Traffic violations can be frustrating. In Maryland, the statutes can often be confusing and, if you are unfamiliar with the legal process, you may find yourself outmatched in the courtroom. This can result in you receiving points on your license and large fines. Our experienced attorneys can help you arm yourself with knowledge of Maryland traffic statutes.
Driving on a Suspended License in Maryland
Many people do not realize how seriously the state of Maryland and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) take charges of driving on a suspended license. Driving on a suspended license in Maryland is a crime punishable by up to $1,000.00 in fines and one year in jail. In fact, repeat offenders can receive up to three years in jail with advanced penalties. Those charged with driving while suspended should contact a lawyer for help.
There are a number of reasons the MVA may suspend or revoke a Maryland driver’s license:
- Failure to appear in court for a minor traffic violation
- Failure to pay a Maryland traffic ticket
- Failure to pay an out-of-state traffic ticket (through the Interstate Compact)
- Too many points accumulated against the license
- Failure to pay child support
- Failure to pay civil judgment related to an automobile accident
If you continue to drive after your license is suspended, you risk a criminal charge and potentially damaging consequences. An attorney can help you avoid jail time and possibly reinstate driving privileges on a limited basis.
Experienced Maryland traffic lawyers have several tools and resources for helping you fight your charge. For example, if the MVA did not appropriately or adequately attempt to notify you of the suspension, your attorney may argue that you had no way of knowing that your license was suspended. Additionally, your Maryland MVA lawyer can dispute the reasons for the suspension or help you take steps to reinstate your license prior to your court date for the Maryland driving on a suspended license charge. Finally, a skilled Maryland traffic attorney may be able to negotiate a plea to a lesser charge in the event that the driving while suspended charge cannot simply be dismissed.
For a consultation and evaluation of your case, contact a Maryland traffic attorney with Price Benowitz. Lawyers at Price Benowitz represent all Maryland traffic violations, including driving on a suspended license, driving with a revoked license, DUI/DWI, and reckless driving.
§ 16-303. Driving while privilege is canceled, suspended, refused, or revoked.
(c) Suspended licenses generally.- A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any property specified in § 21-101.1 of this article while the person’s license or privilege is suspended in this state.
If a driver has had their license suspended, this means the Maryland Vehicle Administration has temporarily withdrawn the driver’s license to drive a motor vehicle. The withdrawal is only for a period of time fixed by the Administration (for example, a driver can have their license suspended for 30 days).
According to subsection (c), if a Maryland driver has had their license or privilege to drive suspended under the laws of Maryland, then they are prohibited to drive a motor vehicle on any Maryland highway or any other Maryland public roads until the suspension is complete.
There are several types of “driving suspended” charges that can be issued. The two driving suspended charges that apply to a suspension within the State of Maryland are 16-303(c) and 16-303(h). Both of these are very serious and the assistance of an attorney is very important.
There are several differences between the two charges. If you are charged with a violation of 16-303(c), the maximum penalty is 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine. Further, it can put 12 points on your driving record, which will revoke your privilege to drive. For a second conviction of 16-303(c), the maximum penalty increases to two years incarceration and/or a $1,000.00 fine. If you are charged with a violation of 16-303(h), the maximum penalty is 60 days in jail and/or a $500.00 fine. Further, it can put three points on your driving record.
The reason for the two different statutes is that there are many different reasons your privilege to drive can be suspended. The reason your license is suspended will determine which charge you are facing. For instance, the 16-303(c) charge would apply if your license is suspended for receiving a DUI, child support issues, failing to attend a driver improvement program, points accumulation, or failure to pay a civil judgment, among a handful of other examples. The 16-303(h) charge would apply if your license was suspended for failure to pay a traffic ticket/fine, failure to appear in court for a ticket, and/or failure to maintain insurance. The officer will likely issue you tickets for both charges. This is because when they check your license status, if it comes back as “suspended,” the officer is not told the reason for the suspension. He or she will likely issue tickets for both to ensure the state can proceed on whichever charge may apply in your case.
