As reported by Dan Clark of the Times Herald, the DUI pilot program in Montgomery County is coming to an end. The program, which lasted two years under the sole supervision of the Honorable Judge Cheryl Lynn Austin, was designed to segregate DUI cases away from general criminal hearings so that these proceedings could be handled in one court. Simply stated, the goal of the program was to promptly and efficiently handle all DUI cases in one courtroom
According to court administrator Michael Kehs, the reversion back to the previous system is attributable to the heavy case load resulting from the frequency of DUI offenses in Montgomery County. Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman reported that DUI dispositions made up approximately one-third of all criminal dispositions in the county. Clearly, this is a lot for one judge to handle.
The result of this change? Moving forward, DUI cases will be handled like all other criminal proceedings and be split up between the eight judges overseeing criminal matters in the Montgomery County Court House. In fact, beginning this week, all new DUI cases will be distributed among the other criminal-division judges.
While the law governing DUI offenses remains the same, this administrative change is sure to impact the manner in which DUI cases in Montgomery County are handled moving forward. If you’ve recently been charged with driving under the influence, it is important to learn how this procedural change can affect you.
The attorneys at Howland, Hess, Guinan, Torpey, Cassidy and O’Connell LLP are available to explain how these changes impact you. If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, contact Michael Cassidy today for a free initial consultation to learn your rights.
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