Baltimore Third Offense DUI Lawyer

Like first- and second-offense DUI charges, third-offense charges are heard in the Baltimore County district courts in either Catonsville, Essex or Towson. These types of charges are always prosecuted in the district courts, and are handled incredibly seriously by prosecutors increasing the need for an experienced Baltimore third offense DUI lawyer. A DUI lawyer with experience in Baltimore can help by guiding you through the legal process and building the strongest defense possible for your particular case.

How Third Offense Cases Are Treated

If you’re convicted of a third DUI, the judge is going to try to send you a message with his or her sentencing. The first time, you may have gotten probation before judgment. The second time, perhaps you got a suspended sentence. The third time, the judge is most likely going to hand down some form of hard time such as straight time, weekends or work weekends—something substantive to really drive home that you need to make a change. This is intended to be for your benefit as well as the benefit of the greater public. Some judges will even have an intense conversation with you in the courtroom.

Are You Still Eligible For Probation Before Judgement After a Third Offense?

If it’s been more than 10 years since your previous DUI and you’ve got a generous judge, it’s possible to get probation before judgment instead of a conviction for a third DUI, but that will take a substantial amount of work from you and your Baltimore third offense DUI lawyer, mixed with the right set of circumstances that are rare at best.

Out of State Drivers

The impact of any previous DUI is the same, regardless of the state in which it occurred. If you get a DUI in New York, Virginia, Maryland or anywhere else, a judge sees a DUI prior as a DUI prior. The court is going to take you to task for it regardless of the state. In fact, a judge may now look at you as someone who’s endangering the greater public not only in Maryland, but in multiple states. That’s never a good impression to lead with.

Building a Defense

There’s no difference between building a defense for first-, second- and third-time DUI charges. However, in order for the prosecutor to file you as a subsequent offender, he or she needs to provide documentation showing that you had a first and second DUI and where they took place

If the prosecutor cannot provide the necessary documentation, your third offense DUI lawyer in Baltimore can argue that the state didn’t fulfill its burden to file you as a subsequent offender. In that case, it’s possible that you’re only exposing yourself to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

What to Look For In An Attorney

In seeking an attorney for a third DUI offense in Baltimore, you want to look for someone who has done substantive work on DUIs, especially with subsequent offenders. If you’ve got a case that’s a good candidate for trial, you want someone you can trust to take the case to trial, focus on the lack of state’s evidence or its reliability and win.

Naturally, an attorney will want to win your case, but even if they can’t, a good attorney will guide you and get you into the right programs, companies and facilities that the judges in Baltimore County prefer. Those are the important things that a local practice can give you. Some judges are wonderful for DUI defendants, including subsequent offenders, while other judges just aren’t. You want your attorney to know what kind of judge you’re standing in front of.

Without that local experience, you may not be in front of the right judge and you may very well face substantial penalties that could have been avoided.

Importance of Local Experience

An attorney with local experience always matters. You don’t necessarily need an attorney with an office in Baltimore County, but you want someone with knowledge of the local courts and judges. An attorney who practices in Baltimore County regularly knows that there are certain judges that are good for trial and other judges with whom you’re better off entering a plea.

Additionally, if it looks like a judge in the district court is not going to treat a client fairly, then an attorney might consider taking the case to circuit court.