Annapolis DUI Case Process

In every DUI case, the information can be held against you and so you need a lawyer that knows just how to defend these cases and knows how to defend them in this courthouse. They need to be familiar with each judge in particular who may have certain things that they look for in an acquittal or look for in finding someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. When going through an Annapolis DUI case, contact an experienced and local DUI lawyer.

At The Trial

If the officers have been subpoenaed to court, they must attend and are considered witnesses. The arresting officer, and any other witness officers would be required to testify their observations and conclusions at the time the alleged event occurred in Anne Arundel County.

Typically, DUI trials are bench trials and are rarely heard by juries. The defense would have to pray a jury trial to take the matter out of district court to circuit court where a jury could hear the DUI case.

Prosecutor’s Burden of Proof

To prove a driving under the influence charge, the prosecution must prove that the individual was driving. This can be proved if there was an accident or witnesses to the individual’s driving. This is the first element of a DUI that must be proved.

The next step is to prove that the officer came in good contact with the defendant. This includes whether or not the law enforcement officer had good probable cause to stop the car in the first place, as well as to go beyond asking the individual for their license, registration, and if they have had anything to drink that night. To reasonably continue the arrest, there have to be observable clues such as the odor of alcohol, slurred stammered speech, delayed cognitive response.

Finally, they must show that standard field sobriety tests were given properly, that the timing of all the events was as follows: that a breath test was administered or refused and if administered, it was within two hours.

Typically Presented Evidence

Typically the evidence presented is from the officer. The officer would present the evidence by oral testimony in court and state on the record that on this date and time, at this location, he was on patrol when he came into contact with the vehicle, either through a traffic violation, an accident, etc, and then came in contact with an individual that was either driving or determined to be the driver through the witness statements. Witnesses will be subpoenaed to corroborate the officer’s statement.

They will present evidence on the individual’s performance of any standard field sobriety tests conducted, their training on how to administer the test, how they administered the test, and if it was done properly. They might also bring additional evidence such as video or audio.

The chemist could testify to the individual’s breath score and the operation of the machine. The intoximeter machine itself would be present in court to certify that those were, in fact, records that were made by them, kept by them, and done by them in accordance with the training and experience that they have been given over time to be operating a machine that they are allowed to operate.

Sentencing

Typically, sentencing occurs on the same date of the trial in the case that a person accepts a plea offer from the state or loses in the court trial. A DUI defense attorney will tend to request a deferred sentencing date to come back. With a deferred sentence date, the defendant gets a new court date to come back for sentencing.

Constitutional Issues

Recently there has been a Supreme Court ruling on the use of blood and the request for blood by officers in DUI related cases. And it has been firmly established now by the United States Supreme Court that it must be done with a warrant unless it is consented to by the individual.

Appeals Process

A person can absolutely appeal a DUI case. They would appeal the district court ruling to the circuit court after having been found guilty. If the individual has been given the benefit of what is called probation before judgment, they must leave to make an appeal. They cannot accept the probation before judgement because it is not considered a conviction under the law.