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First DUI: What Should I Expect?

Mohammadi & Humayun, LLC Sept. 22, 2022

Car keys and glass of alcohol on table in pub or restaurant.Under Maryland DUI laws, driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited. A defendant convicted of DUI may face severe penalties, such as massive fines, lengthy imprisonment, license suspension or revocation, and other life-changing consequences. 

However, the seriousness and severity of your DUI charges will depend on your number of prior convictions and other surrounding circumstances. A skilled Maryland criminal defense attorney can educate you about your rights, options, and what to expect when facing your first DUI charge. 

At Mohammadi & Humayun, LLC, we are committed to offering highly-personalized legal guidance and strong representation. Our trusted attorneys will investigate the facts of your case, craft a strong defense strategy to fight your charges, and strive to keep your driving record as clean as possible. We're proud to represent clients across Rockville, Fredrick County, Howard County, Prince George's County, and Montgomery County, Maryland. 

DUI Charges in Maryland 

According to Maryland law, a person may be arrested and charged with a DUI for driving or attempting to drive: 

  • With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of at least 0.08% 

  • While substantially impaired or under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance 

On suspicion of drunk driving in Maryland, a police officer may stop your car and request that you submit to a field sobriety test or chemical test. 

DUI Tests and Your Rights  

In Maryland, a motorist suspected of driving while substantially impaired may be asked to undergo DUI tests – including field sobriety tests and chemical tests. Field sobriety tests are a group of three tests – the one-leg stand, the walk-and-turn, and the horizontal gaze tests – used by law enforcement officers. The main goal is to determine whether a driver is impaired or not. Under Maryland law, field sobriety tests are completely voluntary. There are no penalties or consequences for refusal. 

In contrast, a chemical test – including blood, breath, urine, or saliva test – may be used to determine the level of alcohol in your blood, breath, or body. Under Maryland DUI law, blood alcohol tests are mandatory. Any driver lawfully stopped for suspicion of driving while under the influence must submit to a chemical test. Refusing to submit to a chemical test may result in automatic license suspension and other and other punishments. 

The Process After a DUI or DWI Arrest  

If arrested for DUI or DWI in Maryland, you will have to do the following: 

Preliminary Inquiry 

The preliminary inquiry is your first contact with the court system. The inquiry will happen within five (5) days of your arrest. When you appear before the District Court commissioner, they will advise you on your rights to an attorney, the traffic allegations against you, maximum possible penalties, and the trial date. 

DUI Court Arraignment 

At your court arraignment, your lawyer will try to work out a plea agreement with the Assistant State's Attorney. Your DUI case will proceed to trial if you reject the agreement. During the court trial, the prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you're guilty of the DUI charges. If you're found guilty, the court will impose various sentences, including jail time, fines, and probation. 

A knowledgeable Maryland DWI/DUI defense lawyer can enlighten you about the possible penalties, help strategize your best defenses, and improve your chances of achieving the best available outcome for your unique situation. 

Possible Penalties for First Offense 

Here are some of the possible penalties for first-time DUI/DWI offenses in the state of Maryland: 

  • Jail time 

  • Massive fines and court fees 

  • Driver's license suspension 

  • Probation 

  • Community service 

  • Ignition interlock device (IID) restrictions 

Other potential consequences include: 

  • A criminal record/history 

  • Increased auto insurance rates 

  • Increased difficulty in getting government assistance 

  • Increased difficulty in securing employment or housing 

  • Loss of your rights to carry, own, or possess firearms 

  • Loss of scholarships or university acceptance 

  • Deterioration of personal and professional relationships 

  • Ineligibility to obtain certain financial loans 

An experienced attorney can intervene quickly, help outline your best defenses, or determine the best way for you to avoid or mitigate the far-reaching penalties and consequences of a Maryland DUI conviction. 

Get the Guidance You Deserve 

Whether it is your first, second, or third DUI, facing a drunk driving charge can be devastating. Unfortunately, a criminal conviction can jeopardize your personal reputation, quality of life, liberty, driving privileges, career, and other future opportunities. Therefore, when charged with a DUI, hiring a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is imperative for proper guidance and to help determine your best defenses. 

At Mohammadi & Humayun, LLC, we have the skill, diligence, and resources to guide and represent clients in their DUI cases. Our trusted legal team will assess and investigate every last detail of your case thoroughly, strategize an effective defense, and dispute the accusations against you with substantial facts and evidence. Above all, we will fight aggressively to uphold your legal rights, protect your driving privileges, and improve your chances of a brighter tomorrow. 

Don't accept a DUI allegation without a fight. Contact Mohammadi & Humayun, LLC, today to schedule a simple case assessment with our DUI defense lawyers. Our trusted attorneys can help you navigate the Maryland criminal justice system and make sure you receive fair treatment in every phase of the legal proceedings. We're proud to represent clients across Rockville, Fredrick County, Howard County, Prince George's County, and Montgomery County, Maryland.