Traffic Violations in Maryland State Courts
Traffic violations, in general terms, can be divided into two main categories: serious traffic violations and non-jailable violations. The most important difference between them is that you “Must Appear” in court for any alleged serious traffic violation or citation because of the potential for jail or prison time. Failure to appear in court for a “Must Appear” serious traffic citation almost always results in a bench warrant being issued for the person’s arrest as well as a suspension of your driver’s license or privilege to drive.
Non-jailable violations however give you the option of prepaying a fine for the citation without going to the courthouse for a hearing before a judge. The prepayment option is available because there is no possibility of incarceration. Prepaying a non-jailable traffic citation, however, insures that you that you will receive whatever points are assigned to your violation without an opportunity for a reduction.
Failure to appear in the District Court of Maryland for a non-jailable traffic citation generally results in a suspension of your driver’s license or privilege to drive in Maryland. Drivers licensed in other states who fail to appear for Serious or non-jailable traffic violations may have their privilege to drive suspended in the state in which they are licensed depending on a number of factors.
Do guilty verdicts for Traffic Violations always result in points?
If you are found guilty of certain serious or non-jailable traffic offenses in Maryland, one or more points (the most possible being twelve points for any Maryland state violation) will be assessed against your driving record unless you receive the benefit of a “Probation Before Judgment” also known as a (P.B.J.) disposition from the Court. In Maryland State Court and under some applicable Federal law, judges may, in certain circumstances, grant defendants “Probation Before Judgment”. This P.B.J. disposition, which may only be granted by a Judge during a court hearing or as the result of a motion, insures that no points can be assessed against an individual’s Maryland driving record. Whether you qualify or are likely to receive this disposition depends on a variety of factors that an experienced traffic attorney can explain. Out of State drivers interested in the benefits should seek the counsel of a traffic defense attorney licensed in their particular state to see what effect a “Probation Before Judgment” disposition granted by a court in Maryland will have on their driving record in their particular state.
You should hire an experienced traffic lawyer if charged with a serious “Must Appear” traffic citation because: The State and Federal Government will utilize their substantial resources, including a staff of trained and experienced attorneys, in prosecuting their serious “Must Appear” traffic violation case against you. Moreover, a conviction for a serious traffic offense can result in jail, prison time, substantial fines, and points that can trigger a suspension and/or revocation of your driver's license. It may also result in an increase in your insurance rates. Young or new drivers on a Provisional License under the Graduated License System face additional possible ramifications due to separate laws specifically applicable to them. Serious “Must Appear” traffic cases have numerous potential technical issues and defenses that an experienced traffic lawyer can utilize in successfully defending your case.
William A. Stavros is experienced in both serious and non-jailable traffic cases in both the State and Federal Courts. He has over twenty years of courtroom trial experience and has represented thousands of people in court. He understands what your liberty and your continued ability to drive a motor vehicle mean to you. William A. Stavros will make sure that applicable defenses helpful to your case are put before the court in order to protect your license, liberty and reputation. Contact William A. Stavros by calling (410) 825-3300 or (410) 739-0794.
Traffic Violations in the Federal Courts in Maryland
Traffic violations on federal property in Maryland are subject to federal procedural rules and are administered by the federal courts. Some serious “Must Appear” jailable federal traffic offenses carry the same potential penalties as if the violation were committed on non-federal property in Maryland. While some other serious jailable federal traffic offenses similar to their state court counterparts carry both different potential jail time and other sanctions. The law in this area is complicated and requires the assistance of an attorney experienced at handling serious “must Appear” jailable federal traffic violations.
Some traffic violations that are non-jailable violations in Maryland state courts carry potential jail time under certain provisions of federal law in Maryland. Different federal laws apply to different federal properties; It all depends on where your traffic violation allegedly occurred. For example a speeding ticket that allegedly occurs on Aberdeen Proving Ground, the Naval Academy or Fort Meade is only subject to the potential penalties provided for under Maryland state law; this means there is no possibility of jail time. If, however, that same speeding ticket occurred on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway you may be subject to potential jail time depending upon the circumstances. Failure to appear for traffic violations in federal court may not only result in the suspension of your driver’s license but may also result in a bench warrant for your arrest.
Maryland State and Federal Court serious “Must Appear” traffic offense services include but are not limited to:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI / DWI)
- Driving While Suspended
- Driving While Revoked
- Driving Without a License
- Possessing a Suspended, Revoked or Cancelled License
- Possessing a Fraudulent or Fictitious License
- Loaning a license to Another
- Driving Without Insurance
- DUI Manslaughter
- DUI Serious Bodily Injury
- Fleeing and Eluding
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident (Hit and Run)
- Violation of Rental Agreement
- Altered or Forged Documents or Plates
When issued a citation for a serious traffic matter your legal rights can be prejudiced by delay; it is therefore essential that you take your case seriously and hire an attorney as soon as possible. William A. Stavros pays careful attention to the unique circumstances of your background and individual situation to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome for your particular case. Initial consultations are free and our fees are reasonable. Contact William A. Stavros so that we can start discussing your traffic charges and possible options and defenses.
Non-Jailable traffic violations in Maryland State Court
If you hire an attorney for a "Maryland State jurisdiction" non-jailable traffic case you may not have to appear for Court as your lawyer may appear in court on your behalf without your presence. Whether or not this is advisable depends upon your particular situation. An experienced traffic attorney can advise you in this regard.
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (M.V.A.) may seek to suspend, revoke, disqualify, cancel or refuse your license. This may result from a stop for an alleged DUI or DWI, an accumulation of points or other alleged violations. It is important to consult with an experienced lawyer as soon as possible about your situation to determine the appropriate course of action for your particular circumstances. A quick response is almost always required to meet the strict deadlines necessary to insure a hearing.
William A. Stavros is experienced at handling Motor Vehicle Administrative Hearings (M.V.A. Hearings). Contact William A. Stavros so that we can start discussing the best course of action to help you keep your driver's license or privilege to drive.
William A. Stavros serves the entire Eastern Shore, including Ocean City, through his office in Centreville, Maryland. He serves the Baltimore Metropolitan area and surrounding counties, including the Maryland D.C. suburbs from his office in Towson, Maryland.