Probation Before Judgment in DUI and DWI Cases

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Probation Before Judgment or PBJ under Criminal Procedure § 6-220 is not a conviction. A judge can grant this disposition to a defendant in a DUI case if appeal rights are waived, and there have been no prior DUI convictions withing ten years of the current guilty finding. The ten year period begins when the defendant was convicted or given a probation before judgement. Postponing sentencing to a date beyond the ten-year period will not help a defendant qualify for probation before judgement because the time period begins when the defendant pleads or is found guilty. A probation before judgment cannot be expunged.

The MVA's records for probations before judgment are kept separate. The MVA, other driver licensing authorities, courts, criminal justice agencies, the defendant or his or her attorney, the United States Secretary of Transportation, or employers of holders of commercial licenses have access to the records. Insurance companies on the other hand do not.

In order to ensure that a judge will grant a probation before judgment a defendant should be proactive and take steps to mitigate guilt prior to trial. One of the most important steps a defendant can take is alcohol evaluation and treatment. In more serious cases a defendant may need to take further steps. If you have been arrested for drinking and driving and charged with a DUI or DWI contact the Maryland DUI attorneys and Maryland DWI lawyers at Portner & Shure. Our Maryland DUI attorneys can help spot defects in the State's case and help you take the necessary steps to reach the best possible outcome in your case.

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