Hiring a DUI Attorney in Anne Arundel County
Immediately after a person has been arrested for a DUI, they are going to be taken to the police station. There, the individual will be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test and frequently they will be released immediately from there. In some cases they may be taken to the jail or taken in front of the commissioner to determine a bond. Those are basically the two choices. If they are going to be taken in front of the commissioner they will be transported to the jail and the commissioner will see them at the jail.
Someone who is unsure of what to do after they have been arrested will want to contact an experienced Anne Arundel County DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss their defense.
When to Contact an Anne Arundel County DUI Lawyer
As soon as a person is released they should contact an attorney. There is that 10 day window for requesting a hearing for your driver’s license. There are also some things that an individual who is arrested for a DUI can do immediately to try to make their case look better for the court, specifically enrolling in some kind of alcohol treatment. The sooner an individual enrolls in treatment the better it looks in presenting their case to the court. A DUI attorney in Anne Arundel can be useful in guiding that process. The sooner you speak to a lawyer about a DUI, the better.
The arresting police officer will usually give you the opportunity to try to contact a lawyer prior to agreeing to blow into a breathalyzer test. A lawyer can provide useful advice in deciding whether or not it is in an individual’s best interest to agree to submit to a breathalyzer test.
Hiring a Lawyer for a Bond Hearing
You can hire an attorney to represent you for your bond hearing and the attorney can be pretty useful in presenting evidence to the court that would get them to reduce the bond or release you on your own recognizance.
Constitutional Issues in DUI Cases
Search and seizure law frequently comes up in DUI cases and that comes up in the form of, “Did the officer have a reason to stop the vehicle and then expand the investigation into a DUI?” That also triggers different constitutional issues relating to the stopping of the vehicle. If there is a Miranda issue that is a constitutional issue as well. If the officer really interrogated the individual subsequent to the arrest without advising them of Miranda that can be an issue in a DUI case.
If there is an improper stop, meaning that the stop was unconstitutional then the entire case also falls. Any evidence that is gathered from an unlawful stop is itself inadmissible in court. If your lawyer can prove that the stop was unconstitutional then the entire Anne Arundel DUI case falls apart.
Appealing a DUI Charge to the Circuit Court
You can appeal. You have an automatic right to appeal any district court decision to the circuit court. You only have 30 days from the date of the decision in order to file the appeal. You also have a right to appeal a verdict from a circuit court up to the Court of Special Appeals. However, if an individual enters a plea bargain at the circuit court level they don’t have an automatic right to an appeal. They have to ask permission to appeal and there is only for very narrow grounds that they can appeal in that case.
It means that you have a de novo trial, that means a new trial. None of the facts and findings of the district court are binding on the circuit court. The circuit court can make its own determinations of the facts. Essentially you get a totally new trial at the next level of court, the circuit court.
Three Things to Remember About Anne Arundel DUI Cases
First and foremost, Field Sobriety Tests are voluntary and that you don’t have to perform a Field Sobriety Test. There is no penalty if you refuse to do Field Sobriety Tests. Second, talking to a Anne Arundel DUI lawyer right away is a very good idea in almost all DUI cases. Third, that there is no obligation to enter a guilty plea in a DUI case. You have every right to contest a case and make the state prove the charges against you.