Anne Arundel County DUI Case Process
All DUI cases in Anne Arundel County begin in the district court. There are two district courts in Anne Arundel County; one is in Glen Burnie and the other is in Annapolis. If an individual requests a trial by jury then their case will be transferred to the circuit court which is located in Downtown Annapolis.
District court trials are all bench trials. There are no juries at the district court level. If an individual wants to have a jury trial then the case is transferred to the circuit court. In the circuit court, the individual can still elect to have a bench trial. Just because the case comes to the circuit court doesn’t mean that it has to go in front of a jury. Although most circuit court cases that are tried do tend to be tried in front of a jury.
Length of Anne Arundel DUI Cases
How long a DUI case lasts can vary from case to case. It’s possible for an Anne Arundel DUI case to be resolved in about 6 weeks from the time of the arrest to the first trial date. It is also possible for a case to be resolved more than a year after the initial arrest. The duration of a case is just going to depend on the specific facts of the case, how quickly the state provides discovery, whether or not a jury trial is called for, those types of factors.
Prosecution of DUI Charges
The Anne Arundel County State Attorney’s office will rather lose a case at trial than drop a DUI case. They are very vigorous in the prosecution of the DUI cases. The state attorney’s office also prepares for trials and make sure that all of their necessary witnesses are available and will make sure that any kind of physical evidence is available as well.
Prosecutors need to prove that an individual was operating a motor vehicle and that they were either under the influence of alcohol or impaired by alcohol. They can prove it in a couple of different ways. They can prove that the individual was drunk or buzzed, or they can try to prove a DUI per se, which is that the defendant was operating the motor vehicle with a .08 or higher breath alcohol content.
Sentencing of Anne Arundel DUI Cases
In a case that is heard at the district court level, the judge will usually sentence the individual the same day as they are found guilty. One of the major things that the judges are going to look at are the number of offenses. They obviously treat first offenses differently than they treat people with second or third offenses. They are going to look at the facts of the case. They are going to look at whether there was there an accident and how the individual conducted themselves with officers.
Judges are going to treat cases where an individual was pulled over for an equipment violation differently than they will treat cases where an individual was an at-fault driver in an accident. They are going to look at what an individual’s blood alcohol content was or how impaired they believe that individual was. Then they are going to look at what the person did subsequent to the arrest. They are going to look at treatments that the individual may have attended, Alcoholic’s Anonymous meetings that they are going to and anything else that their Anne Arundel DUI lawyer can present in terms of mitigation. Once they do that then the judge will determine what they believe an appropriate sentence is for that case.