Preparing for a Maryland DUI Court

A DUI trial can be intimidating, especially if it is your first time in court. While the court process might seem stressful, you do not have to go it alone. An experienced DUI trial lawyer could help you begin preparing for a Maryland DUI court date. The attorney could help by telling you how to conduct yourself in court, and could also help you collect the necessary evidence to build your case.

Important Information a Lawyer Might Share Before a Court Date

The number one thing lawyers inform defendants about is the case itself and any information turned over by the officers and state’s attorney, including the videos. They also offer general advice when preparing for a Maryland DUI court date. They might advise an individual to avoid committing any other offenses before their trial. They might also recommend a substance abuse assessment, which gauges whether a person has issues with substance abuse or not, and educational courses. There are only two outcomes, guilty or not guilty. The first thing a person may want to tell the judge is that they have enrolled in a course, received an assessment, and completed a 12- or 26-hour program. That is good faith work that can give an individual considerable leeway in a sentence.

How to Prepare for Court

One step when preparing for court is figuring out where the trial will be taking place. Maryland does not really have a DUI court. Maryland has district court which is where a person will make their initial court appearance. If a person is tried for DUI, a person receives their citations, which will tell them that their next date is a trial date in the district courts or whichever jurisdiction a person is in. There are district courts in each county.

When preparing for a Maryland DUI court date, a person should talk to their lawyer. The attorney could update them on the proceedings of the case.The lawyer may also suggest completing the substance abuse assessment, and keeping a log about the AA meetings that they have been to and all the things that judges ask questions about. They must remember that this one charge does not define a person. Most importantly, a lawyer might prepare an individual for court by reminding them that they are not defined by their DUI. They are a person with responsibilities to maintain.

Expectations of the DUI Case Process

A defense attorney does not always receive all of the information from the states attorney’s office on time. If the officer turns over the tickets almost immediately because they are almost always in their hard book, they are given the computer print out of their ticket. If the ticket for the DUI is handwritten, it takes a little bit more time. An individual can expect to receive all of all their paperwork as well, including a copy of their case statement.

It is important for the defendant to get their case statement to their attorney, but the state does supplement it with a formal report. Some agencies have an extensive alcohol influence report that will get turned over once the state has it. But depending on how far out the court date is set, it may not come immediately. In those cases, a lawyer might take other actions in the meantime,  like asking the defendant to complete a substance abuse assessment, and take a class. Attorneys often want to be proactive and not reactive. If an individual has been charged with a DUI and they need help preparing for a Maryland DUI court date they should speak with a qualified DUI lawyer that could advocate for them.