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Penalties For DUI Higher After A First Conviction

A first DUI can be a major headache in your life. The second time the consequences are far worse.

In the state of Maryland, first-time offenders convicted of driving under the influence face license revocation of six months, possible jail time, supervised probation for up to three years and a fine of up to $1,000.

If you are arrested a second within five years

Now you are looking at up to two years in prison and mandatory jail time of five days, minimum. That is just the beginning. The state will suspend your driver's license for one year and you must install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for a period of up to one year. You must also participate in an alcohol abuse assessment program. You will be on supervised probation for up to three years, during which you might also have to undergo drug testing and treatment and perform community service as ordered by the court.

Avoiding the consequences of a second conviction

Maryland takes DUI charges very seriously. One of the state's goals in increasing the penalties for a second conviction is to prevent drunk drivers from becoming repeat offenders.

The best way to avoid a second conviction is to avoid a first one. An experienced attorney may be able to resolve your case without a conviction. However, if you already have a DUI conviction on your record, you definitely need legal representation the second time. An aggressive attorney may be able to review your first conviction and help you avoid the very serious consequences of second conviction. An attorney may also successfully challenge issues such as the legality of the stop.

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