Maryland DUI Lawyer Explains “PBJs” for Drunk Driving Cases

What Is Probation Before Judgment In Maryland?

PBJ is an acronym thrown around in Maryland and it has absolutely nothing to do with peanut butter or jelly. PBJ stands for “probation before judgment” and it means that a person has been placed on probation before any criminal judgment has been entered against them.

Who can get a PBJ?

Only first time offenders in Maryland who have been charged with a DUI or DWI offense are eligible for a PBJ. Also, individuals who may have had one previous drunk driving offense can still get a PBJ so long as it has been 10 years or more since their last DUI or DWI conviction.

 How does a PBJ work?

When a judge grants a PBJ, that person is either found guilty or pleads guilty, but the guilty finding is stricken from their record. Unsupervised probation is possible if the person has been screened and completed recommended alcohol treatment. The PBJ will only appear on a semi-private PBJ record, which is only available to the Defendant and the judiciary.

OK, so what’s the big deal you might be asking? It’s a very big deal because it means that you have technically not been found guilty of any crime. That may not seem like much, but it really is. If you receive a PBJ, it means you can truthfully say that you have never been convicted of a crime when asked on job applications. Also, no points will be assessed on your Maryland driving record.

Need help with a Maryland traffic ticket or drunk driving case? Call me at 301-563-9575 or 1-877-566-2408 for a free consultation. I’m an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer and I’d be happy to help. I practice law throughout the entire State of Maryland.