Is a Maryland DUI a felony or misdemeanor?
Is a DUI in Maryland considered a felony? Of course not. A DUI conviction is not a felony, in fact it’s barely a misdemeanor. What do I mean by that? Well, technically, Maryland DUI Law falls under Transportation Article 21-902 which is not a criminal article but rather the Transportation Article, therefore technically speaking it may not be “criminal” in nature; however, it does carry the possibility of jail time so the distinction may be mute. A first time DUI conviction in Maryland carries a maximum jail sentence of one year. Thankfully, in my 20+ years defending folks charged with this offense, nobody has gone to jail for a year on a first offense. In fact, we have never had a client go to jail for a year on any number of offense and we have had them all, up to 6th offense as I recall.
In order for the State of Maryland to pursue something higher than a year in jail on a DUI the State has to file subsequent enhanced penalties, in writing, and serve notice on the Defendant or his attorney of record. If this is timely completed by the State, they can ask for more time in jail, up to three years for a third or more offense. While the State does not hesitate to do this, we can often protect drunk driving defendants from this type of exposure by properly preparing the Defendant in advance of Court. Proper preparation and attorney experience, does make a lot of difference in the outcome in any case and in particular a multiple offender drunk driving charge.
If you have a first time or subsequent drunk driving charge in Maryland, give us a call anytime day or night and we will be happy to discuss your case. 410-484-1111.