Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore County DUI’

Howard County Not Guilty and State Police Video Policy

I tried a DUI in Howard County this morning.  There was a video…..sort of.  Because of trooper's vehicles being hit by inattentive or impaired drivers, they are no longer allowed to do the SFSTs in front of their police car where their in-car video captures the testing.  This applies even when there are two police cars and the second car is protecting the car with the video.  This happened today, and the answer was the SFTSs still have to be in front of the client's car.  Instead the SFSTs are performed in front of the client's car where everything except the HGN is almost impossible to see.  You can see whether your client walks straight on the walk and turn test or hops on the one-leg stand test, but it is not easy.  In this case the audio was inoperable.  Without the limited video it would have been a guilty based on the trooper's recollection.  

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Dismissal of DUI

I had a DUI today with another new prosecutor.  She called me last week about a postponement and I asked her to watch the video.  She did so over the weekend, and this morning she agreed that if she was not brand new, she would drop the DUI.  She needed her supervisor to view it, so we both asked and the supervisor who took the DVD out to watch it.  Afterwards she agreed that there was not enough evidence and we agreed to the Negligent Driving charge, for which my client got a PBJ and an Expungement of the DUI and DWI.  Without the video, this would have been a war.  The police report was not bad, but ambiguous.  My client was induced not to take a test because of an out-of-state license.  We have not had the MVA Hearing on this yet.  

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Atkinson Update

The third time must be the charm.  I have previously written about a case I have in Baltimore City where the car is parallel parked and is being used as a shelter to drink beer in front of the house where the drinkers are spending the night.  There is no intention to drive the car.  I asked for a jury trial in Baltimore City so that I would get an experienced prosecutor who would understand the law (Atkinson case), and the case would be dismissed.  The first genius it is assigned to tells me the Atkinson case only applies if my client was drinking beer in the car "in front of his own house."  I explained that the witnesses would testify he was spending the night at the house where the car was parked.  She says the case does not apply.  Atkinson was not in front of his own house, and it applies when you are sleeping it off in the bar parking lot, WHERE YOU DO NOT LIVE.  

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