The county in Maryland that has the highest conviction rates for a charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving while under the influence (DUI) is Worcester County. The county includes Maryland’s summer resort town of Ocean City as well as the nearby towns of Berlin and Snow Hill.
Data for 2019 DUI/DWI conviction rates was released by the University of Maryland’s National Study Center for Trauma and EMS in August 2020. The survey revealed that Worcester County prosecutors had handled 841 DUI/DWI offenses from May 2019 through May 2020 and obtained a 92.7% conviction rate. The statewide average is 78%.
Other Maryland counties that shared in the top ranking for highest conviction rates include Frederick County, Harford County, Wicomico County, Howard County and Washington County.
In the study, a probation before judgment was considered a conviction for statistical purposes. However, a probation before judgment can be an excellent result, especially because the legal system does not view you as being guilty of a crime.
Probation before judgment is commonly called a “PBJ.” In a PBJ, a defendant is basically placed on probation before judgment is entered.
PBJs are not automatically offered. Your attorney has to assess the situation to see if you qualify and then petition the court. Granting the PBJ is up to the judge.
PBJs are rarely granted for violent crimes, crimes involving drugs in large quantities, a DUI/DWI with a high blood alcohol content and DWI/DUI’s that involve accidents. However, a PBJ might be available even after a guilty finding at trial. An Ocean City DUI/DWI attorney can provide more details.
If you get a PBJ, you can say that you were not guilty of the crime. When asked whether you have ever been convicted or pled guilty to a crime, you can say, “No.”
However, some public sector employers such as the federal government and federal contractors may treat a PBJ as a conviction.
If you get a PBJ and apply to college, you don’t have to tell the college about the crime because there was no guilty plea.
PBJs can keep your insurance rates from increasing. Insurers will not find out about the incident because you never formally pled guilty to the charged crime.
Points are not assessed against your driving record in a PBJ for a traffic violation.
In addition, a PBJ is not a public record although law enforcement will have access to information about the probation before judgment.
If you are facing drunk driving charges, an Ocean City impaired driving lawyer can help. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you to determine if a probation before judgment is a possible remedy for your charges. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience with Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh DWI/DUI charges.
Maronick Law LLC is open during the pandemic and continues to meet your legal needs. We can meet with you remotely if you have access to Zoom. You can contact the law office at 410-881-4022 or via our website for a free consultation.