Charles County for drunk driving, you can be charged by government prosecutors with driving under the influence (“DUI”) AND with driving while intoxicated (“DWI”). Indeed, this is common.

The main difference between the two charges is the person’s blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”). In Maryland, a BAC level of 0.07% or higher is considered to be driving while impaired (DWI). By contrast, a person with a BAC of 0.08% or higher will be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). So, if a person tested with a BAC of 0.08%, that person has engaged in BOTH DWI and DUI. If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Southern Maryland, call us here at the Law Office of Robert Castro at (301) 705-5137. We are available around the clock, 24/7. We are seasoned and top-rated Maryland Criminal Defense lawyers who can help you beat the charges

You may ask why you would be charged with both DUI and DWI. There are several reasons. First, the government prosecuting attorneys CAN file the charges since, in truth, both crimes have been committed. Second, prosecutors charge as many crimes as possible for leverage in discussing any sort of plea deal. Third, prosecutors charge as many crimes as possible to get the best chance of achieving a conviction at the end of the criminal trial. Maybe the jury is not convinced that DUI was proven, but is convinced that proof of the lesser charge of DWI was established. Multiple charges give the jury options. For these and other reasons, it is common for prosecutors to charge multiple crimes for every criminal defendant. Indeed, the crime of reckless driving is another crime often charged when a person is arrested in Maryland on suspicions of drunk driving,

How are Maryland DUI and DWI different?

Another important difference between Maryland DUI and DWI involves the potential penalties. DUI is the more serious crime. Just looking at a first-time office, for a DWI vs. a DUI, a person who is convicted faces:

  • DWI — jail-time of up to two months, a fine of up to $500, eight “points” assessed against the person’s driving record, and a possible six-month license suspension
  • DUI — jail-time of up to 12 months, a fine of up to $1,000, 12 “points” assessed against the person’s driving record, and a possible six-month revocation of driving privileges

As can be seen, just for a first offense, the penalties are significantly different. As such, prosecutors can use those differences to press for a plea bargain. For example, Maryland prosecutors might offer to dismiss the DUI charge in exchange for a guilty plea on the DWI charge. This avoids a criminal trial and ensures the prosecutors have a conviction to “close” the case. The criminal defendant can see the benefits of such a plea bargain since less jail time is possible, the fines are lower, and there is no revocation of driving privileges. From this, it is clear that there is “value” to the prosecution in charging multiple crimes.

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.