Woops, seems another of the “good guys” has proven that he is human. It is alleged in the Baltimore Sun that Baltimore County Cop Charles Bagley, a corporal, was arrested for DUI in Harford County where he resides. Evidently, when he was driving home he was displaying signs of intoxication when he was stopped and subsequently arrested for DUI.
This story is interesting on a number of levels among them he is a corporal on the Baltimore County police force assigned to the White marsh precinct. As a police officer and a corporal, he clearly knows better then to drink and drive, he has undoubtedly made many arrests for this same illegal behavior in the past and yet here he is demonstrating poor choices to the motoring public.
The second and perhaps more interesting part of the story is that he was arrested in Bel Air, Harford County. Everybody knows or should know that of all the places in Maryland that one can be arrested for crime, including DUI, one does NOT want to be arrested in Harford County. That county is the very worst in the entire state of Maryland.
For some reason, life and the practice of law is different in conservative Harford County. If somebody gets a first DUI in Harford County, he has to fight for a probation before judgment disposition. As with all criminal offenses in Harford County, DUI is treated as a major crime. However, if you are unlucky enough to get a 2nd DUI in Harford County, then pack your bags and toothbrush because you are going to jail, and not just for a weekend but something along the order of a month or possibly two. That is what is unique about this county. For most other counties throughout Maryland, if you don’t win your 2nd offense DUI, you are fighting for either a suspended sentence or maybe a weekend or two in jail, that is fairly standard. In Harford County however, if you don’t win your case (which requires an act of Congress to do) you are actually going to jail on a 2nd DUI offense for 30 days or more!
In corporal Bagley’s case, I assume this is a first alleged offense for him and thus there is a fairly descent chance he can stay out of jail. However, God help him if he violates the probation that he is about to be placed on. I can see it now, the judge will say “the people have placed their trust in you and you have violated that trust” and therefore I’m going to place you on a lengthly probation to see what you do. If he violates that, or gets a second offense, Oye! Nobody will be able to help. Then he will have the problem of a police officer in jail which carries it’s own array of significant problems.
Take home message: If you are going to drink and drive, do not do it in Harford County. It is a strange place for the practice of criminal defense because if you walk into the courtoom as a defendant, there is a 95% chance you are guilty just because you walked in.