How DUI Cases Are Treated in Howard County, Maryland
If you are facing DUI charges in Howard County, the following is information on how you can expect your case to be treated. For more information consult with a Howard County DUI lawyer today for a free consultation.
How Are DUI Cases Treated In Howard County?
I have never seen a prosecutor ask for anything close to a maximum sentence in Howard County. Again, just because the maximum sentence for first DUI offences are so harsh. Like I said, the penalty for the first offence, DUI is a year incarceration maximum. Most commonly, people don’t get any kind of incarceration on the first offense.
If an individual has subsequent offender penalties filed against them that can increase the maximum penalty for a DUI to two years or even three years depending on how many priors that individual has. It is extraordinarily uncommon for anyone to go to jail for two or three years for DUI in Howard County; particularly if they do an appropriate level of treatment which a competent attorney would recommend.
Are There Any Alternative Sentences Available For Individuals?
Absolutely. Howard County does do work release on occasion. That’s usually through the detention center. They also allow weekend incarceration so an individual doesn’t end up losing their jobs or having to take time off of work for that. Particularly if the sentences are only two to six days, the court will frequently allow an individual to serve that on weekends.
Most judges in Howard County will give individuals credit for time that they spend in an in-patient rehabilitation center. If an individual does a weekend of in-patient treatment judges will usually waive a weekend of incarceration in light of that treatment.
Judges in Howard County DUI Cases
In district court in Howard County, we have five judges. One of them is brand new. He started hearing cases last week. I did a case in front of him last week. Our judges, I would say, range in temperament from middle of the road to terrific. We don’t have any hanging judges in Howard County. If you took our harshest judge and put them in Baltimore County for examples, they would be very middle of the road.
I think the bench in Howard County is terrific. We have lots of judges who are capable of saying not guilty and most of our judges are very good when it comes to sentencing as well.
DUI Enforcement Practices in Howard County
I would say that it’s handled very similarly in Howard County as it is in Anne Arundel County. Prosecutors generally don’t drop DUI cases. They would rather lose a trial than dismiss a case. The police in Howard County tend to be very competent. They always have their ducks in a row in terms of certifications both as individual officer as well as machinery.
Howard County has a higher per capita income than some of the neighboring counties so they spend that money on a competent police force, making sure that they dot their Is and crossed their Ts.
Advantages of Local Counsel
Well, as in any DUI case, knowing your judge is extraordinarily important. Knowing whether the judge that you’re in front of is one that’s going to be good for guilt and innocence or is going to be one that is good for sentencing. Knowing what kind of defences those judges like to hear, knowing how those judges like to hear their defences. Also, having an attorney who’s familiar with the state’s attorney’s office could make a big difference.
I have found that the prosecutors in Howard County tend to make me better plea offers because they know that I like to try cases. Having a lawyer who they know and they know is competent is going to make a big difference in terms of the plea offer and having a lawyer who knows the judge is going to make a big difference in the outcome of the trial.