Montgomery County DUI Case Process
Montgomery County DUI cases tend to be heard at the Montgomery County District Court in Silver Spring or in Rockville. These are typically bench trials, although people do have a right to a trial by jury. It usually takes a few months to get into a courtroom, but once the matter is in court, it usually is resolved within one day.
If you were charged with a DUI, it is important to seek out a defense attorney who understands the Montgomery County DUI case process. They could evaluate your case and provide strategic advice about the best type of trial for you.
Elements of a DUI Charge
In Montgomery County DUI cases, the prosecutor needs to prove that a person was driving under the influence of alcohol or, in some situations, driving while impaired by alcohol. The evidence prosecutors use can include:
- The basis for the stop
- The officer’s observations
- An odor of alcohol
- Slurred speech
- Bloodshot eyes
- Standardized field sobriety tests
- Breathalyzer test results or refusals
Sentencing for DUI cases in Montgomery County is handled on a case-by-case basis. For a straightforward, first-time offense, people should not necessarily expect that there will be a period of incarceration.
However, certain exacerbating circumstances, such as high Breathalyzer results or an accident, could make the sentencing more severe. A judge might also consider whether the person was cooperative or responsive to police officers, and this could have an effect on sentencing in a typical DUI case.
A person can appeal a DUI case from the district court to the circuit court as long as they have not waived their right to appeal. In Montgomery County, there is something called de novo appeals, which means an individual can start fresh in circuit court on their review. They could have a brand-new trial in which a jury makes the determination instead of a judge about whether or not the state has proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Trends in Montgomery County DUI Cases
One recent trend in DUI cases is that officers are getting better and better at effectuating DUI arrests, and defense attorneys have to be well-prepared to properly respond. Most officers in Montgomery County who are involved in DUI arrests are wearing body cameras. Since people are effectively looking over their shoulder, the police work is getting more and more precise. For that reason, defense attorneys must be more prepared in responding to the allegations.
Contact a Montgomery County DUI Attorney
Montgomery County prosecutes DUI cases very vigorously. In fact, it is one of the toughest counties in the entire State of Maryland. The officers and prosecutors here are very well-trained and well-prepared. Montgomery County has vast resources, and the police department handles their arrests very much by the book and in accordance with the law.
Therefore, it is important to find an aggressive attorney who is able to do a thorough evaluation of the evidence and procedures as they are presented. A dedicated attorney knows how to handle the Montgomery County DUI case process, and they could provide vigorous defense at every step.