Published on 4/24/2023, 2:15:00 PM
How Long Does a Maryland DUI Stay on Your Record?
Is a DUI on My Record Forever?
A DUI conviction can have lasting consequences on both your personal and professional life. In Maryland, the length of time a DUI stays on your record depends on the type of record and the circumstances of your case. Understanding the differences between traffic and criminal records, the options for expungement and shielding, and the consequences of a DUI on your record is crucial to protecting your future. Speaking with the best DUI lawyer in Maryland can help you navigate these complex issues and work towards the best possible outcome for your case.
Different Types of Records
Traffic Records vs Criminal Records
There are two main types of records that can be affected by a DUI in Maryland: traffic records and criminal records. Both records can impact your life, but they serve different purposes and are maintained by separate agencies.
Traffic Records Generally
Traffic records are maintained by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) and contain information related to your driving history, including convictions, refusals, and points accumulated for traffic violations.
DUI convictions and refusals to submit to a chemical tests will remain on your driving record indefinitely.
Even if you move your traffic record will follow you as most States particiapte in the driver's license compact. This compact allows States to share driving records between them, so that means your out-of-state DUI might follow you to Maryland, and vice-versa.
Convictions vs Refusals
A DUI conviction will may appear on a person's traffic record as a probation before judgment, or as a points offense. If a person is found not guilty after a trial, then neither of these would appear on a person's traffic record.
Even if a person wins their DUI trial a refusal to submit to a chemical test, or a chemical test over .08 will stay on your traffic record permanently unless you overcome the MVA at a hearing.
A person may be able to keep their breath refusal or high breath test off of their traffic record; however, they would need to overcome the Motor Vehicle Administration's challenge at a MVA hearing. These rights are explained on the DR-15a form a person receives when their license is confiscated during the DUI charging process.
The consequences of these records can include increased insurance premiums, difficulty obtaining employment that requires driving, and potential revocation of your driver's license.
In addition to your traffic record, a DUI can also impact your criminal record, which is maintained by the Maryland Judiciary.
Criminal records can be accessed by law enforcement, employers, and other parties who conduct background checks on Maryland Case Search and the MDEC Portal at any Court house.
A DUI conviction, or a Probation before judgment will remain on your criminal record indefinitely, unless it is eligible for expungement or shielding.
Expungement is the process of removing certain convictions and charges from your criminal record. In Maryland, a DUI conviction and a DUI probation before judgement are not expungeable.
In Maryland, you may be eligible for expungement under specific circumstances, such as receiving a a not guilty verdict, or having your case placed on the STET docket.
To keep a DUI off of your "criminal record" you will need to either have your case dismissed, win a trial, work out a plea deal to a lesser traffic offense, or have your case placed on the STET docket.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you determine your eligibility for expungement and guide you through the process.
Guilty vs Not Guilty
A guilty verdict in a DUI case will result in a conviction on your criminal record and points on your traffic record, while a not guilty verdict or probation before judgment (PBJ) won't.
It is essential to consult with a knowledgeable Maryland criminal defense lawyer to understand the potential outcomes of your case and explore your options for expungement.
Probation Before Judgment
In some DUI cases, the court may grant probation before judgment (PBJ), allowing you to complete probation without a conviction on your criminal record.
Successfully completing PBJ won't make you eligible for expungement; however, you won't need to report the case as a conviction when applying for a job. It is possible that the PBJ could come up in a background check though.
Consequences of Having a Record with a DUI on It
Having a DUI on your record can have long-lasting consequences, impacting your personal and professional life. Some of the potential consequences include:
- Difficulty obtaining or maintaining certain jobs, particularly those that require driving or security clearances
- Increased insurance premiums or difficulty obtaining insurance coverage
- Potential impact on child custody or visitation arrangements
- Loss of certain professional licenses or certifications
CDL - Commercial Driver's License
For individuals with a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), a DUI conviction can have severe consequences. In addition to the potential loss of your CDL, you may face disqualification from operating commercial vehicles, jeopardizing your livelihood and career.
Speak with a Criminal Lawyer
If you are facing a DUI charge in Maryland, it is crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
The best DUI lawyer in Maryland can help you understand the potential consequences of a DUI on your record, explore your options for expungement or shielding, and provide the guidance and expertise you need to navigate the complex legal system.
At FrizWoods, our criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience in Maryland DUI cases, including DUI jury trials and bench trials. We understand the lasting impact a DUI can have on your life and are dedicated to providing the comprehensive and compassionate representation you need to protect your rights and your future.
Don't let a DUI conviction define your life. Contact FrizWoods today to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer and learn how we can help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.