FREDERICK TRAFFIC LAWYERS
Helping You Fight Your Traffic Ticket
Although traffic tickets may seem minor, receiving a traffic ticket can have serious consequences. If convicted of a traffic-related offense your license may be suspended, your driving privileges revoked, you may be subject to fines, and increased insurance premiums. Some traffic violations even carry the potential for jail time.
Given the serious nature of these offenses (and the potential penalties), it is important that you contact an experienced traffic violation attorney in Frederick if you have been ticketed or arrested for a traffic-related offense. Portner & Shure, P.A. has represented clients in the Frederick area for over 25 years. Let us help you.
Contact us online or call (240) 770-0509 for a free consultation.
Traffic Violations in Maryland
Traffic violations can be divided into two general categories: “payable” citations and “must appear” citations. A “must appear” citation typically carries the potential for jail time.
It is essential that you talk to a seasoned Frederick traffic lawyer before disputing “must appear” or “serious” traffic violations including:
- Driving on a suspended license
- Driving without a license
- Driving with a revoked license
- Driving without car insurance
- Hit and run
- DUI/DWI and other alcohol and drug-related driving offenses
Based on our 25 years of experience, we have outlined some of the most common traffic violations in Frederick County.
Speeding Tickets in Frederick, Maryland
Speeding tickets are the most common type of traffic violation. A speeding ticket alone does not impose jail time. However, speeding tickets do impose fines and points. Depending upon the driver’s speed the fines and points differ. In sum, the higher the speed, the higher the fine.
Maryland Transportation Code § 21-801 states that a person may not drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed that, with regard to the actual and potential dangers existing, is more than that which is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances.
Drivers also must control the speed of their vehicles to avoid collisions with moving or stationary objects. Decreasing speed is encouraged at railroad crossings, around curves, and on narrow or winding roads.
Maryland Code § 21-807 states that documents that charge drivers with speeding must include the alleged speed and maximum speed limit of the location. If the driver was driving too slowly, the minimum speed must be noted.
If you accrue enough traffic “demerit points,” your license may be suspended. This means you will not legally be allowed to operate any motor vehicle in Maryland.
If you believe that you have wrongly received a traffic ticket for speeding, talk to one of our Maryland traffic violations attorneys during a free initial consultation.
People often pay the fine without appearing in court, or simply don’t pay the fine and fail to appear in court. These actions can have profound secondary effects beyond a bench warrant.
Driving on a Suspended License
Citations for driving on a suspended license are very common. Driver’s license suspensions occur for a variety of reasons, and there are several statutes about license suspensions.
To convict a defendant for driving with a suspended license, the state has the burden of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that:
- The defendant was driving a motor vehicle;
- At the time the defendant was driving, his or her license was suspended; and
- The defendant knew that his or her license was suspended.
The state must prove that an individual knew what they were doing at the time of the offense. They must present evidence that the defendant either had actual knowledge that his or her driver's license was suspended or that the defendant was deliberately ignorant or willfully blind to the suspension. A driver's failure to inform the Motor Vehicle Administration of an address change may indicate that an individual is deliberately avoiding contact with the MVA.
If an individual receives a citation for driving on a suspended license pursuant to 16-303(c), their license is likely suspended as a result of an alcohol-related driving infraction, failure to pay child support, failure to complete a driver improvement program, or an excessive amount of points. The maximum penalty for a first offense is one year in jail and a $1,000.00 fine; for a subsequent offense, the maximum penalty is two years and a $1,000.00 fine.
If an individual receives a citation for driving on a suspended pursuant to 16-303(h), their license is likely suspended as a result of their failure to pay a fine, failure to appear for court, or failing to maintain insurance. The maximum penalty is 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine.
Additionally, an individual will likely receive a citation for possession of a suspended license pursuant to 16-301(J) and a citation for displaying a suspended license pursuant to 16-301(E). Each of these citations carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine.
