Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore County DUI’

Court Ordered Interlock Issues Update

I had a Violation of Probation Hearing yesterday in Circuit Court for alleged interlock "failures."  There were none.  The client's first blow was unsuccessful but the subsequent blow was a pass.  I explained to the judge my conversations with the two District Court judges about using the MVA standard for probation.  I explained that unless you limit Violation of Probation reporting to MVA failures, you will be issuing summonses or warrants for people who are actually in full compliance.  

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Administrative Hearings for .08, .15 and Above, and Refusals – Employer’s Vehicle Exception

I posted to the Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney's List serve the new Employer's Vehicle Exception Form.  Years ago I had  posted the form letter for an employer to write so that the client did not have to ask for a Hearing.  I have been surprised to learn how many lawyers did not know that you did not have to have an Administrative Hearing to get this exception and charged clients to attend the Hearing and ask for the Exception.  They were completely unaware that the statute provided for the client to just have the employer write a letter to the MVA.  You did not and do not need a Hearing!  You merely had to have the employer write a letter that is specifically set out in the statute and take it to the MVA along with the paper work showing the interlock was installed.  You did not need to pay a lawyer- you did not need someone to drive you to and from the Hearing- you did not need someone to drive your car to the interlock installer- you did not need someone to then drive you to the MVA to turn in the paperwork to get the interlock restricted license- and you did not need someone to drive you back to your car.  You could have then and now driven yourself to the interlock installer and then drive yourself to the MVA to get the license.  The wasted attorney's fees as well as the time and inconvenience to the client and the someone who had to do the driving in unfortunate and wrong.

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PBT Not Admissible

While sitting in Howard County last week before my trial a scrum broke out in court over the admissibility of a PBT result during sentencing.  The judge asked my opinion and I explained to her that it is only admissible at the Office of Administrative Hearings on the issue of reasonable grounds.  I was able to pull up the case for the judge and the prosecutor who both took a break to read it before my trial started.  There was a PBT in my case but my client was found not guilty so the State did not attempt to use it.  Sentencing is part of a "court" procedure and the law and the case from our appellate court clearly stats it cannot be brought up.  The prosecutor wanted to use it at sentencing in another case involving a guilty plea to show the judge how drunk the defendant was.  He believed he was only prohibited from using it at trial.

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Howard County Roadblock- Not Guilty

Last week I tried a roadblock case in Howard County.  The prosecutor thought I was crazy to try it and told me I would get a worse result than the plea that was offered, but I thought there were solid issues regarding the roadblock as well as factually regarding the DUI.  Although I did not knock out the roadblock on procedural grounds, I think there is a problem with where they set it up.  The "escape route" is rather difficult and generally leads back to the road where the roadblock is set up.  I don't think most people realize they can u-turn and avoid it because there are no signs to that effect.  Police are waiting to follow those who seek to avoid it to look for any traffic violation to justify stopping the "escapee."

My client refused all testing except the HGN.  He spent 30 minutes with the police officer and exhibited no failure of normal coordination. He initially refused the breath test and then changed his mind, but wanted it administered at the scene- an option that was not available.  The State argued the refusals of SFSTs and the breath test as satisfactory evidence of DUI or DWI but the judge was not buying it.  There was just no evidence of any failure of motor coordination based upon how he drove and parked his car and how he walked and stood with the officer.  In the end my decision was correct and the judge would NEVER have punished my client for this trial.

First Body Cam Case- Not Guilty

I leaned over to my client near the end of the trial and said that the police report and the officer's testimony in response to the State's questions have you a falling down drunk.  When I got done the judge agreed there was not enough evidence to arrest him and threw the DUI out.  Welcome to the world of the Body Cam.  There have been car videos for a while and some agencies removed them- I believe because those that know how to try a case win with them so the Agency removed them.  Now the Body Cam is becoming mandatory.  My arresting officer was not wearing the cam, but his back-up was.  A State Trooper who I have tried cases against before and who was watching texted another trooper who was in another courtroom to come watch me.  Neither was disappointed, but it was not a State Trooper who got crushed.  He told me he was going to tell his squad about the case tonight.

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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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