Recent Maryland DUI Case Wins
Manslaughter Anne Arundel County: Ready for Trial
All trial attorneys like to puff themselves up in the face of their adversary; criminal prosecutors are the best at the mental game. We had a young male defendant that was charged with vehicular manslaughter in Anne Arundel County. Anne Arundel seems to be quite aggressive with this felony charge when there is an accident and a driver dies. Our client was accused of being in a speed contest with some other cars when there was contact between our client’s car and the deceased. The victim’s car rolled over several times and the driver of that car did not survive. Our client however stopped and rendered medical care until the authorities arrived. Additionally, there were witnesses that were favorable (including State witnesses) and supported our client’s version of the facts. The prosecutor however would hear nothing of it – all he wanted to do was convict our guy of felony manslaughter and send him to jail for a long time. We would have nothing of that.
We uttered the most important words a trial attorney can say: Ready for trial your honor! We tried that manslaughter case for two days before an Anne Arundel County Jury before submitting the case to them for a verdict. The jury came back in a matter of hours, with a NOT GUILTY, essentially telling that prosecutor that he was full of it! We truly saved that Defendant’s life as a felony conviction and jail time do not bode well on a resume.
In my experience, the prosecutors love to push defendants and attorneys around if you let them. It is not too often that a prosecutor will hear “Ready for Trial” but if your client of Robinson and Associates, more than likely they will.
Firefighter Baltimore City DUI: Ready for Trial
We had a Baltimore City fire fighter as a DUI client. He was a nice young man who up to this point had devoted his career to helping and protecting others in very dangerous situations. He was decorated and put his life on the line daily to help others. This young man made a mistake, he was driving above the legal limit when he T-boned another car and seriously hurt the occupants of that vehicle, sending them to the hospital for surgery.
There were articles in the Baltimore Sun about this DUI accident with a strong undercurrent that our client should go to jail. This case was juggled around Baltimore City Circuit Court like a ping pong ball with many judges tending to agree with the newspaper and wanting the Defendant to go to jail for a long time. We held our ground and told those judges “Ready for Trial.”
Ultimately we ended up before one of the toughest judges in the City, one that scares defendants and lawyers alike. We explained our case to that judge and let him know we were ready for trial. Once hearing the facts of the case however, the judge seemed to agree more with our side of the case and thankfully he was neither moved nor scared of the Baltimore Sun who was watching the case and subsequently wrote an article after the case was over (on our wall when you come to visit). As a result of Robinson & Associate’s willingness to fight, we were able to walk that client out of the Court room that very day without even one day in jail; the judge actually thanked the client for his service to Baltimore City! The take home message is: no matter how difficult the case may be, it must be worked up for trial and DUI defense counsel must not be afraid to say those three little words: Ready for trial because that’s where the magic happens.
Baltimore County DUI Accident: Ready for Trial
We had a DUI client in Baltimore County District Court; it was another serious case where our client drove through a red light and struck another car injuring the occupants of that car. Her BAC (blood alcohol content) was over the legal limit so she was in a lot of trouble.
As Robinson & Associates is a DUI Defense trial firm we told the prosecutor we were trying the case despite it being very serious and not looking like there were good avenues to defeat the State’s case. When in a DUI trial, like any other trial, the State must prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt to the fact finder, whether that is a judge (as in this case) or a jury. Proof must be made by relevant, legal and competent evidence. Sometimes however the prosecutor may not be prepared to prove its case for one reason or another and then the State’s case begins to fall apart. In this very serious DUI, the prosecutor screwed up the presentation of his evidence and we were able to exclude crucial evidence that was needed for him (the State) to prove its case. In doing so, the DUI charges had to be dismissed because they were not legally proven. Ironically, the prosecutor continued with his blunders and even the regular traffic tickets which should have been a no brainer, also fell by the wayside and our client walked out of that courtroom with NOT GUILTY findings on ALL CHARGES.
Once again another example of “Ready for Trial.” The prosecutors think they can win most cases and therefore try push defendants around; however, if aggressive and experienced trial counsel push back, and the law is enforced by the judge, many times favorable outcomes can be achieved even in the most difficult cases.
Howard County DUI
Robinson & Associates enjoys a very good reputation for DUI defense in Maryland. As a result of that we have an interesting mix a clients starting at the White house in Washington DC to many of the 3 letter Federal Agencies to doctors and lawyers right on down the line. In this particular DUI case in Howard County, we had one of our many space agency employees. It’s always interesting when those folks come to visit because they are incredibly intelligent and always have cool things to talk about.
