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Ocean City DUI Court Hearings

For those facing DUI charges in Ocean City, it is imperative to know where your case is going to be held and appear on time and in the right courtroom. Below, an Ocean City DUI lawyer discusses what you should know prior to your first hearing, and where it is most likely to be held. For more specific information regarding your charge, call and schedule a consultation today.

Where Are First Time DUI Charges in Ocean City Typically Held?

For first time DUI charges in Ocean City, cases will typically be heard at the District Court location on 65th street in Ocean City where the case will automatically be docketed. However, if the defendant chooses to pray a jury trial, which they have the right to do, then the case will instead be heard in Circuit Court which is located in Snow Hill, the county seat of Worcester County.

What Should You Know Before Your Court Hearing?

When a police officer issues the citations to the driver, those citations are filed in the District Court for Ocean City. The District Court is responsible for issuing a written summons or notice of the trial date to the defendant. After a couple of weeks from the date of the traffic stop, the driver should anticipate that they will get a written notice of a trial date which will come from the District Court in Ocean City.

It is important for the driver to understand that the District Court is going to be relying on the address the police were given. There have been circumstances where the driver is not living at the address that the police have for him and so the person charged does not get the notice for trial and fails to appear for court. When this happens the judge is likely to issue a bench warrant for the defendant who will then be taken into custody and will have to explain why they did not show up. For this reason, it is very important to make sure that the State has the most up to date address at all times.

It is my practice to always notify my clients individually of their trial date. My office sends them a copy of the notice to appear as well. Hopefully it is redundant and the defendant absolutely knows the date that he is supposed to be in court.

Length of an Ocean City DUI Court Hearing

From the date of the incident, the case will be scheduled for a trial within approximately 60 days. That is not a hard and fast rule because there are situations where the defendant may want to have the case postponed, perhaps to secure a witness or for other purposes. Sometimes the State will request to postpone it from the original trial date due to officer being unavailable. But the case typically should be heard approximately 60 days after the traffic stop. If the defendant prays  a jury trial, then they can anticipate it will take closer to four months to have their case scheduled and be in front of a jury.

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