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Appealing a DUI Conviction in Ocean City

If a defendant does not like the outcome of District Court trial, they can appeal and their case will be heard all over again at the Circuit Court level. Below, an Ocean City DUI lawyer discusses what you should know before filing an appeal, and how an attorney can help. For more call and schedule a consultation today.

What Should Someone Know Before Filing An Appeal in Ocean City?

In Maryland, if a case is heard in District Court and the defendant is not satisfied with the outcome, the defendant has an automatic right to appeal the case to the Circuit Court. That appeal is called a de novo appeal, which essentially means that the defendant gets a brand new trial. With that said, however, there are a few things that need to be kept in mind including:

  • If there is a trial in the Circuit Court because of an appeal, the record for the statements that were made at the District Court level can potentially be used at the later trial. An example of this is if the defendant testified at the District Court level and made statements during their testimony. If they later testified  at a trial in Circuit Court and that testimony is inconsistent with what they said in District Court, the prosecutor can impeach them with their prior inconsistent statements that were made in District Court.
  • If the defendant tries their case in District Court and they receive the sentencing disposition of Probation Before Judgment, the defendant has to waive his right to an appeal in order to get that Probation Before Judgment. It is important to understand that if the defendant wants a PBJ, they are giving up their right to appeal their case to Circuit Court. In that particular situation there is no right to appeal because the defendant gives it up in order to get the Probation Before Judgment.

What Can An Attorney Do To Help?

Prior to deciding whether or not to appeal the case from the District Court over to the Circuit Court, it is important for a defendant to consult with an attorney. Any attorney who has experience and practices in that area should be able to advise the defendant of the advantages and disadvantage of appealing from the District Court to Circuit Court. For example, the defendant should consider the judges that might be hearing this case should he appeal it to the Circuit Court.  Is the defendant putting himself in a situation where the outcome is not going to be any better?

If that is the case then the defendant really should consider if is it worth the time, money and effort to appeal the case or whether the best result is the one that was just received in District Court. That is the sort of conversation that the defendant should be having with the attorney.