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Published on 1/2/2024, 2:12:00 PM

What to Expect After Getting a DUI in Maryland

Getting charged with a DUI in Maryland can be a daunting experience. Understanding what to expect can help you navigate the process more effectively. This guide aims to provide clarity on the steps and consequences following a DUI charge.

Immediate Aftermath of a DUI Charge

1. Post-Arrest Procedures

After being arrested for a DUI in Maryland, you will be taken into police custody for processing. This typically involves fingerprinting, photographing, and possibly a stay in jail until bail is posted or a bail hearing is held. Read more about this process on our DUI Overview page.

2. MVA Hearing and License Suspension

Following your arrest, you may face a temporary suspension of your driver's license. You have the right to request a hearing with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to challenge this suspension. Failure to request a hearing within 45 days can result in automatic suspension. For more details, visit our DUI vs. DWI section. If you're holding a DR-15A form you can read more about it on our site.

3. Release and Bail Considerations

If you're eligible for release on bail, the amount will depend on factors like the severity of the offense and your criminal history. Our First-Time DUI FAQ offers insights into what to expect for first-time offenders. Many DUI cases are charged by citation in Maryland and no bail is needed. Often a person is released the same night they are arrested to a sober driver.

Legal Process and Representation

1. Hiring a DUI Lawyer

Securing a skilled DUI attorney is crucial. An experienced lawyer can guide you through the legal process, represent you in court, and help minimize potential penalties.

2. Court Appearances

You'll be required to attend several court hearings. The initial appearance, known as the preliminary inquiry, is where you'll formally hear the charges against and be advised to retain a lawyer. Detailed information about court procedures can be found on our Criminal Defense Lawyer page.

3. Plea Bargaining

In some cases, your attorney might negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor. This could involve pleading guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for a reduced sentence or penalties. Our Plea Bargaining blog post provides more insights.

Potential Penalties and Consequences

1. Fines and Jail Time

The severity of penalties depends on factors such as BAC levels and any prior DUI convictions. Fines can range significantly, and jail time may be imposed, especially for repeat offenders. Visit our Second DUI Maryland page for information on penalties for subsequent offenses for second DUI cases. If you have more than one prior offense, you may want to review our subsequent offender page

2. Probation and Community Service

Probation and community service are common alternatives or additions to jail time. These may include mandatory DUI education programs or community service hours. Our Probation Violations page covers what you need to know about probation terms.

3. Impact on Employment and Daily Life

A DUI conviction can have far-reaching effects on your personal and professional life. Employment opportunities may be affected, and you might face increased insurance rates. For insights on handling these challenges, read our blog post on Life After a DUI.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What should I do immediately after a DUI arrest in Maryland?

    • Contact a qualified DUI attorney.
    • Request an MVA hearing to challenge license suspension.
    • Follow all legal procedures and court dates.
  2. Can I refuse a breathalyzer test in Maryland?

    • Refusal can lead to license suspension and other penalties. More information is available on our DUI Guide.
  3. How long will a DUI stay on my Maryland driving record?

    • DUI convictions can remain on your record for years, impacting insurance rates and employment. Learn more on our DUI Record page.
  4. What are the chances of getting a DUI charge reduced or dismissed?

    • This depends on several factors, including the strength of the evidence against you and the skill of your attorney. For more information, visit our DUI Charges section.

Long-Term Implications and Recovery

1. Alcohol Education and Treatment Programs

Participation in alcohol education and treatment programs is often a part of DUI sentencing. These programs aim to reduce the risk of repeat offenses. Our Drugged Driving page provides more information on substance-related driving offenses and treatment options.

2. Insurance Implications

A DUI conviction typically results in higher auto insurance premiums.

3. Restoring Driving Privileges

Restoring your driving privileges post-DUI involves several steps, including serving any suspension period, completing education programs, and possibly installing an ignition interlock device.


Experiencing a DUI in Maryland can be challenging, but understanding the process and potential consequences can help you navigate it more effectively. With the right legal assistance and compliance with court requirements, you can work towards putting this experience behind you.

Read what our clients say about their experiences and our services on our Reviews Page.