Montgomery County Prosecution of DUI Cases

The prosecution in Montgomery County is unlikely to flat out dismiss a DUI or a DWI case. They would rather lose a case at trial rather than dismiss a case. Montgomery County takes DUIs very seriously. However, it is still beneficial to your case to speak with a Montgomery County DUI lawyer as soon as possible to discuss why courts take these charges so seriously and what you can do to defend yourself.

Where DUI Cases Are Heard in Montgomery County

DUI cases in Montgomery County begin in the District Court. There are two District Court locations in Montgomery County; one is in the Rockville and the other is in Silver Spring. If an individual requests that their case be tried by a jury, which they have a right to in a DUI case, then the case will be transferred to the Circuit Court, which is in downtown Rockville directly across the street from the District Court.

Length of Montgomery County DUI Cases

Typically, someone probably won’t get a first court date in Montgomery County until about six months after the incident. If the case is continued or a jury trial is requested, then the case could then extend to upwards and over a year. Montgomery County does do instant jury trials, meaning that when someone asks for a jury trial, their case will be transferred to the Circuit Court immediately. Sometimes that very day or perhaps the next day. However, if the case is actually going to be set for trial, then it will be continued from that first Circuit Court appearance.

What Prosecutors Need to Prove

There are two ways that the prosecution can prove a DUI in Montgomery County. The first is under 21-902(a)(1), which is an individual was operating a motor vehicle while their ability to drive was significantly impaired from the consumption of alcohol. To prove this charge the State must show that you were subjectively drunk at the time you were operating a motor vehicle. The other way that the prosecution will go about trying to prove a DUI case is by proving 21-902(a)(2), DUI per se. To prove this charge, the prosecution needs to show that you were operating a motor vehicle with a breath alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. The 21-902(a)(2) charge isn’t about how drunk you were — it’s about what you blew. In order to prove that case, the prosecution needs to prove that you’re operating a vehicle and that there was a validly administered sample of your breath that showed your BAC to be 0.08 or higher. Your subjective level of impairment doesn’t factor into that test. For more information about what prosecutors need to prove, contact a Montgomery County DUI attorney today.

Evidence Presented by Prosecution

The biggest piece of evidence in a Montgomery County prosecutor’s case will be officer testimony. The officer that pulled you over is going to testify as to why they stopped you, what they observed that caused them to think they had probable cause to arrest you for suspicion of DUI, what you blew into the breathalyzer, or if you blew into the breathalyzer at all. The officer’s testimony will be the bulk of the State’s case. If you have a Montgomery County DUI lawyer, they could help you build a defense that consists of your testimony, other witnesses testimony, or potentially even expert witnesses testimony that challenges the State’s evidence.