The Importance of an Alcohol Assessment for a Maryland DUI Case

If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI in Maryland, an alcohol assessment is an important component to your case.  An alcohol assessment is usually a process whereby a professional evaluates you and determines if you are an alcohol abuser and what course of action you should pursue (treatment, education classes, etc.).
An assessment is recommend for the following reasons:

1. You May Not Get a PBJ.  In some jurisdictions in Maryland, if you decide to plead guilty or are found guilty after a trial, even if you have no prior offenses, you may not get a PBJ.  Some judges are of the opinion that you have to “earn” the benefit of a PBJ by completing an alcohol treatment or education program.

2.  An Assessment Shows Initiative  Obtaining and alcohol assessment or entering into an education program sends a message that you care about your case, that you’ve taken the matter seriously, and you don’t need the court to tell you what to do.

3. An Assessment Gives the Judge Piece of Mind  If a judge sees that you’ve been evaluated by a professional, he/she does not have to decide what type of treatment and/or supervision you need.  The judge can simply follow the recommendation of the professional.  The judge will also feel more at ease that he/she is not taking a risk by keeping your record clean or giving you unsupervised probation

4. You Are More Likely to Get Unsupervised Probation  If the assessment suggests that you don’t have an alcohol problem and that the incident was isolated, your attorney should rely on the assessment to argue that you do not need to be supervised and that your probation should be unsupervised.

5. What if you plan on pleading Not Guilty and Take Your Case to Trial? Trials are unpredictable and one should never assume they are going to win.  Therefore, I still recommend getting an assessment in case the trial does not go your way.

6. You Might Have an Alcohol Problem. Obviously, many people charged with a DUI/DWI do have problems with alcohol. Hopefully, the assessment will uncover this fact.  If so, most judges have sympathy for people who admit that they have trouble and are taking care of it.  (If you are enrolled in an inpatient program, this can often be substituted for jail time.

If you are charged with a Marylan DUI or DWI, it is important to consult with a Maryland DUI attorney. Need help? Call me, I’ve handled thousands of Maryland DUI and Maryland drunk driving cases. I’m here to help.