Anne Arundel County DUI Attorney
When a person is charged with a DUI for the first time, their expectations should depend on the nature of the charges, as well as the judge that has been assigned the case. There is a lot of variation among judges regarding DUI charges. One fact pattern may get very different outcomes depending on which judge is hearing the case. That’s why it’s important to have an Anne Arundel County criminal lawyer who is familiar with judges and how they handle first-time DUIs.
Definition of Driving Under the Influence
There are two ways that you can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Anne Arundel County. One is the standard driving under the influence citation and the other is driving under the influence per se.
To prove someone has been driving under the influence, the state needs to prove that you were operating a motor vehicle and at that time were subjectively under the influence. In other words, the State needs to prove that you were drunk at the time you were operating the motor vehicle. In order to prove DUI per se, the state needs to prove that you blew a .08 or higher. There is a subtle difference. In the first case, the state needs to prove that you were actually subjectively impaired. In the second case, the state just needs to prove a breath test over a .08.
People may also be charged with driving while impaired, which is a lesser charge than a DUI, but can still bring serious consequences.
Enforcement of DUI Charges in Anne Arundel County
Law enforcement officials in the area do a combination of DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols around the time that the bars close. Anne Arundel County police and various municipal police forces will do DUI checkpoints throughout the year. It seems like that they are more common during the summer months and somewhat less common during the winter, but they do DUI checkpoints pretty much all year around.
Prosecution of Anne Arundel DUI Charges
What the prosecution is going to argue will depend on the nature of the DUI case. This may include the documentation on the nature of driving that was going on, the evidence of the impairment, and whether the individual consented to a chemical test. There really is no one-size-fits-all answer to what the prosecution is going to try to prove or allege when a person is charged with a DUI for the first time in Anne Arundel County.
In recent years, the prosecution of DUI cases has also become more strict. There are new restrictions on how a person can approach license suspensions and the implementation of the ignition interlock program. These changes in prosecution may even become more strict with the additional recent legalization of marijuana in the state.
All DUI cases begin in the district court, that is the low-level court in Maryland. Once it is in the district court you as a defendant have the decision as to whether or not you want to keep it in the district court or move the case up to the circuit court and ask for a jury trial.
In either case, the case will be heard either in front of a judge in the district court or in front of a jury in the circuit court and in both cases the state will need to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and they have to do that using the rules in evidence.
First time DUI defense in Anne Arundel County is going to be very specific. Under certain circumstances, the defense is that the client was not driving the vehicle and that the person was using their vehicle for shelter, trying to sleep the substance off, and that they had no intention of putting the vehicle into motion.
Other times the defense will argue that their client was not impaired and that there is not enough evidence from the state to show that the client was drunk. In addition, it may be that the officer violated some type of rule or constitutional right, so the evidence has to be excluded. Every case is different and every case is going to have its own unique defense strategy that goes along with that.
The Anne Arundel County prosecutor’s office is going to argue what is necessary to prove their case. They will look at all of the evidence that is available which will include a person’s driving record and whether they have previously been charged with a DUI. If a person had been charged and convicted of a DUI previously, they are going to attack that. When the prosecution attacks someone’s previous driving record, an Anne Arundel County DUI attorney can help by attempting to argue the validity of past charges.
Contact an Anne Arundel County DUI Lawyer Today
Whether you have been charged with a DUI for the first, second, or even tenth time, it is essential to hire a DUI lawyer in Anne Arundel who has experience defending DUI cases. A DUI is a serious offense and can have a severe impact on a person’s future if the case is not handled aggressively. For DUI drug charges, there may be additional penalties if someone’s impairment was due to controlled substances. An attorney can challenge the validity of the official traffic stop as a way to defend you against the charge. They will also be able to keep you informed on the process and make sure you understand the importance of field sobriety tests to the prosecution’s case.
An experienced DUI lawyer in Anne Arundel County is aware of the arguments a prosecutor will make based on the facts that are presented. They will help to present evidence of your good moral character and the work that you have done in the community. If this is the first time that you have been convicted, they will ensure that the court understands that this was a one time mistake.