Driving under the influence of alcohol is something that can happen after just a single lapse of judgment. If you suddenly find yourself facing a possible DUI conviction, you might wonder just how severe the charges against you really are.
While some states consider severe or repeat DUI offenses to be a felony, it is important for Maryland residents to know how the state’s laws interpret the act of driving under the influence. Understanding the severity and consequences of a DUI offense will help you better prepare for your defense and your future.
Does Maryland consider a DUI offense to be a felony?
Maryland’s impaired driving laws do not indicate a DUI offense as a felony. However, there are still serious consequences to keep in mind. Your first DUI offense comes with a fine up to $1,000 and as much as one year in jail, with steeper penalties for repeat offenders. Driving while impaired is a separate offense in Maryland with slightly lesser penalties.
What are the long-term consequences of a DUI in Maryland?
In addition to fines, jail time and points against your license, there are other implications of receiving a DUI conviction of which you should remain aware. Though DUI and DWI offenses are not felonies under Maryland law, they will remain on your criminal record. This can affect your eligibility for certain career objectives, home rentals or other matters which entail a criminal background check.
Though Maryland does now view drunk driving as a felony, a conviction can still have far-reaching effects on your life. Building a solid defense against the charges before you is the best way to protect your freedoms.