Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore County DUI’

Harford County NG and a Little Payback

Well I got a bit of a twofer yesterday.  I was back in District Court because the docket was too crowded the last time, and this time the Clerk left time for a trial.  The Court Clerks in Harford County are as good as it gets.  The State offered the usual plead to everything and we will defer.  I explained to the prosecutor, with whom I have had trial over the years, that I could not do worse at trial.  She smiled and agreed, so a little after 11 we began and finished after 3 (there was a lunch break).  The Deputy was the asshole who towed my client's car when MVA erroneously listed him as suspended, even though he had the interlock in the car.  It was cleared up while the Deputy was arranging the tow, but he refused to speak to me or the MVA Interlock Rep who was on my client's speaker phone.  I had to call the Harford County Sheriff himself (who was then only person working after 3:00 PM), and he not only released the car, but paid the towing bill.  Whether he charged it back against Deputy's salary is unknown.  The Sheriff is a stand up guy, and he was pissed at this exercise of arrogance and bullying.  Two days after that, yesterday's client comes in.  I see the Deputy's name, tell her the story, and suggest he needs a good beating (in court), as a payback.  Well I won because he screwed up, and it was sweet.  In fact, the breath tech operator was smiling, laughing and nodding in agreement with me about the screw up as the prosecutor tried to defend the indefensible.  I asked the judge to consider the actions of the tech who was still on the witness stand, and that was pretty funny as well.

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Not Running From Him Again

The other day I come to court where there is a "visiting judge." That means he is there for the day from another county.  I have only done one case in front of this judge because I had to.  It was an aggressive driving charge (have to prove three driving offenses like speed, lane change, cutting other people off), as my maniac mistook the Harbor Tunnel for Pocono Speedway.  I tried all kinds of shtick to get one of three tickets thrown out so I could beat the aggressive charge, but he did not buy any of it.  I asked him to reduce the $500.00 fine and he looked at me as if I had asked to eat one of his children, and growled that if he could put him in jail he would.  I then said I took that as a no, and we appealed.  The police officer never showed up and everything was dismissed.

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Baltimore County Not Guilty

I finally got to try a case that was almost a year old and had been snowed out twice.  I had commented on this case when I did the MVA Hearing and the officer denied my client a phone call to her attorney, and the ALJ took no action.  Today we showed up with our three witnesses and credit card receipts to attest to the amount of alcohol consumed.  They never got on the stand.  The officer could not remember simple facts and could not identify the photos of the street and sidewalk where the SFSTs were requested to be performed.  I took the clear copy of the mugshot from the State, and introduced it to show my client looked better than she did in court.  Obviously bright eyed and no sign of impairment.  Take a look on line of Nick Nolte's mugshot, and you see what really f…ed up looks like.

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A Nice Thank You

When I got out of court today, I had this email.  I have redacted the name and employer, but if you do these cases correctly, this should happen:

Hello Gary,

I would like to thank you for everything you have done for me.  You helped me turn a troubling time around, and I have grown exponentially as a person.  Today I accepted a full time job with_____, a government agency that works ________.  I am very excited and grateful for your part in getting me this job.  I have to pass a security clearance, and as you recommended I was honest about my DWI, and they said it shouldn't be a problem.  Once again thank you so much, and perhaps when I am back in Towson I can take you out to lunch, assuming you ever get some free time.


Seminar for District Court Public Defenders

I have been contacted by two separate supervisors in Baltimore City to give a DUI and Serious Traffic Seminar to their new District Court lawyers.  DUI is more complicated than many other types of criminal cases.  The science and the technical aspects are different than in a drug case or assault, or theft case.  The issues with charging documents comes up more in traffic matters.  If you do not know the law and the rules of criminal procedure, you wind up being bullied by the judges and the prosecutors.  Because of the sentencing difficulties with so many judges in the City, you have to avoid them by demanding a jury trial, otherwise you are looking at an appeal.  I file a written demand so that I do not get locked in to the District Court or waste a morning going to court for a 30 second proceeding.  The public defenders can read the judge's schedule just like everyone else.  If they want to stop being treated like door mats, they have to file written demands when they can see there is no reason to keep the case in the District.  If the entire docket is wiped out, so be it.  You have to represent your client whether you are getting paid by them or the State.  You also do not have to agree to amendments to charging documents that change the character of the offense.  Make them dismiss the case and write your client the correct ticket, unless you are going to be able to get a favorable result in front of this particular judge.  Jury demand, in writing, an over charged driving while suspended and let them fix it downtown in the Circuit Court.  They can dismiss and recharge or file the correct charge.  Get the case into a courtroom where you have a judge that you feel will treat your client the fairest.  You do not represent the judge, and you try to please them, but you have to do your constitutional duty for your client.  The police have to learn to do it correctly. When they do, you may be stuck, but until then, don't roll over.  

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  • 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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