What Should I Expect From a Montgomery County DUI Case?
The first thing that happens, is the officer issues citations.
Then, in Montgomery County, if an individual has not retained counsel, the case is going to be set for a preliminary inquiry. Basically, the suspected DUI driver appears before a judge, the judge tells what the charges are, advises that they have a right to an attorney, and sets a court date. That way if they come back on their first actual court date without an attorney, the court can say that they waived the right to counsel and proceed without an attorney.
If an individual has hired an attorney prior to the preliminary inquiry, then the preliminary inquiry is waived and the individual doesn’t have to appear. That’s one less appearance for an individual charged with DUI have to worry about if they decide to retain counsel.
Then, the first actual court appearance will occur usually anywhere between four and eight months from the arrest day. It takes quite a while to get a first court date in Montgomery County.
After that first appearance, the officer as well as the breath technician who administered the breath test, if there is one in the case, will have to appear as long as they’re demanded; which any attorney would do, of course. A common mistake made by people who are trying to handle a DUI case themselves is not demanding the presence of the breath test.
Then, the case may be resolved in district court either by way of a trial or a plea bargain or by way of the state amending the charges, which doesn’t happen very often.
Alternatively, the case may end up being postponed for some reason—either for further investigation or if the state is lacking essential witnesses or something like that. Then, the case will be reassigned and a new district court date usually between three and six months from the first trial date.
Occasionally, cases do get up to the circuit court in Montgomery County and when that happens Montgomery County is one of the counties that does instant jury trials, meaning you can sometimes go to the circuit court that same day and have the case heard .
There, the case is heard in front of the circuit court judge rather than the district court judge. Or it can be heard in front of the jury, although that won’t happen the next day, it’ll just be assigned for a trial somewhere down the road.
Working with a DUI Lawyer
If you are facing serious DUI charges in Montgomery County, there’s no need to face the court alone. By working with one of the DUI attorneys at our firm, you can make sure that you go into the process well-informed and with an experienced legal advocate by your side. Call our Maryland law offices today to learn more.