Here in Maryland, DUIs and DWIs are misdemeanors. This does not mean you shouldn’t take these charges very, very seriously – especially if you are facing a second or third offense. Understanding the potential consequences, and jail time, is important if you have been charged with a drunk driving offense.
The first, and most severe offense, is called driving while under the influence (commonly called DUI). A person who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater is assumed to be under the influence of alcohol. Maryland law calls a BAC of .08 or above “under the influence per se.”
The second is called driving while impaired (commonly called DWI). A person who has a blood alcohol concentration of .07 is assumed to be impaired by alcohol.
It is also [a] crime to drive while impaired by drugs (even legal drugs), drugs and alcohol, or controlled dangerous substances like marijuana. Driving with any combination of drugs and/or alcohol that prevent you from driving safely is illegal.
A person under the age of 21 who drives with any alcohol in their system is breaking the law. If that person is caught, they will be arrested and charged with a DUI.
If you are convicted of DUI, you can face up to $1,000 in fines and up to a year in jail. For a second offense, this jumps to up to $2,000 in fines and up to two years in prison.
Further, after three or more DUI violations, state statute requires (if convicted) fines up to $10,000 and/or 10 years in prison.
Other misdemeanors in Maryland with serious consequences
In addition to DUI, there are several misdemeanor crimes in Maryland where you could face more than a year in jail. These include:
- Many first-time misdemeanor abuse charges have penalties of up to five years in prison.
- A second-degree assault charge, a misdemeanor, can put you in prison for up to 10 years along with a $2,500 fine.
- Arson and burning with an attempt to defraud has a penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
- Bribing a public official is a misdemeanor with penalties of from two years and up to 12 years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
- Carrying a handgun without a permit. The penalty for a first offense is no less than 30 days up to five years of imprisonment and a $250 to $2,500 fine. For a second offense, this jumps up to one to 10 years in prison.
- Child neglect. The penalty for a first offense is up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- Driving under the influence of a controlled substance (fourth offense) is a misdemeanor with up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
- Extortion by false accusation has penalties up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
- Stalking. The penalty for a first offense is up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
- Theft. For theft or property or services from $100 up to $1,500, penalties include jail for up to six months. For a second offense, this jumps to one year in jail and/or a fine not exceeding $500.
- Use of an assault weapon during a felony or violent crime. Penalties include “imprisonment for not less than 5 years and not exceeding 20 years.”
- Sex trafficking. Some sex trafficking charges are misdemeanors but still include up to 10 years in prison with $5,000 in fines.
If you are facing charges and need help, talk to Carey Law Office today. We have the skills and the resources to help you fight any charges you are facing, whether misdemeanors or felonies. To schedule a consultation, simply call our offices or fill out our contact form. We are here to protect your rights throughout the entire legal process, serving clients from locations in locations in Bowie, Crofton, and Owings. We also serve Calvert County.
My name is Joe Carey, and I am the founder and principal attorney of the Carey Law Office. I have lived in Maryland my entire life. I grew up in a small town in Prince George’s County and, with the help of my partner in life, Nancy, I raised my family here: three exceptional children (a son and two daughters), and two goofy, spoiled black Labrador Retrievers. Learn More