September 29, 2008

Experts and Expert Training

A Maryland DUI defendant needs two things in order to maximize his/her chances of a successful resolution of his case. He needs a lawyer that has the proper DUI training and expertise and he needs access to appropriate experts in court. The defense of a DUI case is a sub-specialty of criminal law, just like cardiology is a sub-specialty of medicine, and if you want to win your case, you should treat your case the same way you would treat your body.

The National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) trains attorneys in quarterly seminars, classes and related formats to properly defend citizens charged with this criminal offense. Such specialized training includes courses in the administration of field sobriety testing, ie. what the police officers are supposed to be doing in the field, instructor level training in order to teach police officers how to administer field sobriety testing (this writer holds both certifications), Drug Recognition Evaluations (DRE), Intox machines classes and more. Many attorneys nationwide and a few statewide hold these various certifications, if you are serious about the defense of your case, you should consider an attorney that holds these certifications.

In addition to engaging the services of an appropriate advocate to defend your case, you should also consider the importance of engaging experts to assist in the defense of your case.

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September 29, 2008

DUI Plea Deals

The proper defense of a Maryland DUI charge is a complicated matter. A DUI/DWI defendant does not always realize this when seeing the number of Maryland DUI cases which are plead out in court, but when a DUI matter is properly worked up for trial it gets complicated and generally requires experts to come to court to help the judge or jury find the truth.

That's not to say that all cases should be tried, on the contrary, some cases/defendants may benefit from a properly secured plea arrangement. Such cases can severely limit or completely exclude a defendant's exposure to jail time which is generally an important goal. I recently had such a case in Carroll County Maryland with a 2nd DUI offender, still on probation for his first offense. Pretrial suppression motions were filed for trial resulting in an appropriate plea arrangement in the Circuit Court which successfully limited my client's exposure to significant incarceration. This was a proper plea arrangement and the client was pleased with the outcome.

Conversely however, sometimes plea arrangements are entered into by counsel who may not be fully versed on DUI/DWI law and therefore said counsel may not be in a position to advance his client's case to trial. In that case, the Defendant comes to the court in a position of weakness and can not expect to achieve the best result possible in the case.

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