Germantown, Silver Spring and throughout Montgomery County, Maryland Traffic Violation Lawyers Assisting Clients Facing Minor or Serious Traffic Violations
Being stopped by a police officer and given a traffic ticket may seem like a small inconvenience, but unpaid tickets for traffic violations can actually grow into a major headache. If you received a ticket for a traffic violation, it is best not to ignore it. Our attorneys explain how traffic violations work in Maryland and your options for contesting the ticket or defending yourself from a possible misdemeanor conviction.
What Is the Difference Between a Minor and a Serious Traffic Violation in Maryland?
The main difference between a minor and a serious traffic violation is the possibility of jail time. A minor traffic violation may require you to pay a preset fine and may also result in points added to your driving record. However, a minor traffic violation does not carry the possibility of jail time. Some examples of minor traffic violations are speeding at 1 to 10 miles over the limit, not wearing a seatbelt, driving with a broken headlight, or failing to use a turn signal when required.
A person charged with a serious traffic violation may end up facing the possibility of more severe sentencing if convicted, depending on the specifics of what this person is being charged with. For example, a driver may be convicted of vehicular manslaughter after engaging in reckless or negligent driving and accidentally killing someone. This type of offense may result in payment of expensive fines and possible jail time.
Will I Get Points on My Driving Record After Receiving a Ticket?
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has a “points” system that assigns a numerical value for different types of moving violations. The system is meant to monitor how safe a certain driver is while giving unsafe drivers a chance to improve before any harsher penalties are imposed.
Drivers who end up accumulating too many points in two years may face several penalties, ranging from mandatory attendance to driver improvement classes to license suspension and revocation. It is also worth mentioning that receiving a single point may often result in more expensive insurance premiums. In Maryland, points usually stay on your record for two years following the date when the violation occurred.
When you receive a ticket for a traffic violation, you may be required to pay a fine. Certain violations may require you to appear in court. A payable offense can simply be resolved by paying the fine and any associated fees, but may also be considered an admission of guilt. Therefore, paying the fine for the traffic violation you are being ticketed for may result in the addition of points to your record. The only possibility of avoiding points is to appear in court and try to fight the traffic violation ticket with the help of an attorney.
How Can You Beat a Traffic Ticket in Maryland?
In some cases, it may be worth fighting back and disputing a traffic violation ticket with the help of an attorney. This may be feasible when you already have points on your driving record and wish to try and avoid another conviction that may result in losing your driving privileges. You may also want to dispute your traffic ticket simply because you believe it is incorrect and that the officer made a mistake. Whatever your reason may be, your first step should be to consult a Maryland traffic violations lawyer to learn your options.
Your attorney may want to dispute the evidence the state is presenting against you. The state has the burden of proof to show that you did commit the violation you are being accused of, and even though the state may not need to produce as much evidence as in a criminal case, they still need to show some proof that you were speeding or committing a similar offense.
Another possibility for fighting a traffic violation ticket is to question the legality of the traffic stop. An officer should have enough probable cause to conduct a traffic stop. The police cannot pull you over without sufficient reason to do so. For example, an officer can conduct a traffic stop after observing that a driver just passed by going 20 mph over the speed limit while not wearing a seatbelt, but the officer may not stop someone just because of their race (racial profiling). Any evidence gathered after an illegal traffic stop is not likely to be admissible in court. Your attorney can analyze your case and the circumstances that led to a ticket being issued and can advise you on ways you can fight back.
Why Should I Hire an Attorney for a Traffic Violation Case?
Before simply paying for your ticket and receiving points on your record, it may be worthwhile to speak to a Maryland traffic violations attorney. Some tickets can be dismissed with the proper defense strategy, thus saving you from the headache of having points and a violation added to your driving record. An attorney can also negotiate with the state and argue that, for example, you may be willing to pay the fine if the state agrees to downgrade your offense to a less serious category. There are multiple options to fight a traffic violation ticket, and a well-versed attorney can be essential in helping you achieve a positive outcome for your case.
At Paré & Associates, LLC, our attorneys have assisted many clients dealing with traffic violations in Germantown, Silver Spring and throughout Montgomery County, Maryland and surrounding areas. If you were pulled over and given a ticket, speak to our attorneys first before taking any further action. Call Paré & Associates, LLC today at (301) 962-2492 to schedule a free consultation.