Law Enforcement in Ocean City
Ocean City criminal defense attorney Angie DiPietro discusses Ocean City and the laws it most heavily enforces and when. To learn more about laws in Maryland schedule a free consultation today.
Information on Ocean City
Ocean City is about three hours away from Baltimore and DC. It’s located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, in Worcester County.
There are basically three ways to get into Ocean City. You can drive — some people drive south out of the state of Delaware and come down to the Ocean City that way.
If people are coming from Maryland, typically, they get to Ocean City by either using route 50 which eventually ends right at Ocean City. Or if they wanted to arrive and go to the northern part of Ocean City, they would probably take what’s referred to as the route 90 bridge which is only a two lane highway.
Both of those routes into Ocean City in the summer get very congested, it can take quite a bit of time. And route 50 access is actually a draw bridge which is open at certain times for the day for recreational fishermen and commercial fishermen.
So once the draw bridge start opening, things can get really congested, trying to get into Ocean City.
Ocean City Traffic Law Enforcement
Traffic laws are heavily enforced by the Ocean City Police Department. Ocean City has its own police department, and they have jurisdiction through the entire city limits of Ocean City. And those officers are definitely out in full force especially in the summer months; any time from Memorial Day until Labor Day.
And even beyond Labor Day now because Ocean City is becoming a more year round destination. It’s very popular in the summer. But it’s also becoming more and more popular to go there in the fall and winter and spring. And Ocean City Police Department has a presence on what’s referred to as Coastal Highway, the highway that’s running north and south the length of Ocean City. And there are many, many officers patrolling the highway. And then as soon as you get out of the jurisdiction of the Ocean City Police Department, the Maryland State Police are patrolling the highways leading in to Ocean City.
There is a Maryland State Police barracks located ten minutes outside of Ocean City. So traffic laws are enforced not just by the Ocean City Police Department but by other law enforcement agencies nearby.
Traffic laws are more heavily enforced during the summer months because there are more officers that are working at that time and the Ocean City Police Department hires seasonal officers. So these are individuals who are hired just for the summer months. They get a very quick academy or training, not to the same extent as a year round police officer. But they have the same types of powers.
So there’s many more officers patrolling in the summer months than there are in the non-summer months.
One major priority of these officers is traffic enforcement and there are traffic violations than can carry jail time. Although they’re not technically considered criminal offenses—they are not a violation of the criminal code—they still carry jail time. Some examples include: driving under the influence, driving while impaired, driving while suspended, driving while revoked, those are the most serious traffic offenses that can carry jail time.
Where Are Ocean City Criminal Cases Typically Heard?
Ocean City DUI cases are typically heard at the District Court location on 65th Street in Ocean City. Because the maximum penalty for a DUI is one year in jail, the defendant does have the right to pray a jury trial. If the defendant prays a jury trial, the case would be transferred from the District Court to the Circuit Court. For Ocean City cases, that means the case will be heard at the Worcester County Circuit Court, which is located in the county seat of Snow Hill.