What to Expect in Court Following a Bethesda DUID
After being charged with driving under the influence of drugs, an individual is often overwhelmed by how to proceed with the legal process. Court proceedings can often be confusing, leaving an individual in the dark about the future of their own case. However, this can be remedied by contacting an experienced Bethesda DUID attorney.
A seasoned lawyer will best be able to advise you on what to expect in court following your charge and help reduce or dismiss any potential penalties you may be up against.
Initial Court Proceedings
Someone charged with driving under the influence of drugs in Bethesda should know that the court proceedings could vary greatly in length. Depending on the number of witnesses the prosecution calls to testify in the case, it could be resolved within minutes of the person’s arrival in court. However, if the case is a lengthier proceeding or a trial, it could take several hours or several days to come to a resolution.
Usually, before a case gets to court, the defense attorney and the prosecutor go through a period of discovery. The defense attorney is given all of the information the prosecutors have.
The defense attorney and the client prepare appropriate arguments for court and try to determine whether a resolution of some kind is appropriate. They might decide that entering a plea of not guilty is the appropriate course of action where a trial is held and the state must prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Possible Defense Strategies
Some possible defenses for driving under the influence of drugs in Bethesda are questions about whether the vehicle the person was driving was stopped properly by law enforcement in accordance with Fourth Amendment procedures.
Additionally, determining whether someone was under the influence of drugs at the time they were driving is a difficult task for the government to prove. They must call in drug recognition experts who use scientific methods to try to prove that somebody was driving under the influence.
Those methods can be challenged in court. The processes used to administer the tests, the validity of the tests, and their reliability are things a defense attorney can challenge to raise doubt as to whether the state can prove a particular matter beyond a reasonable doubt.
Additionally, there are other arguments to be made about any chemical testing done. Usually, drugs are chemically tested and based on a urinalysis or a blood screening. Having that urine or blood test admitted into evidence is more difficult a task than simply having a breathalyzer get admitted into evidence.
A prosecutor must follow the appropriate procedures to introduce those pieces of evidence. When they do not abide by the principles and rules of evidence in getting those pieces of information presented to the court and laying a proper foundation, those tests can be removed from the record. The charges may be dismissed completely.
Mistakes to Avoid
The most important mistake to avoid is telling an officer that the medication the person is taking is prescribed by a doctor. Just because something was properly prescribed does not mean that a person can legally be driving while taking it. This can constitute a defense to a drug-related DUI charge.
Additionally, people should speak with a lawyer as soon as they can during the course of their DUI arrest or immediately afterward. Defense attorneys can make sure an individual exercises their rights by requesting all discovery, attending all hearings, and making the appropriate arguments for keeping particular pieces of evidence from being presented in court because of their lack of reliability, proper foundation, or procedure followed by the state.
Consenting to a Search
An individual does not need to consent to a vehicle search during a DUID stop or at any other time. However, once someone is arrested, an officer is permitted to conduct a search of the vehicle incident to arrest or do an inventory search of the vehicle if the vehicle is being impounded and taken by the officers to another location.
Benefits of an Attorney
An attorney can make sure all of a person’s constitutional rights are preserved and all appropriate arguments to keep particular pieces of evidence out of the courtroom are properly exercised. An experienced attorney will be able to appropriately advise an individual on what to expect in court following a Bethesda DUID.
In addition, if the government is unable to demonstrate the reliability of particular pieces of evidence or information they are trying to present, a defense attorney can lay the counterargument for the reliability of those particular pieces of evidence. That objection can generate doubt in the court to get a favorable result for a person’s case.