Understanding Traffic Offenses in Maryland
The Code of Maryland defines all the laws in the state, including all traffic laws. There are several ways a person may unintentionally violate a transportation statute and incur penalties. Different penalties are involved in all the different types of traffic offenses described in the Code. Likewise, there are a variety of methods a person may employ to resolve a traffic offense in the state.
Due to the varying circumstances of each case, it may be beneficial to contact a Baltimore traffic lawyer to understand the nature of the charges. If you have received a citation for a traffic violation, Hillel Traub of The Law Office of Hillel Traub can help you understand what steps you should take to achieve a positive outcome.
Traffic Charges You May Face in Maryland
There are two different types of charges you may face for a traffic violation in Maryland: a minor and a serious traffic infraction. Minor traffic infractions are the least severe violations in the Transportation Code of Maryland. Some examples of minor traffic infractions are:
- Speeding (at 1 to 10 miles per hour over the limit)
- Broken headlight
- Failing to wear a seatbelt
- Failing to use a turn signal
Traffic infractions do not lead to severe consequences such as jail time. You may have to pay a fine, or you can employ a traffic lawyer to help you resolve the matter in such a way that you may avoid points against your license.
Serious Traffic Offenses
Some traffic violations in Maryland are considered “serious” offenses that may lead to more severe sentencing upon a conviction. An example of a serious traffic offense is vehicular manslaughter, which occurs when a person other than the driver is killed as a result of negligent driving. A serious traffic offense may lead to several years of imprisonment and fines in the thousands of dollars.
Payable and Must-Appear Offenses
A person can resolve a payable violation by paying a traffic ticket. He or she does not need to appear in court to take care of a payable crime; however, it’s important to keep in mind that simply paying a ticket is an admission of guilt. A payable traffic offense is not punishable by incarceration.
Payable offenses can be resolved one of three ways: pay the ticket (admit guilt), request a waiver hearing (admit guilt, but explain to the judge the circumstances of the offense), or hire a Baltimore traffic lawyer to fight the ticket. No matter which option you choose, you have just 30 days to respond. If you fail to respond in this time frame, the MVA may suspend your license.
Must-appear offenses are severe violations for which a person risks incarceration if he or she is convicted of the offense. Must-appear traffic offenses include:
- Fleeing and evading police
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Driving with a suspended license
If you are charged with a must-appear traffic violation, you cannot simply pay a fine. You must appear in court on the date and time listed on the notice the MVA sends you by mail. Your best option for fighting a must-appear offense is to align yourself with a competent traffic defense lawyer.
Contact a Baltimore Traffic Attorney Today
If you are unsure about what steps you should take to fight your traffic ticket, Baltimore traffic lawyer Hillel Traub can provide guidance and peace of mind. With over 20 years of experience, he can develop a strategy that will help you overcome your traffic violation. As the former Assistant Attorney General for the MVA, he is beyond qualified to resolve your ticket. Call (410) 580-1100 for a free consultation.