Prosecuting a Maryland DUI Case
The manner in which court cases are typically conducted may be shrouded in false rumors and mystery for various individuals. A person seeking to dispute any drunk driving allegations could benefit from learning how a typical court case may play out. A Maryland DUI lawyer could help you understand how authorities may go about the task of prosecuting a Maryland DUI case. Speak to a knowledgeable attorney and build your defense.
Who Presents Their Case First in a Trial?
The state attorney’s office typically presents first in a criminal trial. The defendant and their lawyer have the opportunity to make their opening statement after the state attorney makes their opening statement. Once a statement is made, the state could call their first witness. This initial witness is typically the officer who made the stop of the vehicle. Once the witness is called, the lawyer has an opportunity to cross-examine that individual.
The state could call subsequent witnesses next and may present evidence, be it footage from a body camera or any other proper form of evidence. The lawyer could cross-examine each time. When a lawyer cross-examines a witness, the state has an opportunity to do what is called a redirect which could involve three sets of questions. An attorney could help a person understand what steps Maryland’s State attorney may take while prosecuting a DUI case.
Types of Evidence the Government Could Use Against a Defendant
When prosecuting a DUI case in Maryland, the first type of evidence presented in a DUI case could discuss why the individual was stopped. A good portion of the time, a speed issue may be involved. The person might have been traveling above the posted speed limit. Officers typically have certified laser or radar equipment and in Maryland, speed is very specific. If a person was swerving more than once or moved out of their lane, it may be brought up in the trial.
There may be a number of factors that the officer might say were done incorrectly and drew their attention to the person. The officer could use these factors to claim they had to pull the vehicle over for some violation.
The Role of the Defense
While the government is presenting their case, the defense may need to listen very intently to every word that is said, how it is stated, who is saying it, and why they are stating it. The officer who stopped the person could testify to the stop, but if someone else came and did the field test, that person cannot testify to the stop because the foundation has not been laid down.
If the officer did observe it and was called later as a witness to those field tests, they could certainly testify in that capacity. The breath score must be done by a technician, operator, or chemist. They are referred to in a number of ways but are the only individuals who could testify to the machine. These individuals must be trained and certified in the use of that machine, and the machine itself has its own service protocol that may need to have been filed. The state attorney’s office would typically present that information.
These details could be crucial to the proper presentation of a case. Officers might make hearsay statements in court, and it may be important for the defense to keep an eye out for such behavior. The right officers are required to be at the trial and may only testify to their personal knowledge. Some are observational and allowed at times, but the foundation must be laid for the stop, the personal contact, and then for the field tests that were conducted.
Challenge the Prosecution with a Maryland DUI Attorney
Contact an experienced DUI attorney if the State is prosecuting a Maryland DUI case against you. An attorney could help you understand your legal options. Reach out today to get started building a defense.