Probation before judgment (PBJ) simply means one is given probation before the actual sentencing. It is somehow a decision of the court to defer judgment and there are corresponding obligations that come with it. Certain Maryland DUI laws govern this legal decision, and they are enumerated in the 2010 Maryland Code under Trial and Sentencing Section 6-220.
PBJ is allowed by law for a FIRST-TIME DUI offense
Conditions for PBJ has been set in the Maryland Code and are limited to:
- A first-time DUI or DWI offense, or have not been convicted in any DUI or DWI charge within the last 10 years.
- A first-time infraction on any Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) crime.
- For any first-time offense unless specifically listed by the Maryland Code: Section 6-220.
- For any repeated offense unless statutorily prohibited by the Maryland Code: Section 6-220
PBJ is not allowed by law for a SECOND or SUBSEQUENT DUI offense
- Any second or subsequent DUI or DWI offense, or have been charged with DUI or DWI within the last 10 years
- A second-time violation on any Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) crime.
- Any sex crimes involving a minor as enumerated in the PBJ statute.
- Any moving violation when holding a provisional license as defined in the Transportation Article 11-136 or has been already placed under probation for the same offense.
Looking at the Maryland DUI Laws on PBJ, probation before judgment seems to be a valid option for first-time DUI or DWI offense, or even some other first-time infractions, unless otherwise listed in Section 6-220 of the Maryland Code. When receiving a PBJ for a first-time DUI offense, a person can either get a custodial confinement or a home detention; a corrections program, like an Ignition Interlock Program or any similar program; or an inpatient drug or alcohol treatment program. A person may also get PBJ when one pleads guilty or a judge has the authority to offer a PBJ when a person is found guilty and the court finds it in his best interest and the public welfare would also be served by the decision.