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.
Tough Times Call For Tough Representation