Many people do not realize they are technically being arrested when they are charged with the crime of driving on a suspended license. This is because police officers have the ability to “discretionarily release” you on the side of the road once the ticket has been issued. If they choose this option, you are not taken to the police station to be booked and processed like a standard arrest. Also, you are generally never handcuffed or put in the back of a police car. Instead, you are being released upon your promise to see a commissioner and appear in court when notified to do so. However, it is very important to understand that although you were not taken to the police station, you have still technically been arrested and charged with a serious crime.
Driving Without Insurance in Maryland
Driving without car insurance in Maryland is not only a bad idea, it is also a criminal violation that could carry very strict penalties. If you are caught driving without insurance in Maryland, you face criminal charges that can lead to fines of up to $1,000.00 and a maximum of one year in jail on the first offense. You could also receive five points against your driver’s license. After accumulating too many points, your license can be suspended or revoked, in addition to your insurance rates going up. Maryland Driving without Insurance charges should not to be taken lightly. If you are charged as an uninsured motorist, contacting a lawyer can help minimize the impact on your life.
Even if you are never caught driving your uninsured vehicle, simply allowing the insurance to lapse leads to automatic fines in Maryland. You can be fined a maximum of $2,500.00 each year the car is uninsured, even if you never drive the vehicle. Additionally, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) can suspend your registration and prevent you from registering any other vehicles until all insurance obligations are met.
Our attorneys know how to defend you against the criminal charge of driving without insurance; we understand that a conviction for such a seemingly small violation can have serious impact – legally, financially, and professionally. If you are charged with driving without insurance in Maryland, contact us as soon as you possibly can for a free consultation with a Maryland traffic lawyer who can explain your options.
Driving without insurance may seem like a victimless crime, but if you were to ever get into a car accident and you don’t have representation to cover the costs of any expense you are responsible for, it could be a huge problem both for you and any of the other drivers involved. If you don’t have insurance on your vehicle, don’t wait until an accident or until a criminal charge to take action.
Driving an Unregistered Vehicle in Maryland
Both Maryland law and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) require the registration of all operable vehicles. If an individual drives an unregistered vehicle, or allows an unregistered vehicle to be driven, he or she faces fines and other potential restrictions. A Maryland driving without registration citation is a serious matter that needs to be addressed quickly to avoid future restrictions on one’s driver’s license and driving privileges. If you have been cited for driving without registration, an experienced lawyer can help.
The Maryland transportation code states that it is a criminal misdemeanor to drive or knowingly allow a vehicle to be driven without registration, whether the vehicle was never registered, has expired plates, or the registration was suspended or revoked.
If you are ticketed for driving without registration in Maryland, contact an attorney who has experience representing clients against similar charges to discuss your options. If you are the owner of the unregistered vehicle, the state must prove that you knowingly allowed the car or truck to be driven.
There are a number of reasons that a vehicle may not be registered. One may simply fail to register a vehicle within the designated time frame or mistakenly let the registration lapse. If you have an outstanding Maryland warrant, you may be apprehensive about registering a vehicle for fear that your appearance at the MVA will lead to an arrest. Regardless of your circumstance, a skilled Maryland traffic lawyer can evaluate the citation for operating an unregistered vehicle to let you know if you have a case for fighting the complaint. For a free consultation, please contact us to speak to a qualified and aggressive attorney about how they may be able to help you.
You might think that driving without registration is not a problem until you are involved in an accident or if you are in need of your insurance company. But the truth is that if you are pulled over by police and found to be without insurance registration for your vehicle, you could be facing some serious penalties in the state of Maryland. Please contact us today for more information about what specific penalties you could be facing, and the best ways for you to go about fighting the charges.
If you are seeking information or representation regarding traffic violations or reckless driving in the Commonwealth of Virginia, please visit our Virginia office’s website here to learn more.