Gary S. Bernstein, P.A.

Call Toll-Free: 866-435-2795

Locally at: 410-415-9219

Posts Tagged ‘Catonsville DUI’

Harford County Not Guilty Jury Trial

Well it took 3 days because of the sparse courtroom time that was available, but my client was acquitted and keeps his CDL.  I let in evidence that the State did not produce a foundation for because I needed the jury to see the whole picture.  It was a speeding case with a .07 breath test.  A .07 by itself is not enough to convict of either DUI or DWI.  I maintained that there was no other impairment evidence to justify a DWI based on the breath test.

I didn't think the State could get the speed in but I wanted the 43 in a 30 so the jury could not speculate.  I told the jury that most of them drove that "fast" on their way to court.  The State had failed to provide me with the certifications for the Intoximeter, but I didn't want the jury to think my client refused the test making it worse than it really was.

My client did the field tests perfectly even though the officer claimed there were a few flaws not visible on the video.  My client testified to what he drank, why he was out (picking up his wife), and why he stopped his vehicle where he did, even though the officer said he should have stopped sooner.

One of the problems I encountered was the Judge helping the young prosecutor.  When I moved for the case to be dismissed, the judge gave the prosecutor arguments for her to use in her closing.  The judge also tried to give a jury instruction that would have allowed to argue the .07 was higher.  I had to point out that the instruction regarding the test result is based on the time it is given at the station.  The State had not even requested the instruction, and the judge came up with this theory on her own.

I really didn't think the case should be prosecuted based on all the evidence but it is Harford County.  I did have one dropped two weeks before where there was truly no evidence, but you have to be ready for trial there- and I was.

 

 

2020 Best Lawyers in America

Just announced today that I have been selected again.

Harford County Not Guilty- Video Schtick

Client was acquitted today of all charges including the minor traffic charges. It was an interesting case as there was CCTV from the Sheriff's Office video-taping my client leaving a restaurant and walking to his car.  He meanders along is a zig zag pattern so they believe he is drunk and an officer goes out to catch him before he leaves the parking lot.  He is too late so he follows my client who drives exceptionally well with only a drift onto the turning lane when there was no other traffic on the road and the same to the shoulder.  Both of these occurred on curves.  The officer approximated his spped at about 50 in a 40.  He used radar but the prosecutor could not get that into evidence except for probable cause.  There was a battle over the radar, that was a complete waste of time because the case was about the DUI not the speed.  Some fights are not worth it.  The prosecutor is relatively new so I understood why she fought everything, but in the future she will move on.  He pulled into a parking lot where the right rear tire of his truck climbed the corner of the sidewalk.  It was a narrow entrance and snuck on him as the officer turned on his emergency light bar.

Now we had talked about the case because I expected to be trying a jury trial in Harford County starting yesterday but that case was postponed.  We agreed my client did well on the SFSTs and I thought his walking outside the car and standing during the tests rebutted any inference that his zig zagging was alcohol related.  The video did not show the extent of the swaying or slurred speech that the officer testified wrote in his report and testified to on direct. The State decided not to use the video.  The judge asked me if I was putting it in, but I said not yet.  

Because on direct examination- for the third time in recent acquittals- the State left out SFST evidence that was crucial, the judge dismissed the DUI and most of the minor charges, but held in the DWI based on what the officer described about the entire episode from CCTV to the SFST performance.  I called the police officer as MY witness.  I introduced the video and asked him ONLY about the parts where he said my client swayed or his speech was slurred.  He said the swaying was there but the judge didn't see it and the video is the best evidence.  I then had the audio played (it did not work during the SFSTs) when the client was in the police car as the in-car audio worked.  His speech was clear, intelligent, and there was NO slurring of any kind.  Now the State got to cross the officer.  She tried to go into the areas she missed on direct examination that I had pointed out on my Motion at the end of the State's case and the judge sustained my objections because I NEVER came near those areas and her questions were beyond the scope of what she was allowed to ask.  

Read more ...

Cecil County Not Guilty

It is extremely rare when a judge takes a case away from a jury and acquits the defendant.  It happened last week in the Circuit Court for Cecil County.  This was a DUI involving a high breath test.  The client's career depended on the outcome.  He suffers from an extreme medical condition where whenever he eats, he regurgitates the food and has to chew it again and again. He was just coming from dinner when stopped for speeding.  The receipt from the restaurant showed one beer and all that he and his family had eaten.  He explained his GERD issue to the arresting officer, who told him it was not an issue.  Well, it is an issue!  We hired Ronald Henson, PhD. to testify that the breath machine would basically add the alcohol coming from his stomach into his esophagus to the alcohol from his deep lungs and give an unreliable and high reading.  The mouth alcohol detector, if working, would not differentiate because of the constant amount of alcohol interfering with the deep lung air.  

Read more ...

Super Lawyer 2019

Announced today that I have been selected for the 13th straight year.  

All Information Submitted to Us is Kept Strictly CONFIDENTIAL

If you are facing a drunk driving charge in Maryland, get a FREE consultation for your case. Just complete the form and submit it to us, or Call 24 hours a day at 866-435-2795.

Contact Information

  • 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

Office Location