In drunken driving cases, there are a variety of consequences that can play out, depending on the factors involved. What many people don’t realize until they become involved in a drunken driving case is that there are two categories of consequences in these cases: administrative sanctions and criminal penalties.
The difference between these two sets of consequences is that criminal penalties are primarily overseen by the court system, whereas administrative penalties are primarily overseen by the Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration. Also, criminal penalties are not imposed on a motorist until after conviction, whereas some administrative penalties can be imposed immediately.
Criminal penalties in Maryland vary depending on the blood alcohol content of the defendant at the time of arrest and his or her criminal history. Those who are facing a second or third offense are going to face steeper penalties. For a first-time offender, criminal penalties can range from a year of probation with alcohol education to a $1,000 fine, one year in jail, and a 6-month driver’s license revocation.
Those who face drunken driving charges have the opportunity to challenge not only criminal charges but also administrative sanctions, and it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands how to navigate both the administrative and criminal aspects of a drunken driving case.
In our next post we’ll look at the some of the aspect of challenging driver’s license sanctions in these cases, and how an experienced DUI attorney can help minimize these consequences.