Will you be considered a first offender in Maryland if it has been 10 years since your prior DUI conviction or PBJ? Well, it is much like your virginity, once you lose it-you lost it!
What do I mean by that? Once you have received a DUI or DWI and received some form of probation or guilty verdict, that can never be undone and you will never be considered a “first offender” again; in point of fact, you are not a first offender, you will be a second offender, even 10+ years later. Now, if you go to court on your first offense and you are found Not Guilty by the judge or jury, well then that is NOT a first offense because you were not found guilty and you did not receive a probation before judgment. A not guilty means you were not guilty of the charge and is therefore not considered a first offense. In this instance, a “second violation” irrespective of when it occurs (1 year or 5 years) is indeed a first offense (because you beat the earlier offense) and you are entitled to first offense status. Ie. eligible for a PBJ.
Now, what is this business about 10 years? That time period is the new limit in which a “second offender” is not even legally eligible for a probationary disposition such as a PBJ. Therefore, if in your first DUI offense you received the benefit of probation before judgment and therefore were able to keep your record clean and void of any points, that would mean you are not even eligible for a PBJ within 10 years of receiving your first PBJ. You can however retain the best lawyer you can find and fight your case in court and try to obtain a not guilty in the second offense.