Anyway, these guys, like most of our clients really need to be insulated from any DUI conviction because such a conviction is not compatible with their security clearance or their job description in general. Happily for them, they come to the right place because Robinson & Associates is a DUI trial firm that actually tries cases in Court.
This case was called for trial and we tried that case. The interesting thing about DUI cases (like all criminal cases) is there must be probable cause to make the arrest. After the arrest is made and the defendant is at that police station, the police endeavor to get the most damning evidence by having the Defendant blow in the breathalyzer machine; that BAC number is then used in large part to convict the defendant of the alcohol charge. The interesting thing is, if counsel successfully attacks the basis of the arrest that is, the lack of probable cause for the arrest, then the balance of the evidence can be excluded from the trial and the charges will most likely fail, as they did in this case. Thus, if winning is important, it is imperative when retaining DUI defense counsel to secure experienced and aggressive counsel who knows DUI law inside and out, and not just retain someone charging the lowest fee (maybe you received a letter in the mail) or somebody located closest to your home. Do the appropriate research on the Internet and then give us a call. Let us show you what we can do to help.
Howard County DUI: Field Sobriety Testing
At Robinson & Associates our attorneys are certified in field sobriety exercises that you as a DUI defendant are requested to perform prior to being arrested. At the outset, one should not do these tests because they are complete crap from the word go. They are engineered for you to fail and they are engineered for the cops to gather evidence to use against you in court. Having said that, most people attempt to do the fields when requested because they hope they will be released if only they could do them satisfactorily. Well, guess what, you can’t and you won’t so don’t do them at all!
In my 20 plus years of DUI defense I can count the number of times a DUI defendant has done the fields correctly on less then one hand. [We recently had a really nice client in Harford County ace the field sobriety test (a very rare task) but since he was in Harford County, the judge simply turned to his driving in order to convict of the charge and ignored his exemplary performance on the fields (not uncommon up there- don’t drink in drive in Harford County, the law is of little import up there!) Anyway, back in Howard County, our client (different case) did reasonably well on the field tests and that gave us the opportunity to challenge the basis of the arrest. As noted in the prior testimonial/case description, a successful attack on the field tests translates to an attack on the arrest itself. If properly defended, as in this case, the BAC (blood alcohol content) never comes into evidence.
We were able to suppress the BAC number in this case as well because the field tests were not scored properly and in fact were done in a reasonable fashion. Our attorneys are certified in the field sobriety testing just like most of the DUI police officers are so we are able to cross examine them on this important piece of any drunk driving case. When evaluating defense lawyers it is important, among other things to determine if counsel is certified in this regard.
Carroll County DUI: Burnt out tag light
Of all the reasons to be pulled over, can you imagine how unpleasant it is to be driving perfectly but getting pulled over because your tag light is allegedly burnt out? Well let me tell you this is a favorite of the police! You see there is an off the book charge in the State of Maryland and very popular in Carroll County (as well as Maryland’s other counties), the charge is called driving after midnight. If you are on the road driving after midnight- the cops assume you are intoxicated, period. Thus, they only need to look for a reason to pull you over and the rest falls into place. If they can’t find an obvious reason to stop your car, a burnt tag light will work just fine. There is a law on the books that says if one of your two tag lights is burnt out, they can stop you for that; then, if they smell alcohol on your breath, down you go!
In this particular case, our client was stopped for that old chestnut- burnt tag light. We tried the case on a number of different grounds as we normally do. The judge did not appear to be siding with us on the defenses we raised in the case and things were looking challenging. As the judge was preparing to render her decision, our trial attorney pointed out a particular failure of the State to prove the underlying tail light charge. After considering that for a moment, at the end of the case, the judge agreed with our position and found the State had failed to prove an element of the initial stop. As a result of that defect, the entire case failed for the reasons stated above (no legal basis for the stop) and the Defendant was found NOT GUILTY.
Not only is a sound knowledge of Maryland’s DUI law important to defend these cases, but counsel must also be well versed in the Maryland’s traffic charges. You see, the police will use every single advantage they possess on the street to make a DUI stop and arrest, and if they don’t see one they can easily generate one (as is often the case see Marylandduilawyerblog.com). Counsel must be equally aggressive in the defense of these cases within the bounds of the law in order to protect those charged with this crime.