Baltimore DUI Trials
If you have been charged with a DUI, you should contact an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible. The prosecution knows how to build a case against you in Baltimore DUI trials, and without a defense attorney you are at a serious disadvantage. A skilled criminal lawyer can analyze the state’s evidence to look for any holes or examples of improper procedure. Contact an attorney today and schedule a consultation.
First Steps in the Trial Process
The first steps of the trial process involve going to the courthouse and looking over the state’s evidence. This will include the temporary license and an alcohol certification form and slip that shows that there was a breath sample taken. An individual may also have what is called a probable cause statement, which is a small statement of facts.
Other evidence is submitted to the office of the state’s attorney. This evidence can include a formal alcohol influence report, which is prepared by the police officer that stopped the person. There could also be footage of the incident from the officer’s body camera. These are essential pieces to a trial, all of which a person would want to review and go over with their attorney at least once or twice before the trial.
Burden of Proof
In Baltimore DUI trials, the prosecution must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, which does not have to be perfect but should be deemed a moral certainty. That is the state’s obligation, so in walking into that courthouse, the defendant will have met with the attorney, gone over all the evidence, discussed the options, and be very well prepared to go forward in a trial.
A person wants to be able to make their best effort, and that starts with being able to accurately understand their case, understand what the state is going to represent, and understand what they can present to the defense. These are only things that can be accomplished with a person’s attorney.
During Baltimore DUI trials, the opening statement is an opportunity to let the judge know that there is a flaw in the case or that there was a flaw with the stop. With the opening statement, there is something that the lawyer wants to let this judge know right away that so that when they present someone’s case and make their argument, the judge understands what the lawyer is doing.
Surprises are not something a person should bring to the table in court. An opening statement is an essential call to just about any trial. There is really not a good reason to not give an opening statement.
Important Points in the Defense’s Opening Statement
In a standard DUI hearing, there are several things that should be addressed in an opening statement. For instance, the most important thing to look at is the format of what a DUI should be, starting with the traffic stop. If there was no traffic stop, if there was the detainment, if there was something done that is inconsistent with law, or there is no evidence to show that it was done properly, a lawyer needs to put that out there.
Without a proper stop, there is no further investigation. Every step in a DUI case is an “and” – it is not an “or.” There should be a Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, and Phase 4. They all build from one into the other, and in that building process, the state can present a case.
For example, if the officer could not get the stop if there was no good contact with an individual, and if the field sobriety tests were done incorrectly, there would be mistakes in each of the first three phases. Even if the person gave a breath score, they may not have had to, so this needs to be addressed piece by piece. That opening statement needs to address the deficiencies in the state’s case and what the officer may or may not have done wrong.
A closing statement is a summation of what occurred and what did not occur. It is a summation of what is insufficient and what the state cannot prove with regards to their case. A closing statement is important because it reminds the judge of the things that were not testified to – things that are required either by statute, precedent, any case law available, or logical common sense.
The elements all must be met. The defense has to create a doubt. They have to show that there was an inconsistency or something was not done correctly. If the defense can prove this, they can win a DUI.
How long do Maryland DUI trials typically take?
The length of Baltimore DUI trials can depend. A DUI trial can be 30 minutes long if there was an absolute deficiency with the stop and the defense is purely arguing that.
If the trial takes place in a district court, it may take an hour or two on average, maybe less. When there are witnesses involved, these cases can last half a day. If for any reason this was to go to the circuit court proceeding and go in front of full jury, it could take at least one day because a jury is involved.
Contacting a Baltimore DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with a DUI, you should not let the prosecution have the upper hand. A skilled criminal defense attorney knows the ins and outs of Baltimore DUI trials, and they know how to exploit every hole in the prosecutor’s case. Call today to discuss your case.