Baltimore County Courthouse
The Circuit Courthouse for Baltimore County serves as the trial court. It handles all types of cases including civil, family, juvenile and criminal cases– such as driving under the influence (DUI). It is open between the hours of 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM on every business day except posted court holidays. General information can be found at (410) 229-4100. The daily docket containing every scheduled event concerning criminal cases is updated every day from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the next scheduled court date.
A DUI Offense
If a law enforcement officer personally witnessed you committing a traffic violation, or exhibiting obvious signs of driving under the influence, he or she has the legal right to stop you. This is often the most common action that leads to a DUI (driving under the influence) arrest.
If it can be alleged that you were intoxicated based on your actions, by odor on your breath, or as the result of your erratic driving, you may be asked to get out of the car to perform a field sobriety test. Failing this test, or failing a roadside breathalyzer test, can get you arrested and brought to the police station for DUI.
All the circumstances and facts involved in your traffic stop most likely led law enforcement to believe that you had committed a crime of DUI. It was based on this probable cause that led to your arrest.
Seek Legal Counsel and Fight Your Charges
However, probable cause does not equal guilt, and being charged does not necessarily mean you will be convicted. At the time of your arrest, the law enforcement officers will gather as much evidence as possible, including a chemical test administered at the police station, which you must take or have your Maryland state driver’s license automatically suspended. A skilled attorney, however, can challenge the evidence the prosecutor will assess against you. There are many options open for your defense, sometimes even when the evidence against you is overwhelming.
Because the laws in Maryland concerning driving under the influence are complex, it is always best to consult with a skilled attorney to handle your DUI case in Baltimore County. Your attorney will gather evidence and analyze all the actions of the arresting officer to determine if the field sobriety test and breathalyzer test were administered properly according to standards.
It may be possible to have the case dismissed, or charges reduced, if the attorney can prove that the officer was negligent in determining probable cause. If the officer was not trained in properly administering the breathalyzer or field sobriety tests, or if he or she did not have probable cause to pull you over in the first place, this can be a huge boost to your chance of a favorable outcome.
The MVA Hearing
In addition to dealing with your criminal charges at the Circuit Court of Baltimore County, you will also need to schedule an MVA (Motor Vehicles Administration) hearing. This hearing provides you the opportunity to offer evidence to avoid having your driver’s license permanently suspended as a result of your DUI.
When it comes to building a defense for a Baltimore DUI, having experience and dedication on your side are invaluable assets. The case process for a DUI and a license suspension hearing are totally separate entities, and you will want an attorney that knows what they are doing helping you throughout the process.