Maryland law treats certain traffic and license and insurance related offenses quite seriously. In fact there are nearly 40 traffic and licensing related offenses that can be dealt with harshly in court. It's common knowledge you can get in to some trouble for have a suspended license, or not having the proper insurance. Many drivers may not be aware that
You face jail time for these offenses.
Most of us tend to not treat ordinary traffic citations seriously. If you are given a citation for speeding, or not stopping at a sign, absent special circumstances- why would you? The common course of action is to simply pay the fine, and move on. If you are concerned about your insurance, plead not guilty, go to court, then plead guilty with an explanation.
Some offenses, although falling under the heading "traffic" are different. In some settings, these offenses are labeled "serious", and indeed the consequences can be just that.
A more appropriate designation is "incarcerable traffic offenses". This means, if convicted, you could be sentenced to time in jail or prison and subject to substantial fines.
The advice rendered here deals with these more serious offenses. You must initially be prepared to deal with the direct impact of a finding of guilt: fines and the possibility of jail time. Convictions also have collateral consequences- points on your license or an increase in insurance rates. Too many points will lead to a suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. Also, new drivers who are in the Graduated License System are subject to additional penalties under different laws that are specifically applicable to them.
If you have been charged with a serious/incarcerable traffic defense, nothing is more important that an immediate exploration of potential defenses to the charge with an experienced attorney.
Common Serious Traffic Offenses
Driving with a suspended license
Driving without a license
Driving without insurance
DUI serious bodily injury
Fleeing and eluding
Leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run)
Altered or forged documents or plates
If you are issued a citation for a serious traffic offense, it is imperative to speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
As an experienced criminal defense lawyer, I will assess the strength of the State's case and its ability to prove the case at trial. I will also advise you on extrajudicial steps you can take that may lessen any penalty, and, if possible, give you an informed opinion on how a particular judge typically views similar cases. If you're facing a serious traffic charge, especially if it’s not your first offense, contact me today to schedule a complimentary analysis of the charge, and informed discussion of your case.