DUI Charges Dismissed: Violation of Right to a Speedy Trial

DUI Charges Dismissed for Violation of Speedy Trial Right
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
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.


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

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