Montgomery County has created a DUI court, which will streamline the adjudication process for DUI offenders. The most notable change is that The Honorable Cheryl Austin will preside over all Montgomery County DUI cases effective January 2014. In fact, all DUI cases scheduled this month are being assigned to her already, with court dates set for 2014. More details will be available soon, and Judge Austin will either present a CLE on this topic in January or she will attend a special meeting of the criminal defense committee to help lawyers understand what to expect in the new system. For now, here are the details that I have available:
- Effective immediately, all new cases where the lead offense is DUI will be assigned to Judge Austin, who is the DUI judge as of January 2014.
- All current non-DUI transfer cases (cases assigned since early October in anticipation of an eighth judge being added to the criminal division) will be rotated among the remaining criminal judges.
- If a defendant has both DUI and non-DUI cases, the DUI case will be assigned to Judge Austin, and the non-DUI case will be assigned to one of the remaining criminal judges. If the defendant’s attorney wants to have both cases dealt with by the same judge, that can be accommodated.
- If multiple cases are the subject of a formal consolidation order, both cases will be assigned to Judge Austin.
- All pending DUI cases not yet scheduled for pre-trial conference will be reassigned to Judge Austin for scheduling.
- All DUI cases that are already scheduled for pre-trial conference between now and the end of 2013 will remain on the assigned judge’s list. If the case is continued or listed for trial, the case will be reassigned to Judge Austin.
- All DUI ARD cases scheduled through the end of the year will remain on the current ARD lists. Starting January 2014, all DUI ARD cases will be scheduled separately before Judge Austin.
If you have any questions about the new DUI court, contact one of our Montgomery County DUI attorneys today. We will be happy to share any new information that we can obtain.