If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Baltimore, you might think it is easier and cheaper to plead guilty rather than hire an experienced DUI attorney in Maryland.
However, the costs of a conviction or guilty plea to a DUI can be higher than what you might expect, especially if this is not your first offense.
In fact, Maryland is listed as one of the most expensive states for a DUI conviction.
In this article, we are going to break down the cost of a DUI conviction in Maryland.
There are other sites that only focus on the first conviction, so we are going to focus on a secondary offense. We’ve broken down the costs by three categories: Legal Costs (without hiring a DUI attorney in Maryland), Associated Costs, and Loss of Potential Income.
Legal Costs of a DUI in Maryland
You may be aware of the fines involved with a DUI case, but are you also aware of the other legal costs associated with a criminal case?
Here are the primary costs you can expect to pay for a second DUI conviction in the state of Maryland. (Bear in mind that these are average costs and estimates, and that each case is unique.)
For a secondary DUI offense, the maximum fine is $2,000. For subsequent DUIs, the fine is $3,000.
Court Fees: $797
Court fees in Maryland include a penalty assessment ($600), state restitution fund ($100), BAC testing fee ($37), alcohol-abuse education fund ($50) and jail-cite-and release fee ($10). We have not included the cost of bail in our calculation.
License Reissue: $75
When your license suspension has finally ended, when you go to the DMV to reissue your license, expect to pay at least $75.
MVA Hearing: $125
If you refused a chemical test during your arrest, you can try to avoid the automatic license suspension by requesting a MVA hearing. However, the fee for the hearing is $125.
Civil Suits: Unlimited
If your DUI resulted in death or injury to another person, or if you caused property damage, you could be sued for unlimited amounts of money.
- Total Range: $2,997 – unlimited
These are the hidden costs of a DUI conviction.
Towing Costs: $150.00 – 1,000
After your arrest, your car will need to be towed. This calculation is based on the average cost of towing and retrieving your vehicle.
Ignition Interlock Devices: $550-2,800
As of now, only second and subsequent DUI convictions require the defendant to install an ignition interlock device in all of the vehicles which he owns, but new legislation is being pushed in Maryland to change this requirement to include first time offenders as well.
You may also choose to take the Interlock option, if you refuse to take the Breathylzer test in order to avoid a license suspension.
The price of the ignition interlock device or IID varies by company and model, but don’t think that you can search online and just buy the cheapest one. Maryland requires you to have the IID installed by a state approved ignition interlock service provider.
Also there are monthly maintenance service charges, as well as other costs that can sneak into installing an IID.
For example, certain devices report you if you fail too many starts within a 30 day year period. If you then do not get your IID serviced within the next week, your car will be towed, adding another expense to your DUI conviction.
You can also be punished if you fail to attempt to start your car less than 50 times in a given period.
Alcohol Education Programs/Treatment: $350-1,000
Part of your sentencing might include participation in Alcohol Education or Treatment Programs. These are not covered by the state and the defendant is responsible for paying for the costs of these programs.
Depending on the program, there are different costs associated with participation. An evaluation can cost between $50-100. Then each class or session costs an additional $25-100. Most of these programs require that you take weekly drug tests, which you must pay for, that cost about $25 each. These programs can last between 6 weeks to 3 months.
Car Insurance Premiums: $3,600-6,000
This cost will not be felt immediately after your arrest or even after your conviction, but it will be an expense that you have to cover. Auto insurance companies can drastically increase both your premiums and deductibles after a DUI conviction. Some insurance companies will automatically drop you as a client.
Alternative Transportation Costs: $768-960
During the one year suspension of your license, you will need to find alternative ways of transportation. We’ve calculated this cost based on the price of monthly MTA passes for one year. It will be higher if you use taxis or Uber.
- Total Range: $5,268-10,760
Loss of Potential Income
We have not made a calculation on this, as it varies greatly from person to person. However, the loss of potential income could be a reality for you if you are convicted of a DUI and sentenced to prison.
Most likely you will lose your current occupation, and having the conviction on your criminal record could prevent you from being hired in the future, depending on your chosen field of work.
So, to figure out this cost, we suggest you calculate your annual salary to cover the time you will spend in jail, then add the cost of finding a new job (transportation costs and fees, recruiter fees, etc.). Also bear in mind that if you work in a field in which a DUI conviction makes you ineligible for work (commercial driving, or sometimes education and medical fields) you might have to take a lower paying salary after your conviction.
Total Cost: At Least $8415 + 1 year salary
Bear in mind this is an estimate of the lowest possible cost for a secondary DUI conviction. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it could cost you must more.
Also, be aware that this is only the financial cost. We cannot put a price tag on the emotional cost a conviction carries, including feelings of shame, guilt, and frustration, as well as the impact on your family and close friends.
Avoid the Hefty Costs of a DUI Conviction in MD
The best way to prevent a DUI conviction is to not drink and drive, but we all make mistakes.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, and you want to avoid or lessen the costs associated, contact an experienced DUI attorney in Maryland.