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Motion to Dismiss a DUI in Maryland

A motion to dismiss a DUI in Maryland is really a request of the Court that a matter should not even be brought to trial for a varying number of reasons. Usually, these reasons are not based upon facts. Facts are left for trial and if a Judge finds that the facts are insufficient or the jury finds the facts are insufficient then they will throw the case out.

On the other hand, when an attorney files a motion to dismiss, it is usually based on procedural issues, whether those issues are based on a lack of probable cause for an arrest, the government not providing the defense with proper discovery, or the government not providing the defense with an adequately speedy trial by bringing the case to trial within a reasonable period of time.

Elements of a Motion to Dismiss

A lawyer might file a motion to dismiss for a variety of different reasons including:

  • Lack of probable cause to arrest the client
  • Not providing proper discovery
  • Not having been brought the case within the statute of limitations for DUI cases
  • Other procedural issues

A motion to dismiss can include any facts that a defense attorney believes will be helpful to the Judge in making a determination about the facts of the case. Usually, the facts will be supported by case law that will show the Judge what prior Courts have done in similar situations.  The Judge will then have an understanding of the defense’s position and why a dismissal is appropriate given the circumstances.

Filing a Motion

DUI lawyers can file motions to dismiss any time they believe it is appropriate to file a motion. Some common reasons might be that the case took too long to get to court, there was a delay in that person’s right to speedy trial, or the prosecution did not provide the amount of discovery in a case with enough information to adequately prepare for trial.

There may be an impropriety in the way the prosecutor investigated the case that the court should be made aware of or a prejudice caused to the person on trial by way of witness availability.
There are an infinite number of reasons that a defense attorney could make a motion to dismiss and those vary on a case-by-case basis.

Included Information

A motion to dismiss must be for good cause. A defense attorney needs to include information to convince the court of the reasons for the motion and what prejudice was caused to the defense that prompts the basis for the motion to dismiss.

After a Motion is Filed

After a motion to dismiss is filed in Maryland, a hearing is conducted where a judge hears arguments on the request and then makes a determination about the appropriate response to the motion to dismiss. If it is granted then the case should not be brought to trial.

Importance of a Lawyer

Judges are going to allow a motion to dismiss if the attorney who drafts the motion cites the appropriate law, as well as any supporting case law that might persuade the Judge about what other Courts have done in similar circumstances.

A defense attorney who is familiar with DUI law is going to have access to that information and will be well versed in how to argue these points to a Court at any subsequent hearing on that motion to dismiss. The experience and knowledge of an attorney who works with DUI cases in Maryland will be very beneficial in drafting and filing a successful motion to dismiss. A defense attorney who practiced in the field for many years understands the prosecution’s and the court’s obligations. The attorney knows when those kinds of motions are appropriate to file and when they will be successful. It is important to have an attorney with that experience drafting those kinds of pleadings on their client’s behalf.