A DUI conviction can impact your life in many ways. It may have an effect on your career, your reputation, your freedom to drive and even your relationships with friends and family.
When the offense you’re charged with is a felony, the repercussions are more serious and far-reaching. When does a DUI become a felony offense in Maryland?
It will depend on the circumstances of your case
Maryland treats DUI offenses seriously and puts in place penalties that reflect this. While a DUI is generally treated as a misdemeanor, there are certain aggravating factors that make it more serious and turn it into a felony offense.
If a person was seriously injured or died as a result of a DUI, the charges are likely going to be escalated to vehicular assault or even vehicular manslaughter. This could be another driver, a passenger or a pedestrian.
Generally, the more danger you put other people in, or the more potential for harm that is caused by driving while under the influence, the more serious the penalties are going to be.
Multiple DUIs do not mean felony charges
In some states, being charged with a second or third DUI can result in the offense being escalated to felony level.
Maryland, however, considers even repeat DUI offenses to be misdemeanor offenses but with increasingly more serious consequences. While it may not result in the limitations of a felony offense such as not being able to vote, it is still likely to have an impact on your everyday life.
Having legal assistance when charged with a DUI is essential to fighting the case against you and putting forward mitigation to reduce your sentence.