Howard County DUI Process
In Howard County, a DUI violation is no different than in any other county in the state of Maryland. DUI is a very serious offense and the state of Maryland makes no secret of their knowledge of the rate of DUI.
If you find yourself facing DUI charges, an experienced DUI lawyer in Howard County can help to explain the normal course of events that most often happen during these types of cases. Below, you will find a brief explanation of the Howard County DUI process, and by contacting our law offices, we can explain how it applies to you and your case.
DUI Arrest Process in Howard County
The DUI process begins with a DUI stop. An officer makes a traffic stop, and then he or she approaches the vehicle in order to observe whether the driver demonstrates signs of intoxication. The officer may ask the individual to exit the vehicles and submit to a field sobriety test and/or a breathalyzer, both of which the individual is within their rights to refuse.
In Maryland, if the individual is arrested, then a second breathalyzer is administered at a police station or barracks, depending on whether an individual was arrested by local or state police. Maryland license holders face a 270-day full suspension of driving privileges, or one year on the Ignition Interlock Program and further removal of privileges if they refuse the second breathalyzer.
If you are arrested and taken back to the barracks or station, you will be processed, you will appear in front of the commissioner, and you may be released. Generally, an individual can be released on their own recognizance if there’s no accident or fatality that he or she could be charged for.
First Court Appearance for a DUI in Howard County
Similar to other jurisdictions, in Howard County DUI cases your first appearance would be in the District Court. Generally, there are five judges who sit on the District Court Level. In Howard County, the presiding judges are Judge Brooks, Judge Reese, Judge Brown, Judge Jones, and Judge Zwaig, with a fifth judge on rotation. They are very qualified judges: all very smart, very good at what they do, and very, very cognizant of the fact that drinking and driving occurs daily in Howard County.
It’s important to have a DUI attorney present with you at your court appearance who understands the Howard County court system—it’s players and processes. Simply walking into court with someone who is familiar with the judges and prosecutors can provide a great deal of relief during a very stressful time.
How Can a Lawyer Help During the Howard County Process?
DUI charges are very specific. Not only is there a significant difference between a DWI and a DUI, there are distinctions between the A1 and the A2, which is a DUI per se. There can be the allegation of both drug and alcohol or just drugs that are in your system when you’re stopped. Therefore, you need to know not only how this breaks down, but also what testing was done and how that test looks. An attorney who has experience in DUI violations will know how to handle these details in court.
In addition, you want to make sure in your demand for discovery and inspection that certain people be present in court and certain items of evidence be given to you for the sake of conducting a proper and thorough investigation. It’s important to make the right demands and you want to get the right discoverable evidence—you want to know exactly where to send it, how to read it, how to discern certain numbers from other numbers You want to know those relations across the board because the work gets complicated, and this is when an attorney can be an invaluable asset to DUI defense.
Contact a DUI Attorney in Howard County
The Howard County DUI process can be long and drawn out, but with the help of a local DUI lawyer, you can navigate that process successfully and work to mitigate the potential damage associated with a conviction. Contact our law offices today to learn more about how we can help you.