Felony in Maryland
There are generally two different classification of crimes in Maryland and the other states one is a felony and one is a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is a more minor offense such as theft of a small amount of money, a minor assault or possession of a small amount of a minor drug. A felony on the other hand is a classification of very serious crimes against the people. A felony would be something like murder or rape or theft of a lot of money or arson. So crimes are broken into more serious and less serious categories in this fashion. In addition, they are heard in two different courts misdemeanors typically being heard in the District Court of Maryland while felonies are heard in the Circuit Court of Maryland.
When it comes to DUI and other traffic related offenses clients always want to know right out of the gate if a DUI is a felony. In some states a second or third DUI offense may be considered a felony or a DUI offense which results in serious bodily injury or death to another person may also be considered a felony in some states. Maryland does not consider DUI or alcohol-related offenses to be felonies. So either a first offense or a multiple offense will be classified the same way as a misdemeanor crime or to be technically accurate a misdemeanor traffic offense as the offense appears in the traffic and transportation article of Marilyn and not the criminal code. Additionally even if a DUI tragically resulted in serious harm to another person the charge of DUI in that circumstance would not be a felony charge.
This is important because if a felony conviction appears when individuals record it closes many doors of employment for that person. Many defendants come to Robinson and Associates with secret clearances which generally stay intact following a first time DUI because it is a misdemeanor but had such an offense resulted in a felony conviction secret clearances would no longer be possible nor would employment at the overwhelming majority of employers. This may be one consideration that Maryland had when classifying DUI and DWI as misdemeanors. Having said that, a second third or fourth DUI charge would undoubtably have a deleterious affect on one's ability to keep a secret clearance with the Federal government. Obviously if an individual has incurred multiple DUI infractions there very well may be an alcohol-related issue which would not be consistent with entrusting the government's secrets. Conversely, a first offense generally will not result in the serious remedy of losing clearance as most people are given a free bite at that apple as far as the government is concerned.
The regular military on the other hand is more of a mixed bag. We continue to see results all over the board which are largely reliant upon the defendant's command. That is to say, if the defendant is well-liked by the command (or the command is easy-going) we have seen more limited punishment such as being limited to base for a period of time and possibly some loss of pay while in other cases we have seen people kicked out of the military or kicked out of education programs entirely so it is very difficult to say as there does not appear to be a blanket rule on the handling of such charges.