Building a Prince George’s County First-Offense DUI Defense
The prospect of trial is daunting for anyone who is charged with any form of criminal activity. Thankfully, an experienced attorney could help by building a Prince George’s County first-offense DUI defense. By enlisting the services of an attorney, you could better your chances for a favorable outcome in court.
Mistakes to Avoid for First-Time DUI Defendants
The biggest mistake of a person with a first time DUI is not taking it seriously. That is a big mistake. Defendants need to realize they could go to jail. If they just show up at court without an attorney, there is no guarantee a judge would allow them to postpone their case. If they try it by themselves, they may walk out that doorway by themselves and directly to the detention center.
Not many people want to spend a weekend in jail. It is not worth it. A conviction has the potential to ruin their life, their driver’s license, their insurance, and leave them feeling foolish. They have to humble themselves to the fact that they were charged. Fighting these charges is possible, but people should never fight it alone. They do not know the rules of evidence which are quite specific. They are not going to get any leeway from a judge because they do not know the rules of evidence, and they will not get preferential treatment from the State’s Attorney.
The State’s Attorney is an attorney, went to law school, knows how to do their job, and is trained to prosecute DUIs. The officers are trained for DUIs. They are literally trained to detect it, test it, and then go to court and testify. They were taught how to write the report. The State’s Attorneys are trained the exact same way. When a DUI prosecution is put together, the perfect tools of having everyone trained the same exact way means there are no mistakes.
If a person charged with DUI thinks they are going to go to court by themselves, it does not matter how lucky they are, they are probably going to lose. The beautiful thing about defense attorneys is that they are trained the same way as the prosecutor and officers. They are given the same classes taught by the same people.
These classes are taught by former officers so everyone (prosecutors, officers, defense attorneys) all know exactly what they are going to do, ask, and say. They almost do it identically every single time because that is the way that it is taught. The reports are identical, but that is also important too. The consistency of the report would be the same way with the same words. It would just be things that the public does not know. If a person is charged with DUI, they should call a lawyer right away and not waste time. There is too much at stake.
How Prince George’s County DUI Lawyers Construct Defenses for First-Time DUI Charges
Everything regarding DUI is based on what the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) model gives prosecutors, defense attorneys, and officers. NHTSA states four phases to all DUI:
- The vehicle in motion
- Personal contact
- Standard field sobriety tests
- Breathalyzer tests or blood that is taken to get a blood alcohol content (BAC)—though, blood tests are rare and are usually reserved for situations where there is an accident
If it was not a good traffic stop, the officer might say the defendant was speeding, but would not be able to testify to it in any way consistent with laser, radar, or pacing. Everything that happened after that is inadmissible. If the personal contact with the defendant is limited, a reasonable observation could be made in that short window of time.
If two individuals are standing outside a vehicle and both deny driving, the officer cannot pick one randomly. An attorney would be able to take that from phase one to phase two. If the field tests were done incorrectly or in such a fashion that is not consistent with the proper instructions that are supposed to be given, that would also constitute a good defense.
The body-worn cameras are fantastic for defense attorneys. For an example, if the officer said that on step three, the individual stepped off and slipped but the video does not show they slipped, that raises a lot of doubt about the authenticity of the written report of an officer. These reports are written by officers, and under the penalty of perjury, they must sign them. It is unknown who wrote an on-site report, whether they have been done properly, and they certainly were not signed to be submitted under penalty of perjury to the authenticity of the report provided. The first thing an attorney does is look at their ticket to see if it was signed by the officer.
If the breath test was not within two hours of the stop or if they took too long, that breath score is not going to come in as evidence according to statute. So there are a number of reasons to look at cases and approach them in such a fashion that you are prepared and ready to go. Even in the bad case, there are ways to push back on even a small mistake. That small mistake may not win them a trial, but it can get a better offer from a State’s Attorney.
Contact a Defense Attorney Familiar with DUIs Today
When life seems to be spinning out of control, enlisting the services of an attorney with experience building a Prince George’s County first-offense DUI defense could bring some control back. While the future is uncertain, taking the steps necessary to reclaim it could help in the long run. The first step is to connect with an experienced legal professional. Call today.