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Initial Appearance for a Montgomery County DUI

The initial appearance for a Montgomery County DUI is a defendant’s first appearance in court in front of a judge after their arrest. The defendant is advised of the charges alleged against them and their right to counsel. If they retained counsel before their initial appearance and the DUI attorney informs the court that they have been retained, an initial appearance may be canceled because it is no longer necessary. The purpose is to make sure a person knows they should retain counsel given the seriousness of the charges brought against them.

What to Expect

At the initial appearance, an individual is informed of their charges and given information on their right to counsel. In Montgomery County, an initial appearance takes place a few weeks after the incident. Other counties have initial appearance hearings within five to 10 days of the event depending on how busy the county is where the person is charged.

In Montgomery County, an initial appearance for a DUI charge usually take places in the district court in Rockville; sometimes, it is held in the district court in Silver Spring. The initial appearance is held in a standard courtroom.

Usually, a judge is present at an initial appearance; a prosecutor might also be present. There are no witnesses or police officers, as the initial appearance is not a fact-finding mission or a time to determine whether somebody is guilty or not guilty of a charge. An initial appearance simply ensures that the person knows their charges and understands the importance of retaining counsel for their case.

Presiding Judge

The role of the judge presiding over the initial appearance for a Montgomery County DUI is to make sure the individual knows what they are charged with and is aware of the maximum penalties associated with the charges. The judge also informs the defendant that they have a right to counsel. Usually, judges emphasize the importance of retaining counsel.

While there is a possibility that the judge who presides over the initial appearance may also preside over the remainder of the case, it is not necessarily true that they would. There are many associate judges, so a case could easily be heard by a different judge when it comes time to determine guilt. In Montgomery County district court where most DUI cases are heard, judges do not follow cases. The judge assigned to a particular courtroom on a specific day is responsible for hearing the DUI cases that day.

Reach Out to a Montgomery County DUI Attorney

If you need representation during your initial appearance in court for a Montgomery County DUI, contact an attorney. A dedicated DUI lawyer could let you know what to expect at every step of the case and fight for a positive resolution to your charges. Call today to schedule a consultation.