Howard County is but one of 24 counties in Maryland in which one can be charged with DUI. For those that are interested, Howard County was founded in 1838 and today has many redeeming qualities. In 2006 it was ranked the third wealthiest county by median household income by the U.S. Census Bureau and Howard County’s own Columbia and Ellicott City were recognized as the fourth “best places to live” by Money Magazine. The public school system in Howard County is continually recognized to be among the best in the Country. Consequently, Howard County is in fact a very pleasant place to live and raise a family, but what about if you are charged with DUI/DWI in Howard County?
After practicing DUI law for 17 years throughout all Maryland counties, including Howard County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, Prince Georges, Montgomery, Carroll County, Harford, Queen Anne’s etc., I can safely say that Howard County is definitely at the top of the short list of better places to be charged with a DUI (assuming that you’re going to be charged at all). But why you ask?
Howard County’s mantra is “civility”; they even have a neat little green bumper sticker to remind drivers to be civil to one another. Happily I cannot think of a single Judge in Howard County that does not subscribe to this mentality; and I certainly cannot say that for Judges in all counties. Unfortunately, each county has judges that cause you to sit back and scratch your head and ask….. but not so much in Howard County. If you are charged with a DUI in Howard County your case will be heard in the District Court for Howard County (not the Circuit Court for Howard County unless you requested a jury trial or otherwise did something really serious in addition to the DUI) located off Rogers Avenue in Ellicott City. There are 5 court rooms to hear DUI cases and a Howard County DUI defendant can receive a fair trial from any of the Judges in this courthouse. Following your DUI trial (if you don’t win), judges feel differently about probation, rehabilitation and outright punishment and it is incumbent upon your DUI lawyer to be up to speed on the different judges and how they react under different factual circumstances. For example, as the BAC or blood alcohol content increases in a DWI trial some Judges will act in sharp contrast to others. Again, your Howard County DUI lawyer needs to know the do’s and don’ts of the various Judges because what your lawyer may not know, can definitely be harmful to you as a DUI defendant.
Be that as it may, Howard County is still a good and fair jurisdiction to get a DUI charge versus other counties in Maryland which are not quite so fair. Even the prosecutors and police tend to be fair and appropriate in the majority of cases, a trait not evident in all counties. Finally there are a number of excellent alcohol education facilities located throughout Maryland and Howard County in particular. One such program is Columbia Addictions in Howard County adjacent to the Columbia Lake. We utilize the services of this comprehensive program for our Howard County DUI clients and I frequently hear very positive reviews from the client’s themselves. The Howard County District Court Judges also appear to be very comfortable with the facility.
Please feel free to contact us should you desire more information on any of the matters discussed herein or if you would like additional information on your Howard County DUI.