DUI Charges Dismissed: Violation of Right to a Speedy Trial

DUI Charges Dismissed for Violation of Speedy Trial Right
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A 31-year old separated mother, while on probation for an earlier conviction for Driving under the Influence of Alcohol, was arrested and charged with a second drunk driving offense after causing a personal injury accident. Howard County criminal lawyer Jonathan Scott Smith represented the accused. Upon our recommendation, the client refused all plea bargain offers. A Howard County District Court judge agreed with Mr. Smith’s argument that the prosecution’s earlier postponement, and court clerk’s errors and delays in scheduling the case for trial, were prejudicial and violated the client’s constitutional right to a speedy trial. The court granted a motion to dismiss all charges.

Constitutional Right to a Speedy Trial
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Both the United States Constitution and the Maryland Declaration of Rights guarantees the right to a speedy trial to anyone accused of a crime and facing criminal charges. The constitutional right does not delineate any fixed time period for a trial to take place. Court rulings have interpreted the right to mean that a trial must take place within a “reasonable” time after being charged.

Right to a Speedy Trial on DUI/DWI Charges

Maryland’s highest court has ruled that one year generally is too long for such a relatively uncomplicated case such as DUI/DWI to come to trial. Courts consider other factors in addition to the length of time between arrest and trial. These include whether the accused ever requested a speedy trial; the length of the delay; the reasons for the delay; and whether the accused was prejudiced by the delay.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can assist in asserting and protecting the right to a speedy trial, as well as raising a court challenge if the right is violated.

Top Rated Howard County, Columbia, and Ellicott City Criminal Lawyer

Mr. Smith is a top rated attorney and former prosecutor with more than 30 years of extensive trial experience. Attorney Smith has handled thousands of criminal cases in the local courts, including cases involving violations of a right to speedy trial. With a solid and longstanding reputation for personal service and thorough preparation, we get many of our new cases as referrals from existing or former clients, or from other attorneys. Mr. Smith fights hard for his clients. That’s why many satisfied clients think so highly of him.

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results in DWI/DUI, drunk driving, and other criminal cases— has earned him the recognition of his peers, with an AV® Preeminent™* Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, and a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating. These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition. Attorney Smith is considered to be one of the best criminal lawyers in Howard County.

Contact Our Office

To schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to fight for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith represents clients in criminal defense matters, DUI / DWI, MVA Hearings, traffic offenses, domestic violence and child abuse charges throughout Maryland, including the cities of Columbia, Clarksville, Sykesville, Fulton, Elkridge, Frederick, Mt. Airy, Ellicott City, Laurel, Westminster, and Baltimore. Lawyer Smith also provides experienced legal representation for clients in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Prince Georges (Prince George) County, Howard County and Montgomery County, MD.

Choosing a DUI Lawyer

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A drunk driving arrest creates substantial risks involving loss of your driver’s license, and perhaps even your freedom. It is critical to select and hire an experienced Maryland drunk driving lawyer to advise you and to represent you aggressively.

Choosing a DUI Lawyer – Howard County, Columbia, Ellicott City, Maryland

Many people who are charged with drunk driving receive a pile of solicitation letters in the mail from attorneys they have never met. There are companies that review court filings on a daily basis and then sell lists of names to attorneys. These attorneys then mail form letters soliciting their services. These solicitation letters often include absurdly low legal fees, and mislead the public regarding the true cost of experienced and qualified lawyers.

Top Rated Attorney

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results in DUI/DWI and drunk driving charges, and other criminal cases— has earned him the recognition of his peers, with an AV® Preeminent™* Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, and a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating. These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition. Attorney Smith is considered to be one of the best criminal lawyers in Howard County.

Points of Distinction

  • Over 30 Years of Courtroom Experience
  • Former Prosecutor
  • Author of Criminal Law Books for Lawyers
  • Lectured and Trained Prosecutors
  • Highest Rating for Legal Ability and Professional Ethics

Former Criminal Prosecutor

Jonathan Scott Smith was employed as a prosecutor (Assistant State’s Attorney for Baltimore County) from 1980 to 1984. He prepared and prosecuted thousands of felony and misdemeanor criminal cases. This included an extensive number of jury and non-jury trials in Maryland district courts and circuit courts.

As a prosecutor in the circuit court, Mr. Smith prepared and tried a wide range of criminal cases. He was responsible for handling all aspects of criminal cases. Mr. Smith personally handled an extensive number of criminal jury trials. The charges included murder (including death penalty), rapes and other sexual offenses, armed robberies, burglaries, kidnappings, extortion, embezzlement, thefts, assaults, and drug offenses. He tried numerous non-jury trials as well. Mr. Smith prosecuted cases involving mandatory sentences and death penalty proceedings, and handled felony charge screenings; grand jury proceedings; and preliminary hearings.

As a prosecutor in the district court, Mr. Smith handled all aspects of thousands of cases until their conclusion, including an extensive number of non-jury trials. The cases included drunk driving and other serious traffic cases, thefts, assaults, drug possession, handgun charges, violation of probation hearings, and bail hearings.

Read More Choosing a DUI Lawyer

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith represents clients in criminal defense matters, DUI / DWI, MVA Hearings, traffic offenses, domestic violence and child abuse charges throughout Maryland, including the cities of Columbia, Clarksville, Sykesville, Fulton, Elkridge, Frederick, Mt. Airy, Ellicott City, Laurel, Westminster, and Baltimore. Lawyer Smith also provides experienced legal representation for clients in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Prince Georges (Prince George) County, Howard County and Montgomery County, MD.

DUI Penalties in Maryland

A driver who refused to submit to a breath test or a blood test also is subject to an additional penalty. If the court finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver knowingly refused to take a test arising out of the same circumstances as the violation, the driver is subject to a fine of $500.00, or imprisonment for not more than 2 months, or both.

The penalties, based upon a first offense, for violating Maryland’s drunk driving laws are as follows:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol: $1,000.00 fine, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol per se: $1,000.00 fine, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol while transporting a minor: $2,000.00 fine, imprisonment for not more than two years, or both.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol per se while transporting a minor: $2,000.00 fine, imprisonment for not more than two years, or both.
  • Driving or attempting to drive while impaired by alcohol: $500.00 fine, imprisonment for not more than two months, or both.
  • Driving while impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that the driver cannot drive a vehicle safely: $500.00 fine, imprisonment for not more than two months, or both.
  • Driving or attempting to drive while impaired by alcohol while transporting a minor: $1,000.00 fine, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
  • Driving while impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that the driver cannot drive a vehicle safely while transporting a minor: $1,000.00 fine, imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.
  • Driving or attempting to drive while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance: $1,000.00 fine, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.
  • Driving or attempting to drive while impaired by a controlled dangerous substance while transporting a minor: $2,000.00 fine, imprisonment for not more than two years, or both.

Read More about DUI Penalties in Maryland

About Maryland Drunk (and Drugged) Driving Law

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It is not against the law in Maryland to drink and drive! That’s right! It is only against the law to drink to the extent that the driver is either under the influence or impaired. Maryland law recognizes the following drunk (and drugged) driving offenses:
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ADDRESS :

  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101