Impact of the first DWI offense

One in seven people with driver’s license in the State of Maryland has had a DWI convictions on his record. In 2015 more than 25,000 people were arrested for DWI in Maryland. A conviction for this crime can have serious legal consequences for the person arrested, held in jail including time, losing driving privileges and excessive fines.

In addition, DWI may have personal and economic consequences: The average cost for first DWI in Maryland is between $ 10,000 and 20,000 including fines, bonds, and costs of towing and impound the car, insurance increases, conditionals, classes, chemical assessments and fees for a lawyer.

In the Maryland is a crime to operate or be in control of a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or with a blood alcohol level in the blood of .08 or more, plus certain aggravating factors that you increase the penalties:

  • Have had another incident management;
  • Have a blood alcohol level of .20 or more;
  • Having a minor in the vehicle.

Usually in the first DWI less than .20 alcohol level in the blood (without aggravating factors) the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail, a fine of $ 1,000.00 and a license suspension of 30 to 90 days. First DWI over .20 alcohol level in the blood has a maximum penalty of one year in prison, a fine of $ 3,000.00 and a license suspension for one year. Also depending on certain factors of the case, the government can cancel the plates of the vehicle, take him into custody and in some cases sell.

If someone is arrested for DWI should immediately contact a lawyer in criminal matters. The attorney can analyze your case to determine if the police made a constitutional error affecting the case and can represent you in court to clear charges or minimize penalties.

Not only is it illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. In addition, Maryland is also illegal to refuse the request of a police officer requesting a blood test, urine or breath. The rejection of the exam has maximum penalties of one year in prison and a fine of $ 3,000.00 and a license suspension from 30 days to one year (sometimes the penalties are stronger than the DWI itself). Although this law is very controversial, and many lawyers believe that it is unconstitutional because the police should have a court order to apply such a personal examination, the current law in Maryland penalizes refusal to take the test. However, before taking the exam every person has the right to speak with an attorney. It is best that each person exercised this right because a lawyer can give advice that can limit the impact of this test you.

Lately, a DWI can have very strong consequences for immigrants. For an undocumented person the main risk is that immigration realizes that the person had a DWI after arrest. This happens very often because police and sheriffs have the discretion to call immigration or not and an arrest for DWI increases the likelihood of involving immigration. For authorized immigrants DWI can jeopardize their immigration status or naturalization future. Immigrants who have been arrested for DWI should get a lawyer who can represent their interests in terms of criminal law and immigration status.