How Is Negligent Driving Defined in Maryland?

In the state of Maryland, negligent driving is one of the most commonly cited offenses.  It should come as no surprise that being negligent while behind the wheel of a car is very dangerous, leading to thousands of accidents per year.  In fact, data from the Maryland Department of Transportation shows that there were 95,562 automobile crashes in 2020 alone. When you factor negligence into an already dangerous environment on the road, you could be facing serious consequences.

If you are up against a negligent driving charge, our experienced defense attorney at The Law Office of Hillel Traub will fight for you. His previous experience working in the office of the Assistant Attorney General of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration gives him valuable insight as to how negligent driving charges are worked-and how to best defend against them.

What Is Negligent Driving?

In Maryland, negligent driving is the lesser charge relating to a reckless driving situation. According to the Maryland Criminal Code, negligent driving occurs when a person drives in a “careless or imprudent manner” that endangers the life of an individual or any property.

While negligent driving is a less serious charge than reckless driving, there are still penalties that will be assessed. When charged with negligent driving, expect a fine of up to $140, and one point to your driving record. Those penalties are raised if an accident occurs because of negligent driving, doubling the fine to $280 and adding three points to your record.

Examples of Negligent Driving

Because negligent and reckless driving are so closely related, the difference lies in intent. If your behavior while driving was accidental or otherwise out of your control, that is considered negligent.  However, if the behavior was intentional, then it was reckless. Police officers must take this into account when deciding whether to charge you with negligent driving or reckless driving. Negligent driving actions typically present in the following ways.

  • Speeding
  • Swerving
  • Changing lanes excessively
  • Failure to signal properly
  • Failure to yield
  • Aggressive driving
  • Following too closely
  • Running red lights
  • Rolling stops
  • Driving with hazard lights on

Again, it’s important to understand that most of the above actions can potentially rise to the level of reckless driving, especially when they cause damage or injury.  Then, you can expect to not only have a negligent driving charge to deal with, but a more serious reckless driving charge.

Evidence Used in Maryland Negligent Driving Cases

Like most traffic offenses, there is a multitude of evidence that can be used to support the charges. However, this also means that there are ways to defend against the charges, especially if our experienced car accident attorney is on your side. Given our firm’s experience in dealing with negligent driving charges, we have a proven track record of success in defending clients using the following evidence:

  • Proving speed with a speedometer calibration certificate
  • GPS evidence
  • Showing evidence of improper signage
  • Providing evidence of your commitment to safe driving
  • Witness testimony

While this evidence can be crucial to your case, there are also common strategies to employ in your defense, including:

  • You were not the driver of the vehicle.
  • Your driving was merely negligence, not reckless.
  • You were distracted, rather than reckless.
  • The radar gun was not used or correctly calibrated.
  • You were forced to drive negligently.

We are experienced in defending negligent driving charges, but you have to understand that every case is unique.  While the evidence and strategies are tested, just how your case goes depends heavily on the circumstances surrounding your charge.

Work With an Experienced Maryland Negligent Driving Attorney

The cascading effect of a negligent driving charge can have long-term consequences on your ability to get behind the wheel of a car in Maryland. Being faced with such a charge can be a scary prospect, but with an experienced attorney at The Law Office of Hillel Traub fighting for you, it can ease some of your fears. Attorney Hillel Traub is a former lawyer from MVA and has over two decades of experience helping clients just like you.

We give every case the attention it deserves and work tirelessly to find the most effective evidence to support your case. If you have been charged with negligent driving, reach out to our office today by calling (410) 580-1100 or filling out our contact form.