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Charged with a Maryland DUI: What To Do Next

If you find yourself facing DUI charges, here are a few things that you may be thinking about as you consider how best to get a positive outcome in your DUI case.

#1 Hire an Attorney Early On In Your Case

The first thing that an individual needs to know is that they have got to get on the phone with a defense attorney as soon as possible. DUIs, in particular, have a lot of time restrictions that are placed on them, especially in Maryland, for when particular things need to be filed by defendant in order to preserve his or her license. If someone has been placed in jail following a DUI arrest in Maryland, their attorney will be able to negotiate their pre-trial release and bond hearing.

There are time limits, within which a defense attorney sometimes needs to file his or her appearance line and request for discovery. Usually, when that happens, the state attorney’s office is put on notice that they need to provide particular pieces of information within a specified amount of time.

Sometimes when an attorney is not in a case soon enough, some of those deadlines have elapsed and some issues that might be brought up to assist the person in the defense of their case might be waived, because an attorney was not brought into the case soon enough.

#2 Look For an Attorney With Local Knowledge and Experience

What I like to call the ‘X-factor’ or the ‘X-factors’ are things that are unwritten; things that an attorney with local experience will be able to tell you about a specific courthouse. The X-factor is also the relationship that a local attorney has with the judges, a relationship that an attorney has with the prosecutor’s office. These things really make a tremendous difference—to have someone on your side who’s been in a particular court system, working there on a regular basis, for a number of years, to be the one who is advising you on not only what is going on with your case but how the state’s attorney’s office or a particular judge may respond to the defenses that you plan to present, the evidence that’s been brought against you, the police officers that were involved in your arrest. It can make a significant difference.

A DUI case might be handled in Montgomery County is going to be very different than in a place like Prince George’s or Baltimore, just simply based on the fact that it’s seen as a far more serious offense in a place like Montgomery County.

#3 Consider Taking a Pre-Trial Alcohol Education Program

When a client is charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), in Maryland, one of the first things that I tell them is to go get themselves enrolled in an alcohol education program. With an alcohol education program under a person’s belt, even if they are found guilty of a particular offense for driving under the influence or driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI), in Maryland, a judge hearing that somebody was proactive and immediately got themselves enrolled in a program like that would be seen in a much more favorable light than somebody who had not or had perhaps waited until the last minute to get themselves involved in something like that.