Under the point system, except as provided otherwise, if the suspension or revocation of a license would affect adversely the employment or opportunity for employment of a licensee, the hearing officer may decline to order the suspension or revocation or modify the suspension or revocation.
Driving Without a License
In the state of Maryland, it is a criminal offense to drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle in Maryland without a license.
Another common traffic offense is driving without a license. Pursuant 16-101, it is illegal to drive without a license. A first offense carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine, while a second offense carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000.00 fine.
Driving with a Revoked License
Another common traffic offense is driving with a revoked license. Pursuant 16-303, it is illegal to drive with a revoked license. A first offense carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000.00 fine, and the maximum penalty for a subsequent offense is two years and a $1,000.00 fine.
Additionally, an individual will likely receive a citation for possession of a revoked license pursuant to 16-301(D) and a citation for displaying a revoked license pursuant to 16-301(I). Each of these citations carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail and a $500.00 fine.
Driving an Uninsured Vehicle in Frederick, Maryland
Maryland State Law requires drivers to carry insurance for any vehicle they own. Failing to maintain insurance can result in a license suspension and carries its own penalties. Pursuant to 17-107, A first offense carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000.00 fine, and the maximum penalty for a subsequent offense is two years and a $1,000.00 fine.
Duty of Driver to Remain at the Scene of an Accident
If involved in a motor vehicle accident that results in bodily injury to another person, each vehicle involved in the accident must immediately stop the vehicle as close as possible to the scene of the accident (without obstructing more traffic than necessary) and return to and remain at the scene of the accident until the driver has complied with the statutory provisions relating to the duty to give information and render aid.
A driver who violates this statute is subject to fines and penalties. If the driver knew, or reasonably should have known that the accident might result in serious bodily injury to another person, and serious bodily injury actually occurred to another person, they are guilty of a felony and if convicted are subject to imprisonment up to five years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Defenses to Traffic Violation Charges in Maryland
As with all criminal charges, the State of Maryland bears the burden of proving an accused individual’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A Wheaton, Maryland traffic defense lawyer can examine the facts surrounding the stop to determine whether the stop was valid. Additionally, a Wheaton, Maryland traffic defense lawyer can work with you in order to negotiate a favorable plea deal.
Fighting traffic violations on your own can be tough. You may have to take time off of work to appear in a hearing. Plus, your ability to successfully avoid fines, jail time, points on your driving record, and other penalties will be limited without a thorough understanding of your legal rights and available defenses under Maryland law.
If you work with our firm, we will conduct an investigation and gather relevant evidence supporting your case. Our goal is to get the ticket dismissed and/or keep any violations of traffic laws off your record.
If you live outside the county or cannot appear on your court date, most of the time you can sign a simple General Power of Attorney (POA) that allows your Howard County traffic lawyer to appear on your behalf to contest the charges in the court and/or negotiate a plea agreement prior to trial. Once your case is heard, and if the verdict is guilty, even on a lesser charge, you must serve any jail sentence and pay whatever fines are levied. If a plea agreement is arranged, you must also fulfill all the conditions of that plea agreement in a timely fashion.
Why Hire Portner & Shure, P.A.?
At Portner & Shure, P.A., our team of trusted, award-winning criminal defense attorneys understands the seriousness of traffic violation charges, and we work hard to secure favorable outcomes for our clients. This is something that can be observed in our numerous five-star reviews from past clients and countless awards and accolades the firm has received over our 25+ years in practice.
We offer free consultations to all prospective clients, so we are happy to answer common questions about your specific case at no obligation to you, such as:
- How many points will be added to my driving record if I am convicted?
- Are my insurance premiums going to increase?
- Will I be placed on probation or face jail time?
- Can employers, landlords, and others find my traffic charge if they do a background check?
- Is my driver’s license in jeopardy?
- How will hiring an attorney help?
We invite you to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our team today. Call (240) 770-0509.
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