Everybody should have an attorney in going in front of a criminal case, because anything you say to the state’s attorney is talking to them about the facts of the case or what’s going on, or things the state’s attorney can put you on the stand and ask you if you were to testify.
That puts you at a very severe disadvantage because if I tell the state’s attorney, “My client was driving under the influence at night but their problem’s in the process,” that’s a different story than the defendant saying, “I was drunk but I didn’t like the way he pulled me over,” it’s more of arrested people disaster. Anytime you’re facing jail time, you should have an attorney.
At Philips and Worthington, we have three attorneys and over 50 years of experience in Garrett County! We’re familiar with the judges, we’re familiar with the prosecutors, we’re familiar with the police officers. We know who does a good job and who does a bad job and who is more likely to make mistakes in the paperwork or in the process. That’s one of the reasons that we make our money. We also thoroughly research whenever we have some type of issue that’s out there that requires legal research. We’ll look into it and turn over any stone.
What is the Most Difficult Thing for An Attorney to Deal with in a Drug Related DUI Case?
The drug recognition experts, so it is not a cut and drive field and there can be a lot of misidentification of the drugs because many of the signs are very similar from one drug to another. I don’t know of any major changes in the law of drug recognition. A few more people are getting certified for it but typically a drug recognition is a fairly short course that they go over some of the basics, physiology and some of the typical signs that people will show when they’re under the influence of a drug or another. It’s a very inexact sign.
Can You Provide Some Examples of Drug Related DUI Cases in Maryland?
I had an individual who was speeding; he was driving in a work truck and the officer said they smelled marijuana. They searched the work truck, found something in the console of the truck and then arrested and charged him. We were able to show that several people had access to that truck within a 48-hour period and the case was ultimately won for the client.
Do People Believe That Not Getting Their Miranda Rights Read Will Lead to a Dismissal of Charges?
It won’t make a case get dismissed. Miranda Rights are generally rights against self-incrimination. More likely than not when you’re arrested, there is going to be other factors that are out there, other evidence. An officer doesn’t generally read Miranda rights unless you’re being arrested. The Miranda basically just protects statements after you’ve made the arrest and the idea is that they don’t want police to coerce people into making confessions. If they tell you that you have the right to remain silent and read through the card, then anything that you say is evidence they can use.
If they don’t give it to you, then anything you say isn’t evidence that you can use but also keep in mind I’ve had several cases where a client has said, “He never read me my Miranda Rights”, and I get the police report that says, “I read him his Miranda Rights and he told me he had six beers before he left the bar”, or something along those lines, and so that is not to speak whether Miranda or not is there because one thing you always have to fear in judicial system is a dishonest police officer and they’re out there and they do exist and they exist in large quantities, so you have to be careful about that.
What Some Qualities to Be Found in a Good DUI Defense Attorney?
The first one is to look for someone who’s experienced, a minimum of 10 years in a jurisdiction, if they have less than that, there is good chance that they don’t know all the people and all the judges and judges’ philosophy. I’m a big fan of going local because when you get people from out of town that don’t know what the judges’ tendencies are, they can often give a client bad advice and they can also do things that upset the judge. If the judge is upset with an attorney, typically the client receives the punishment. So, you want an experienced attorney.
You also want to look in to make sure somebody has done quite a few of these and in Maryland, you can go to a Maryland judiciary case search and look up an attorney and see what that attorney has done in several cases. Expunged cases won’t show up but other cases will, so you can see how many DUIs or how many drug cases somebody’s done in the last year or how many cases they’ve done all over.
It is also a good idea just to check through the internet and look at ratings for attorneys because while all attorneys carry the same license, there can be a big difference between one attorney and another. That difference can come in experience, competence and costs. Those are things you always want to consider when you’re hiring an attorney.
For more information on Hiring an Attorney for a Drug Related DUI, please call (301) 892-6007 today to schedule a free initial consultation. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking.