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Bethesda Traffic Lawyer

Although a traffic offense can sometimes seem to be a minor charge, the penalties associated with such a charge can often include hefty fines, and the possibility of incarceration. With many different classifications of traffic offenses, it can often be confusing to determine exactly how your charge is to be processed in the legal system. Due to this, it is beneficial to hire an experienced Bethesda traffic lawyer to assist you in determining the best course of action for your particular case.

A knowledgeable lawyer will help ensure that they craft a strong defense that fights for your penalties to either be reduced or dismissed entirely.

Levels of Traffic Offenses

There are two different classifications of offenses in Maryland. The first one is a payable offense, and the second one is a “must appear” offense. Payable offenses are minor traffic offenses, while “must appear” offenses are more serious traffic offenses. A Bethesda traffic attorney can help determine which classification an individual’s charge falls under.

Payable Offense

Examples of payable traffic violations include a speeding ticket, and running a stop sign. These are tickets that a person can plead guilty to, and pay a fine. They do not have to appear in court. Payable traffic tickets are not punishable by jail time. With a payable traffic ticket, there are three options. The person can either pay the fine, plead guilty with an explanation and request a waiver hearing, or plead not guilty and request a trial. If the individual does not pay the fine, they have to request a waiver hearing or trial and appear in person. In any of the three options, the person must respond within 30 days or the MVA is notified and the person’s license may be suspended.

Must Appear Offense

“Must appear” traffic offenses are more serious, and there is a potential for the person to be incarcerated. Examples of “must appear” traffic offenses include a DUI, fleeing and eluding the police, leaving the scene of an accident, or driving with a suspended license. If a person is charged with a “must appear” traffic offense, they cannot just pay the fine. The individual must appear in court on the date and time listed on the citation. Traffic ticket cases are held in the traffic court in the Maryland District Courts.

It is necessary to hire a Bethesda traffic lawyer when an individual receives a traffic citation so that they may explore other options besides paying the citation and suffering the consequences. An attorney will be invaluable for individuals who must appear in court, and will be able to effectively argue the case in front of the judge.

Traffic Infractions

A traffic infraction is any violation in the Maryland Transportation Article. The Maryland Transportation Article is a list of laws that must be followed by all drivers in Maryland. Some of these traffic offenses carry a fine, while others lead to incarceration. A Bethesda traffic attorney can help assess an individual’s case, to determine how to best proceed with the claim. An example of a traffic infraction is speeding, which can be found in the Transportation Article.

Misdemeanor

Like a traffic offense, a traffic misdemeanor is any violation found in the Maryland Transportation Article. Unless there is a civil penalty or the misdemeanor is increased to a felony, misdemeanors can carry a penalty of jail time. Most of the traffic violations are misdemeanors and carry a penalty of 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. For traffic infractions, penalties never include jail time.

Felony

There are specific violations in the Transportation Article that are designated as felonies. What makes them different from a misdemeanor is that the possible jail sentence is higher. Some examples of a traffic felony include a DUI where someone is killed, or automobile manslaughter. In these instances, it is pertinent for any person facing a felony charge to hire a Bethesda traffic attorney to help best defend them in their traffic violation.

Importance of an Attorney

It is important to hire a local Bethesda traffic attorney, because such an attorney will have handled several traffic cases in the area. An experienced lawyer was most likely in traffic courts numerous times per week. As a result, the attorney will know how to minimize the penalties associated with your traffic offense, which may include keeping the points off of your driver’s record.