For example, in order to convict someone of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the state has to establish several different factors.
First, they have to establish that the defendant is the person that was operating the car or the vehicle. They also have to prove that the defendant’s coordination was impaired and prove the location of where this allegedly took place.
There are several different elements that the state has to prove. The best way to build a defense is to look at each one of those elements and see if the state has the evidence that it needs. To schedule a consultation call a Salisbury DUI lawyer today.
Contact an Attorney and Evaluate Your Options
One of the biggest mistakes Salisbury DUI lawyers see is having a client be too eager to consider doing a plea because of the possibility that they’re going to get probation before judgment, which is an option in Maryland DUI cases.
It can be very frightening and overwhelming to be in court and when the driver realizes that they could get probation before judgment if they plead guilty they sometimes will have a tendency to jump on that without first taking into consideration if the state even has all of the proof that it needs in order to convict the defendants. Sometimes one of the most important things an attorney can do for a client is make sure that they understand what all of their options are. This is particularly true for individuals facing their first DUI charge, though individuals facing a second or third DUI should make sure they understand the penalties that they may be facing.
It’s also important to make sure that the state can actually prove the case before jumping to sentencing and making sure that they have a probation before a judgment as their sentence. Consulting with a DUI attorney in Salisbury can give you a better idea of the strength of the case against you and your options moving forward. You can read these frequently asked questions about Salisbury DUI we have provided so you can better prepare your questions for your consultation.
Facing a DUI in Salisbury
One characteristic of Salisbury that comes into play with DUIs is that unlike some of the bigger metropolitan areas, Salisbury does not really have much public transportation. Only recently has there been an effort to have a trolley system that was put in place and runs on the weekends. This at least allows people to use that public transportation on Friday and Saturday evenings to go to local restaurants and bars.
Additionally, Salisbury is the home of Salisbury University and so, at least from the end of August until the middle of May, there is a big uptick in population right around the Salisbury university campus. A lot of those university students, especially upper classmen, will live off campus.
DUI Enforcement in Salisbury
The DUI enforcement is significantly increased over the weekend and it’s typical for law enforcement to specifically be patrolling in the areas of Salisbury University where the bulk of off campus housing is. When you take into consideration that there is a population that is more likely to be out at bars and restaurants and drinking, and you combine that with the fact that there’s very little public transportation, officers are more prone to make traffic stops looking for DUIs.
Many of these people are very responsible and there certainly is an emphasis placed on having a designated driver and making sure that that means that person is not consuming any alcohol.
That makes Salisbury a little bit different from at least the other areas here in Wicomico County and certainly law enforcement is paying attention to where the Salisbury University students live. Law enforcement officers are going to patrol right in the area of the bars and restaurants and they will be paying attention when there are places closing at two in the morning. It is not unusual to see police cars parked directly across the street from those establishments.
Blowing a 0.08 BAC
If someone is pulled over and suspected of DUI, the law does not require that the person take a breath test. However, if the person does take a breath test and their breath test result is a 0.08 or greater, then that one piece of evidence can be used against them after trial. That piece of evidence can be introduced and the judge can basically presume that the person must have been DUI, must have been driving under the influence, because their breath test results was 0.08 or greater.
However, the police officer does not need a breath test result in order to charge a driver. The officer needs to be able to establish probable cause to believe that the person’s normal coordination is substantially impaired and that it is alcohol that is causing the impairment.
If the officer can articulate facts to support that then they can charge the driver with a DUI regardless of whether or not they have gotten the driver to take a breath test. They’re going to do that by paying attention to all other factors and things that they can observe about the driver that they could testify to in order to get the person charged.
With that said, just because a driver is charged does not mean that the state can prove that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs in court. The primary role of a Salisbury DUI attorney is to defend you in court by throwing reasonable doubt on the allegations brought by the state.
Your DUI Court Date in Salisbury
A DUI charge in Salisbury is going to be held at the Wicomico County District Court building. Because the maximum penalty is a year in jail and/or a thousand dollar fine, the driver does have the right to have the case heard by a jury. If they chose that option the case will actually be held in the circuit court for Wicomico County because that’s the only court that can hear jury trials. But a typical DUI charge is going to be held in the district court that is located on Baptist Street in Salisbury.
Contact a Salisbury DUI Attorney Early in Your Case
If you have been charged with a DUI for the first time, it can be a frightening experience. However, it is important that you not panic and that you take real steps toward protecting yourself and your rights as early as you can. The earlier you contact an attorney, the earlier a lawyer can begin working on your case and building your defense.
Even if you are not sure if you want to hire an attorney, it costs nothing to schedule a free consultation with a Salisbury DUI lawyer where you can ask questions and learn more about the charges you face and the legal proceedings. Driving under the influence in Salisbury means that the person is operating a vehicle at the same time that their normal condition is substantially impaired because of either alcohol or drugs.