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Maryland Felony DUI Lawyer

If you have been charged with a felony DUI offense, it is imperative that you work with a Maryland felony DUI lawyer. An accomplished DUI attorney could attempt to negotiate on your behalf and, work towards a positive outcome for you. Contact an experienced legal advocate today, and know that you are in good hands.

Elevating Charges to a Felony DUI

A DUI is typically considered a misdemeanor under Maryland law. However, if the DUI results in a fatality, that can lead to additional charges. Additional charges could refer to felony charges such as vehicular manslaughter, regular manslaughter, or other possible felony charges.

The DUI itself, however, is considered a misdemeanor, but Maryland is little different in that Maryland misdemeanors can carry 10-year penalties. So, a second offense and a third offense DUI that may carry multi-year sentences as a result of a conviction, but they are still misdemeanors in Maryland.

Differences in the DUI Case Process

The main differences in the case process for a felony DUI compared to a misdemeanor DUI is that if a person is charged with DUI and associated felony charges, the case in Maryland is likely going to be brought or eventually be brought in circuit court. The process in circuit court is goingto be more involved and takes more time than a district court. There is going to be court date scheduled for motion hearings as well as additional court dates scheduled for the trial itself.

In district court, essentially everything happens in one day. If the parties decide they cannot work something out, they will usually go to trial in the district court and the case will proceed. In circuit court,the case can be heard in front of a judge instead of a jury. Both parties willargue any preliminary motions to keep or suppress certain evidence.

The judge will warrant those motions and then both parties, with the knowledge of the judge ruling, will then decide whether or not to proceed after that initial trial. The trial will be held on a different date.

Steps to Take When Building a Defense

One of the first steps a Maryland felony DUI lawyer may take when preparing a defense for felony DUI charges is collecting information about the allegations, which comes from the charging document from the government. That is essentially the state’s narrative about their version of events. That is what the state has accused the defendant of doing and that is what the state is going to have to prove.

The next initial step will usually be talking to the accused. The lawyer will take the client’s version of what did and did not happen and see how that lines up with the state’s narrative. Then they will be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the state’s case and see what sort of evidence they have and what evidence they need to have to prove their case. They will then start trying to identify weaknesses in the state’s case that can be exploited as part of the defense strategy.

The Difficulty of Defending Felony DUI Charges

Felony DUI charges are more difficult to defend because felony allegations are very serious allegations that often carry more serious penalties. If the state is filing felony charges, there has been more investigation and there is a stronger evidentiary foundation.  This means the case is generally going to be stronger and this can make the defense a little bit more difficult.

Alternative Sentencing Options

There are a lot of sentencing options beyond jail time, and most defendants want to avoid jail time, when possible. Often, people are willing to participate in programs and classes, and submit to restricted conditions of probation in exchange for jail time.

These types of outcomes are potentially available but require an intimate understanding of the local rules as well as the prosecutor and the judge involved in the case. The way a DUI is handled in Prince George’s County is going to be a lot different than the way it is handled in St. Mary’s County, even if the facts or the allegations are relatively similar. A Maryland felony DUI lawyer could leverage their knowledge of local law to build an individual’s case.

Value of an Experienced Felony DUI Attorney in Maryland

An experienced Maryland felony DUI lawyer brings a lot of value to those charged with felony DUI. In Maryland, especially with DUI cases, there is a lot of room to negotiate the specifics of an outcome through a plea negotiation.

A local attorney is going to be familiar with the local practice and the people involved, such as the judge, prosecutor, and some of the other agencies in the community. The local attorney will know how to take all of those resources and use them to construct the most effective strategy so they could get the best possible outcome for you. In order to learn more, get in touch with an intelligent DUI attorney that could advocate for you.

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