drinking and driving - the defenders

Bail Denied to Driver in DUI Crash That Kills 2 Teens

On Monday, August 3, 2020, at about 7 PM, two 16 year old girls were crossing the street in the crosswalk on Maryland Parkway, near Boulevard Mall, when an impaired driver lost control of her vehicle and hit both girls, killing one at the scene, and sending the other to the hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries and died.  The impaired driver was also injured and was taken to a hospital.  Later when the driver was arrested and informed of the outcome of the accident, the driver did not remember the accident and told officers she had two beers at a friend’s house, but also admitted to using marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, and PCP earlier that day.

On August 10, the driver appeared in court for a bail hearing.  Her public defender asked for $15,000 bail for the driver.  Payment of bail would allow the driver to leave jail and live at home awaiting trial.  The Justice of the Peace who was presiding over the proceedings denied bail, calling the driver “an extreme risk to the community,” and the driver will be held in jail pending trial.  The Justice of the Peace elaborated that the driver had a previous criminal record, which includes 41 prior misdemeanor charges, including several failures to appear in court for other charges.

Purpose of Bail

We’ve discussed bail previously indicating that bail is an attempt by the judicial system to strike a balance between the rights to liberty of an accused criminal and the needs of the court to ensure that the accused will appear in court to participate in trial.  Bail is returned upon completion of the trial but is forfeited by the accused if they fail to appear for trial dates, or if they leave the jurisdiction of the court.  The prosecutor recommends the amount of bail, and the defense may recommend a lower amount, or even a release based the accused’s own recognizance, which is release without any bail.  Ultimately the trial judge determines what the court believes will ensure the return of the accused for trial if they are released from custody.

Bail Considerations

As the court considers whether you are a danger to the community they will consider:

  • Whether you have a previous criminal record
  • Whether you are on probation or parole
  • Whether the charge is for a non-violent offense
  • Whether your reputation in the community shows responsible citizenship

To help determine whether you are a flight risk the court considers:

  • Whether you have strong ties to the community, how long you have lived there, do you have family there, whether you have a job and for how long
  • Whether you have missed past court appearances
  • Whether you have immigration issues

In the case discussed above, the Justice of the Peace referenced several of these considerations in her decision to deny bail, finding that the accused represented an “extreme risk to the community,” and that the court was not willing to risk releasing the driver prior to further court proceedings, based on the previous record of the accused.  The driver will next appear in court on August 24 to answer charges of DUI resulting in death, a felony; reckless driving, failure to maintain a lane, and failure to reduce speed.

This is an extreme case

The outcome of this DUI case will be determined by the court after due process with arguments presented by the prosecutor and the defense.  This case represents an extreme case with a tragic outcome, and the accused is faced with extreme consequences.  Under our system the accused has the right to present a defense and to question the accusations made against them by the prosecution.  In the end, a decision will be made, and justice will be served.

The Defenders provides Criminal Defense if charged with a DUI

The lawyers of The Defenders understand the needs those charged with DUI and will present an aggressive defense to such charges.  The Defenders has had experience representing clients who were charged with DUI and has a successful record of providing outcomes which are favorable to our clients.  If you have been charged with DUI, call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 333-3333, or click the green button at the bottom of the page to text us your information.

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