What To Expect From a DUI Court Date in Baltimore
If you are charged with a DUI offense in Baltimore, it is important that you know what to expect before you step foot in court in order to give yourself the best chance at overcoming your charges. With this in mind, the following is information on what takes place in court, what you should expect from a judge, and whether or not you are likely to be granted a continuance. For more specific information regarding your case, call and schedule a consultation with a Baltimore DUI lawyer today.
Your First Court Date in Baltimore
An individual’s first court date in Baltimore will be held at the District Court in either Catonsville, Towson, or Essex. There, they will get a random draw of a judge and a random draw of a prosecutor. The prosecutor will then make an offer, based on what they think they can prove.
If the individual and their attorney decline that offer then the case can either be tried immediately in district court, postponed for preparation, or a request can be made for a jury trial in which case the trial is transferred up to the circuit court for Baltimore County in Towson.
What Will Happen In Court?
What happens in court depends on which track you take, if an individual is going to be entering a guilty plea at that first court date then that will happen and then they’ll go in front of the judge where the judge will sentence them, tell them what they have to do, and they’ll be able to check in with parole or probation usually that same day.
If the case is postponed, then the case will get a new date usually before leaving the courthouse for their next trial date. If a case is transferred to the circuit court when you ask for a jury trial, then you get a new date for their circuit court before you leave the district court.
Continuances of Court Dates in Baltimore DUI Cases
When an in court continuance is granted in Baltimore an individual waits and then sees the court clerk who’ll actually set a date with them, then and there. What that does is prevents multiple postponements like may happen in other jurisdictions.
How Likely Is It That Continuances Will Be Granted?
It is likely as long as there’s good cause. Good causes can include:
- Preparation for trial
- Further investigation
- And witness availability for the state
If the state asks for a continuance where the officer’s not being available usually the judges will grant that, and if the defense is asking for a continuance, usually the judges are going to grant those as well.
How Judges Enforce DUI Charges in Baltimore
Baltimore, has some of the greatest variation between judges. Some judges in Baltimore are very tough and sentence harshly, while others are the complete opposite. Due to this variation, it’s extraordinarily important to have a lawyer who knows your judge.
What Penalties May a Judge Enforce?
For first offenders, unless there’s something particularly egregious in the case, you can expect probation before judgment. Jail on a first offense in Baltimore County is pretty unlikely, unless there’s something really egregious about that individual case. Beyond that someone should expect fines somewhere usually under $500, probation usually for a period of 12 months and they can usually expect to attend a Mothers Against Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel as well.