Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Posts Tagged ‘2008 Maryland Super Lawyers Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI’

It May Be Embarrassing But Tell Me The Truth

Clients sometimes want to create a new reality.  They do this by not telling the lawyer the truth or all the facts.  They hope it gets hidden that way. I tell everyone I need to know exactly what happened..  I am a really good lawyer according to my peers and clients, and I can deal with the worst facts.  I cannot make chicken salad out of everything, but I can keep us from getting splattered with the alternative.  I don't want your family to be embarrassed about what may come out in court.  I can control the narrative much of the time.

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DUI Dismissal

Well for at least the 3rd time I have had a DUI case dismissed with the same officer.  The video did not corroborate his written report.  The prosecutor suggested last week that he put the case on and let me crush the guy so he would learn not to do it this way.  I told him today it was not my job to educate the police.  He said he had already agreed to dismiss the case with the approval of his supervisor. and let me vent for a few minutes before he laughed and told me to relax. 

Baltimore County Not Guilty

Had a trial in Essex yesterday that resulted in an aquittal.  The back story is funny.  I am sitting on my patio one Friday night enjoying the autumn air when I hear a BOOM and the power in my house goes out.  I say "some drunk just hit the BGE pole."  Two hours later power is restored.  You know what is coming next.  The following week a new client comes in and explains how he was travelling on Greenspring Avenue when the guy in front of him stopped suddenly and he had to hit his brakes and pull to the right to avoid colliding with the car…..instead he knocked my lights out.  I told him about my comment and he went home and told his wife who also found it hilarious.

There was a video and I thought it helped.  His head hit the windshield and it was a mess.  He had a previousl leg injury and was constantly holding and rubbing his leg (including in the station), so no SFSTs.  He attempted to take the breath test but could not provide a sufficient sample.  He was subjected to sarcasm from the technician who thought he was fine.  The video showed him holding his rib area while trying to blow.  HE HAD A FRACTURED RIB.  I thought the State had "bupkus"- NOT DICK BUTKUS of  Chicago Bears fame.  It is a commonly used Yiddish word for "nothing"- no I do not speak Yiddish either.

The Judge, who is not Jewish, also thought they had "bupkus" and found my client not guilty.  The good news is he has moved south of my BGE pole so the next time a moron stops suddenly in the roadway in front of him, someone else's light will get knocked out.

Harford County DUI Not Guilty

My client in this case just posted a wonderful review on AVVO.  This client was innocent and had a horrible set of circumstantial evidence that could have caused a conviction.  The police treated her horribly based on what they believed the circumstances to be.  They were wrong.  No video again of the SFSTs and interaction with the client because the Senior Deputy had the camera facing the wrong direction.  There was rear seat video that was exculpatory when you saw the client.  I provided the name and location of the witness who saw the client cold stone sober (0 alcohol consumed) 32 minutes before the stop.  It was a sales person who remembered the client and who emailed me her statement.  I turned the email over to the State and the first contact they had with her was on cross-examination.

Because of the career implications for my client, I turned over to the State her written statement, typed immediately after her release from jail, along with the receipts for all the stores where she had been shopping.  I told the State I was providing Open File Discovery.  You have to be real careful and fully confident of what you are doing when you make that decision.  It was the right decision.  The State introduced her entire 3 page statement and the Judge was able to consider it without her testifying.  Although she was prepared and intended to testify, the State's introduction made it unnecessary.  Whatever benefit they thought they got was completely offset by the totality and detail in the statement.

This was a life that would have been totally totally ruined if there was a conviction. Justice was served and the client can move forward.

State Police Played Games and Lost

New client came in on Thanksgiving day after having been charged the night before with a DUI.  She was the designated driver and was out with her sister who was the drinker.  She gets stopped for an illegal U-Turn and is taken to the State Police Barracks that has a camera without audio in the breath test room.  Now the way she looked that evening and her attempts to take the test were important since she could not provide a sufficient sample. She arrives at the barracks within an hour of the stop so her appearance and actions in the room are relevant.  Was she steady on her feet, was she swaying, did she look DRUNK?

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Contact Information

  • Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.
  • 29 W. Susquehanna Avenue, Suite 700
  • Towson, Maryland 21204
  • Toll Free: 866-435-2795
  • Locally: 410-415-9219
  • Fax: 410-823-0610

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