Initial Appearances After Annapolis DUI
An initial appearance is an opportunity for a person to appear before the judge. The judge reads the charging documents to the person, explains the maximum penalties associated with the charges, and advises the person of their need to retain counsel. Usually, it is the judge’s burden to explain to a person that a charge carries jail time and how a lawyer can be of assistance in the process.
Once a person is advised at their initial appearance and they show up at subsequent court dates without a lawyer, they could be deemed to have waived their right to counsel and may have to represent themselves at any future court appearance.
For this reason, it is very important to proceed with diligence and hire an Annapolis DUI lawyer to provide advice on the appropriate steps to take throughout a DUI case. An experienced and knowledgeable attorney can use their past work to provide you with a strong defense while also serving as your support system.
What to Expect at Initial Appearance
In some situations, the initial appearance after a DUI takes place immediately at the Annapolis police station while a person is being charged. In other circumstances, the initial appearance could be held several days later when a person receives formal notification to return to the courthouse to be properly advised of their rights at an initial appearance hearing.
At the initial appearance, a judge advises a person of the charges alleged against them and of their right to counsel. After a judge advises a person of their right to counsel, they will either need to hire an attorney or proceed without.
In addition to the presence of the person facing the DUI charges, there may also be a representative from the State Attorney’s office or a prosecutor, and a judge present.
The Presiding Judge
The judge who presides over an initial appearance is not necessarily the judge presiding over the actual DUI case. In the Maryland District Court System, and particularly in Annapolis, the judge who handles the initial appearance is not necessarily the judge who handles the case further along in the process. The judge who presides over your initial appearance is usually the judge on duty for that particular occasion.
Information About Your Court Date
After your initial appearance, information regarding your court date is usually provided to your attorney and mailed to you as well. You can also find information about your court date by contacting the court system directly, or by going to the Maryland judiciary case search website, which offers substantial amounts of information about your court appearance date, location, and things of that nature.
Changing the Court Date
Usually, you are able to change your court date if you can demonstrate good cause for the court. This can be done in writing in advance of the court date or on the day of the court date itself.