Stages of a DUI Case in Maryland
Though drinking with your friends can be fun, drinking and driving is never acceptable. In the state of Maryland, the penalties you may face for DUI or DWI charges are serious. If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Maryland, here is what you can expect in terms of the stages of a DUI case in Maryland.
The DUI Arrest
The first thing that will happen in a DUI case is getting arrested. An officer of the law might pull you over for reckless driving, speeding, or another moving violation based on their observations of your driving. They may also pull you over for a broken taillight or another minor violation.
After being pulled over, if the police officer suspects you are driving under the influence, they may ask you to step out of the car and perform field sobriety tests. They may also ask you to blow into a breathalyzer to determine your current blood alcohol content or BAC.
If they feel they have sufficient reason to believe you are driving under the influence, then they will arrest you.
After your arrest, you’ll be taken to the booking station, where the police will gather information about you. They will also take a look at any previous criminal charges, take your fingerprints, and a photo.
While within the police’s custody, you have a right to speak with a lawyer concerning your rights and your case. Call on the expertise of a Maryland DUI Attorney to help you because by this point, things are getting pretty intense.
Preparing for DUI Court in Maryland
During your captivity, you will be informed of the crime you are being charged with along with the amount of your bail, if there is one. During the arraignment, you will either plead, “Guilty” or “Not Guilty” to the charge brought against you.
If you plead guilty, then the judge will determine your punishment, and you will have to deal with whatever happens.
However, if you’ve spoken with a qualified Maryland DUI Lawyer, then your lawyer may have you plead not guilty instead so that the case can be taken to trial.
Maryland DUI Trial
The first step to preparing for a Maryland DUI trial is going to be the preliminary hearing. At the hearing, the judge will determine whether or not the evidence brought before them is sufficient. Witnesses and the work of your DUI attorney will prove essential in this step.
The judge will then determine whether to bring the case before a jury or to dismiss it altogether. If dismissed, then the case is over and you can move on with your life. If not, then you proceed to trial.
During the trial, your lawyer will defend you while the prosecution tries to prove that you were, indeed intoxicated behind the wheel of a car. The jury will then deliberate and decide your fate. If you are found not guilty, then you can go home and the process is over.
If you are found guilty, then the judge will sentence you according to the nature of your crime and the severity of its circumstances.
Don’t Face Charges without a Maryland DUI Lawyer
The penalties for DUIs and DWIs are serious and can be life altering. When you work with an experienced Maryland DUI attorney, you will be putting yourself in a position to receive the best possible outcome for your situation.
For information on DUI law, or to schedule a free consultation, give The Law Office of Ross W. Albers a call today!