You already have one or two DUI offenses on your record. You know that if you get another one, the consequences will are pretty steep. Well, Maryland police recently pulled you over for suspected DUI and now you are facing another DUI charge. What can you do?
The penalties for repeat offenders can be significant. There are administrative and criminal penalties that can hurt you personally and professionally for years to come. This is why the next steps you take to address your current situation matter.
Who is considered a repeat offender? What are the penalties?
According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, a repeat offender is anyone who receives more than one DUI violation over the course of five years. The administrative penalty for repeat offenders is an automatic license suspension for one year. As soon as the suspension period is over, the offender then has to utilize an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle for another year. Along with administrative penalties, there may be criminal penalties such as:
- Jail time
- Court-ordered rehabilitation
Every case is different. The details of the case will be used to determine the punishment severity if you are ultimately convicted.
What to do after receiving a suspension notice
If the state identifies you as a repeat offender, the Motor Vehicle Administration will send you a license suspension notice. You have 15 days in which to respond to the notice. The MVA expects you to turn your license over within that time frame. Failing to respond could result in your license being suspended longer than necessary.
How does the ignition interlock device work?
After you get your license back, it is your responsibility to have the ignition interlock device installed on your car. You will need to pay for the equipment and installation. If you cannot afford to pay for this device, you may submit a financial hardship form in order to seek some monetary assistance.
Once installed on your vehicle, the device will not let you start the automobile until you provide a breath sample. If you fail the test, your car will not start. If you pass the breath test, it will. It is a fairly simple machine, you just have to make sure it is properly maintained so that it does not give out a false reading.
Is it possible to fight repeat DUI charges?
Anything is possible. It all depends on the facts of your case. With a little legal guidance, you can take the steps necessary to fight any criminal charges and their associated criminal and administrative penalties.