How DUI Cases Are Treated in Anne Arundel County
If you are facing DUI charges in Anne Arundel County, the following is what you should know about how these types of cases are treated. To learn more or discuss the specifics of your case, call and schedule a consultation with a DUI lawyer in Anne Arundel County today.
How DUI Cases Are Treated in Anne Arundel County
In Anne Arundel County, DUI cases are treated very seriously. It’s very unlikely that the prosecution is going to drop a DUI case. Usually, they would rather try a case and lose it rather than just dismiss it. It’s only if the facts are really overwhelmingly in favor of the defense that the prosecution will drop a DUI case.
In Anne Arundel, local law enforcement officials tend to rotate the roadblocks so that you can’t really predict where they’re going to be. They do publish notice of roadblocks in the local newspaper usually a week or two prior to the roadblock. If people checked the local paper, it will say that officers will be conducting a roadblock in one of several areas.
Judges in Anne Arundel County tend to be fairly reasonable. Again, there’s going to be variation between judges but as a general rule, Anne Arundel County judges are some of the best ones in the state. They’ll mail the date in the mail. That usually comes within four to eight weeks. They’re usually taken to one of the commissioner’s offices which are usually located near one of the two court houses, either in Glen Bernie or in Annapolis.
I’ve never seen that. It just doesn’t happen. The maximum penalty for a first offense DUI is a year in jail and most frequently, for a first offense DUI, there’s no incarceration. The maximum penalty for a first offense DWI, the lesser offense, is 60 days in jail. Again, frequently, there’s no incarceration for first offenders. It is extraordinarily rare for the prosecutors to seek the maximum penalty in a DUI case, particularly a first offense. I can safely say that I’ve never seen a prosecutor seek a maximum penalty for a DUI in my career.
The driver’s license suspension process is uniform throughout the State of Maryland. The court cases will vary from county to county in terms of where it’s held, what judge hears it and stuff like that but driver’s license cases are uniform throughout the state of Maryland. They get treated exactly the same in Anne Arundel County as they do in Howard or Baltimore or Prince George’s County.
After an Arrest
If it’s a first offense, they’ll probably be released on their own recognisance meaning that they won’t have to post a bond. They’ll go see the commissioner and the commissioner will give you a court date. Appear for the next court date. Occasionally, they don’t have a court date and the commissioner just releases them. There are two court houses in Anne Arundel County. One is in Glen Bernie and one is in Annapolis. Usually cases are heard at the courthouse located closest to the barracks where the officer is stationed. If an individual is arrested in Annapolis or Glen Bernie, then court is going to be in that area. If an individual is arrested near those areas, again, court would be on the closer court house.
And then if people are arrested by the Department of National Resources, the DNR police, usually for drunk-boating cases, those are almost always heard in Annapolis.
First, an individual gets a court date in District Court. If the case can be resolved in District Court, that’s where the case starts and ends. Most of the time, an individual is charged with a DUI, so they have a right to a jury trial. There, they can ask to have the case tried in the Circuit Court where they will get a different draw of judge or potentially a jury, if they desire.
Unique Aspects of Anne Arundel DUI Charges
Knowing your judges in Anne Arundel County is very important. While most judges in the area are very good, there are some judges that are not so good for different types of cases. Some judges really don’t like accidents. Some judges really don’t like high blows. Some judges think it’s extraordinarily important that individuals be polite and cooperative with officers.
Understanding your judges in Anne Arundel County is probably the most important thing. Then knowing jurisdiction, knowing whether the DNR officer had the jurisdiction to contact an individual where they did or knowing if that the Anne Arundel County officer who contacts an individual in is actually in Anne Arundel County when they did it. Understanding the jurisdiction and knowing the judges are the two most important and unique things about Anne Arundel County.
Why Hire an Anne Arundel County DUI Attorney
Again, knowing who your judge is is probably the most important thing in handling these kinds of cases. Some judges are particularly fond of certain types of defenses be they legal or factual defenses. Some judges don’t give certain defenses any weight. Some judges are good for trial but not very good for sentencing. Others are good for sentencing but not very good for trial.
Knowing who your judge is is extraordinarily important. Just having a general understanding of DUI law without having that county specific understanding really a detriment to a DUI defense. You have got to know both. You have to know DUI law and you have to know the jurisdiction where you’re practicing. Having one only lets the defense lawyer put on half of the defense.