Worcester County has the highest conviction rate in Maryland for the prosecution of alcohol and drug-related impaired driver cases. Worcester County prosecutors handled more than 1,000 DUI/DWI cases during 2021. They obtained a 92.2% conviction rate. The statewide average for 2021 was 77.2%.
Worcester County includes Maryland’s summer resort town of Ocean City as well as nearby towns Berlin and Snow Hill. The county has had the state’s highest conviction rate since 2019.
The State’s Attorney noted in a statement that prosecuting drunk drivers is a priority and thanked police agencies for “aggressively patrolling the roadways” for impaired drivers.
The numbers come from data released by the University of Maryland’s National Study Center for Trauma and EMS.
A probation before judgment was considered a conviction for statistical purposes in the study. However, 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.
There are several advantages to a PBJ:
- If you get a PBJ, when asked whether you have ever been convicted or pled guilty to a crime, you can say, “No.”
- 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 also keep 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.
- A PBJ is not a public record although law enforcement will have access to the information about the probation before judgment.
PBJs must be requested, they are not automatically offered. Your attorney has to assess the situation to see if you qualify and then petition the court. An Ocean City DUI/DWI attorney can provide more details. Granting a PBJ is up to the judge.
In some instances, a PBJ might be available even after a guilty finding at trial. PBJs are rarely given for DUI/DWI’s with a high alcohol content and DUI/DWIS that involve accidents.
If you are facing drunk or drug-related driving charges, an Ocean City impaired driving lawyer can help. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can determine if probation before judgment is a possible remedy for your case. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience with Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Glen Burnie, Ocean City, Towson, and White Marsh DWI/DUI charges.
Maronick Law LLC is open during the pandemic and continues to meet your 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.