Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore County DUI’

Declining To Teach Fall Seminar

After a great deal of consideration I am not going to teach the State Bar Association course on how to defend a a DUI.  The reason?  I am not going to lecture prosecutors and police on my strategy to win your case.  It is one thing when I teach strictly defense lawyers, and even some of them don't get it.  But to make the police and prosecutors aware of the things they are missing, I am not going to do it.  You retain me to exploit their weaknesses as they have the burden to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  I don't tell them our defense when I walk into the courtroom before trial, so why should I tell them in November so they are prepared starting the day after.  Some State's Attorney's Offices send a few prosecutors who then go back and tell everyone what we say so they can prepare for YOUR defense.  

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I Want to See the Paperwork

My prosecutor today asks for a postponement because the officer is on vacation.  She just learned about it yesterday.  I object.  The judge says if the officer requested it more than 2 weeks ago he will grant it as the Court should have postponed the case.  He asks her and she says she believes it was more than 2 weeks ago.  She does not have a copy of the request, nor it turns out has she even seen it.  I tell the judge I want to see the paper and he agrees, and the prosecutor's supervisor walks across the hall and retrieves it from the police liaison's office.  

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Another MDTA Officer and Another Nol Pros

Well a 3rd member of the MDTA  Police Force who would have been called to testify in Glen Burnie District Court has seen his written report blown up by his in-car video tape.  I knew when the officer did not have the video prepared for the State's Attorney's Office before the first trial date that my client was accurate in his recollection of the SFSTs.  I remember the cavalier and smug attitude when I asked where the video was, and that look never materialized today.  I got the video and he got his ass saved by not having to testify under oath, although his police report is under oath.

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Harford County Not Guilty, and Respect Before and After, Unlike Baltimore City

The client in this case was only stopped at 1:00 AM for speeding.   The SFSTs were done in insanely cold and windy conditions next to an open field.  My client was without a coat. He asked to be taken to a reasonable location to do the SFSTs but the officer declined.  He admitted on the witness stand to 5 drinks over the course of the evening social event beginning at 6 PM.  There was no reason for any of the alcohol to be in his system at 1:00 AM as he stopped drinking at 10:30 PM.  He was and is physically unable to take a breath test.  His truthfulness as to the amount consumed was important for his credibility.  Some lawyers are put off by the number of drinks, but it is not how many, but when they were consumed in relation to the driving.  

After he was acquitted the officer came up to me in the hallway and wanted to know what he could do better.  I am not giving away my Schtick, but I told him that in these weather conditions, he should have taken him indoors or under some cover.  The MDTA officers offer that when the weather is poor.  I then told him to go out and get me some more business.  He laughed and shook my hand.  He then turned to my client and they shook hands.  The officer in this case drove my client home from the police station, and they chatted about things other than the DUI on the way.  Unlike the rudeness that has unfortunately occurred in Baltimore City for years where the police have alienated the citizenry, it does not have to be that way.  There was zero animosity between my client and the officer.  My client understood why he was charged and the officer understood why my client was acquitted.  If either one of them needed a ride from the courthouse, the other would have provided it.  Do you think that happens in Baltimore City.  I am sick and tired of hearing about how many times black men have been asked to lay down on the street and been asked questions about guns and drugs.  A BUSINESS OWNER, FATHER OF 2, HOME OWNER, SCHOOL AGE DAUGHTER IN PRIVATE CATHOLIC SCHOOL IN THE CITY, is stopped 3 weeks ago by 2 Baltimore City police officers as he leaves a friend's house in West Baltimore.  The friend and his family are not criminals.  He is questioned, he is asked to consent to a search of himself and his car, and he refuses.  He is scared, and as he walks away a Sgt. runs up behind him, and he thinks the 3 police are going to throw him to the ground.  He is again asked about drugs and his refusal to consent to a search.  He stands his ground and they write him a ticket (police encounter document) and he is allowed to leave.  He calls me scared to death because he got this ticket.  I explain it is just proof of the police interaction with a citizen that they are required to write.  I demand the ticket and for him to give a  written step by step report because I am not going to let this pass.  He is so worried about how nuts I am going to go that he will not provide it.  I am sure that anybody reading this who is not black and does not live in Baltimore City has never encountered this type of behavior, nor have your children.  It is unfathomable to think that a county, any county, police officer would treat a member of your family this way.  If you saw your son or daughter laying flat on a sidewalk so that they could be asked about guns and drugs, I would be crazy busy handling assault on police officer cases in the counties.  This is why citizens in Baltimore City do not cooperate with the police and why it is open season for drug dealing or shootings in these areas.  The police don't respond to burglaries and car thefts without multiple calls in Baltimore City.  Law abiding people are ignored when they are victimized.  And now they need the Justice Department to come in and train the police how to be police!  What the hell are they doing at the police academy???  

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American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys????

I get a pamphlet mailed to me that says I can be a Founding Member of this organization if I send in a check or give them a crfedit card number.  They explain all their resources that I already have, and which all attorneys should have already.   I look on-line to see who the memebers are and I had to laugh.  I see someone that I have never seen do a DUI.  In fact when he came into court last week on a non-DUI, he walked up to me and another attorney and asked us if we knew what the penalty was for his client's alleged crime.  I asked him if maybe he should have known that before he came to court, and he got flustered and asked angrily asked if I could say it any louder so that his client could hear that his lawyer had no clue about the case. He is a Founding Member, so it is about sending in the $$$, not competence.  The outside of the brochure claims you'll get the training and expertise to "Command and Get Higher Fees."  First, you should really have to become a "real lawyer" and at least know how long your client can go to jail after you screw up the case before you get a title.  Don't hire anyone just because they are a member of some "club," that only requires a check or credit card to join.  I am doing my part in their endeavour by putting the brochure out for recycle.

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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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