Reckless driving and related charges such as negligent driving, aggressive driving, fleeing and eluding police and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are treated as serious offenses in Maryland, and result in a misdemeanor along with fines or even jail time in case of conviction. In order to protect your reputation, freedom and driving privileges, your best course of action is to hire an experienced Maryland reckless driving lawyer. Such an attorney will use every available resource to build a strong case and improve your chances of receiving a favorable outcome in your upcoming trial.
Reckless Driving Info
Reckless, negligent or impaired driving can result in fines and loss of license. Call (301) 761-4842 to speak with an attorney for a free consultation regarding your charges.
Reckless or Impaired Driving
Reckless or impaired driving is covered by Title 21, Subtitle 9 of the Maryland Transportation Code. According to state transportation code § 21-901, the scope of this subtitle applies throughout the entire state of Maryland, regardless of whether the alleged perpetrator is on or off a highway. Note that the Maryland Transportation Code is separate from the Maryland Criminal Law Code, which covers the aforementioned instances of reckless endangerment.
Maryland Transportation Code § 21-901.1 covers reckless and negligent driving in Maryland. According to this code, reckless driving is defined as driving a motor vehicle with a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of property or other persons, or in a manner that clearly indicates the same.
§ 21-901.1(b) defines negligent driving as driving a motor vehicle in an imprudent or careless manner that endangers the lives of any individuals or the safety of any property.
The difference between reckless and negligent driving can be highly subjective, which is why it’s necessary to have a high-quality Maryland reckless driving lawyer by your side during each stage of the legal process. Your defense attorney will examine every last detail of your case to produce the strongest possible defense and protect your constitutional rights.
A person can be charged with and convicted of aggressive driving if he or she commits at least three of the following offenses simultaneously, or during a continuous period of operating a motor vehicle, according to state transportation code § 21-901.2:
- Exceeding a maximum posted speed limit
- Failing to yield to the right-of-way
- Following too closely behind another vehicle
- Driving on laned roadways
- Passing on the right
- Overtaking and passing a vehicle
- Violating a traffic light
Racking up three violations is easier than it seems. For example, you could receive aggressive driving charges if you follow a vehicle too closely then pass it while violating the speed limit.
Driving Under the Influence
According to Maryland transportation code § 21-902, it is illegal to:
- Drive or attempt to drive while under the influence of alcohol or alcohol per se
- Perform the previous while transporting a minor
- Drive or attempt to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs, or some combination of the two that impairs his or her ability to drive the vehicle safely
- Perform the previous while transporting a minor
According to § 21-902(c)(2), these laws also pertain to individuals who drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol even if they’re legally permitted to take those drugs.
Furthermore, § 21-902(d) makes it illegal to drive under the impairment of a controlled dangerous substance.
Finally, state transportation § 21-902.1 makes it illegal to drive after an arrest for driving under the influence or driving while impaired. Specifically, arrestees may not drive during the 12-hour period after their arrest.
Fleeing or Eluding Police
§ 21-904 makes it illegal to flee police after a visual or audible signal is given, such as an emergency siren or light, or a signal by voice or hand. Once the officer gives a signal to stop while in uniform displaying a badge, you may not willfully fail to stop your vehicle, flee on foot or by any other means. If the fleeing or eluding of an officer results in the bodily injury or death of another person, this is treated as a separate crime according to §21-904(d)(1) and (2) of the Transportation Code.
High Risk Driving by Minor
According to § 21-905, the charge of high-risk driving is applied to any individual under the age of 18 with a provisional driver’s license who commits reckless and negligent driving, aggressive driving or participation in a race or speed contest.
Violation of this code results in suspension of your driver’s license for 6 months upon a first offense, and 12 months for all subsequent offenses.
Penalties for Reckless Driving
The penalties associated with all driving offenses committed in Maryland are covered by Title 27 of the Transportation Code. Specific penalties can vary greatly from court to court, depending on where the alleged crime was committed and the severity of the crime itself.
State Transportation Code § 27-101(a) states that, in general, violating any vehicle law results in a misdemeanor, and a fine of up to $500.00. However, certain circumstances can result in a misdemeanor with fines and a jail sentence, or even a felony with fines and a jail sentence. Driving under the influence convictions work in a similar way, with increasing fines and jail sentences for recidivists.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
If you’ve been charged with reckless driving, driving under the influence or a related crime in Virginia, you owe it to yourself to hire the best legal defense available. A qualified, experienced Maryland reckless driving lawyer will look at the specific details of your case in order to build a strong defense, giving you the best possible chance of receiving a favorable outcome in court — one that ideally involves the lowering or even total dismissal of your charges.
A Maryland reckless driving attorney in your area can help you get a speedy and fair outcome at your trial by being familiar with the local court system. A qualified attorney can help you avoid jail time and plea down serious charges related to reckless driving. Our defense attorneys specializing in reckless driving charges have offices located in the following cities, counties and regions throughout Maryland.
Law enforcement in Baltimore has recently become much more active in stopping suspected impaired and reckless drivers. One sweep in October 2012 resulted in nearly 700 arrests of motorists traveling in Anne Arundel County. Baltimore’s large student population also contributes to an increased number of reckless driving arrests in the area. A qualified Maryland defense attorney in Baltimore can help you get the best possible outcome in addressing your charges.
A Maryland reckless driving attorney in your local area can help you plea down charges, or perhaps get them dismissed. Bethesda is particularly tough on reckless and impaired drivers during the holidays when law enforcement is especially watchful. One crackdown during the holidays in 2011-12 resulted in 317 DUI arrests throughout the Bethesda area after 3,400 traffic stops.
The large student population in College Park, Maryland can contribute to heavy traffic and frequent accidents. If you’ve been charged with reckless driving, a defense attorney in your local area can help you secure lighter penalties. Losing your driver’s license can be a difficult situation in College Park, making a Maryland reckless driving lawyer vital before you go to trial. Click here for more information on our College Park criminal defense team.
One 2005 study by the Maryland Department of Transportation found that motorists in Columbia and other cities in Maryland viewed reckless driving as a more serious threat than drunk driving. As a result, local law enforcement has launched a recent crackdown on suspected reckless or drunk drivers, with the potential to result in an unfair arrest. You can fight reckless driving charges or DUIs in Columbia with an expert Maryland reckless driving lawyer. If you want more details on our Columbia criminal lawyers, follow this link.
Montgomery County District Court tried 5,324 drunk driving cases alone during 2010. Of these. If you are charged with reckless or impaired driving in Montgomery County, a lawyer familiar with the local court system can help you receive the best possible outcome in your case, perhaps before even going to trial. Our page for Montgomery County criminal lawyers is just one click away!
Prince George’s County
Among the 2,206 drunk driving cases tried in 2010 by the Prince George’s County District Court, 185 received probation before judgement and 34 received not guilty verdicts. Many others were transferred to circuit courts. Reckless driving lawyers in Prince George’s County can help you reduce your charges and avoid losing your license. Our attorneys in Bowie, Hyattsville and elsewhere in the County can help you beat the charges you face. More information on our Prince George’s criminal lawyers is available here.
Rockville and Maryland State Police often intensify arrest efforts for suspected reckless or impaired drivers during the holidays, leading to many more arrests in short periods. Rockville also participates in the local Smooth Operator initiative that goes into effect from June 29 to July 7. If you are charged with reckless driving in Rockville, an experienced Maryland attorney can help you fight charges and keep your license.
If you are facing reckless driving charges in Virginia, please visit our Virginia reckless driving lawyers today. Reckless driving is a serious criminal charge in Virginia with the possibility of up to one year in jail. Please visit our Virginia website here.