HAVE YOU BEEN PLACED ON PROBATION BEFORE JUDGMENT?
The State of Maryland enables Judges to grant Probation Before Judgment (PBJ’s) to first-time offenders or to a repeat offender if 10 years has passed since the last DUI. Basically, a PBJ is an outcome in which the “Guilty” finding is stricken and you get a PBJ instead. It carries no points with the MVA. If you don’t get a PBJ or “Not Guilty”, you receive 8 points for a conviction of Driving While Impaired, the so-called “B” charge, and 12 points on a DUI charge, the so called “A” charges. Your license would be suspended for 8 points or totally revoked if you receive 12 points. That’s why a PBJ can be so important.
The most important thing to do prior to trial is to prepare for the possibility that you will not get a “Not Guilty”. In that way, even if you are convicted, you will get a PBJ and “no points” on your record.
Unfortunately, a PBJ is not expungeable. The State wants to know that you had a prior PBJ in the event you get a subsequent DUI, even years down the road. But a PBJ is definitely the next best thing to a “Not Guilty” or “Nolle Pros”, which is when the State drops the charges entirely.