Responding to a Maryland Traffic Ticket
Maryland drivers have three options for responding to a traffic ticket. A person facing a ticket has just thirty (30) days to decide how they will resolve the ticket. If you currently face a citation for a traffic violation in the Baltimore metro area, you don’t have much time to make an informed choice.
At The Law Office of Hillel Traub, P.A., we have extensive experience helping Maryland drivers resolve citations for a multitude of traffic offenses and violations. Our goal is to ensure you have the information and tools necessary to make the decision that is best for you.
Three Ways to Respond to a Traffic Ticket in Maryland
When responding to a ticket in Maryland, your options are fairly limited:
- Pay the fine
- Request a waiver hearing
- Request a trial
It’s important to choose your method carefully. While paying the fine outright seems like the most convenient option, there are negative consequences to doing so.
Paying the Fine
If you choose to pay the fine, you will pay exactly what is printed on the ticket with no chance of reduction. You may be fined up to the statutory maximum for the violation, which is a sum of $500.00 for most tickets. Additionally, paying the fine is an admission of guilt that leads to a conviction on your driving record and an assessment of points against your license.
Requesting a Waiver Hearing in Maryland
A waiver hearing is an opportunity to explain the circumstances that led to your ticket to a judge. By requesting a waiver hearing, you admit guilt and notify the court that it won’t be necessary to subpoena the officer who issued your ticket, as he does not need to be present at the hearing. The judge will listen to your explanation of events and decide what the punishment should be. He or she may decide to reduce your fine.
You must still pay the fine and associated court fees. The judge may also grant a Probation Before a Judgment, which keeps your ticket off your driving record. There are no points against your license and your insurance company will not find out about the citation.
Requesting a Trial
Those who request a trial plead “not guilty” to the traffic violation. At The Law Office of Hillel Traub, P. A., we recommend this method in nearly all traffic cases. When you request a trial, you demand that the state prove you are guilty of the offense or violation beyond a reasonable doubt.
The judge may find you not guilty of the crime. When this occurs, there is essentially no more ticket. You will not have to take any further action and the ticket does not appear on your record.
If the judge finds you guilty of the offense, you proceed to sentencing the same way you would had you requested a waiver hearing. The most important benefit of requesting a trial is that this is the only way to enter a “not guilty” plea and be found not guilty.
Avoiding the Worst Penalties
Your best chance of avoiding the worst penalties for a traffic ticket in the Baltimore metro area is to seek legal representation from a traffic violation defense lawyer. When you fight a traffic ticket in court, you can potentially avoid points against your license, steep fines, and increased insurance rates. Having served as an Assistant Attorney General for the MVA, Hillel Traub has the dedicated experience you need to put up a fight. Call 410-580-1100 for a free consultation.