Columbia Traffic Lawyer
A traffic infraction is any violation of the Maryland Transportation Article. The Maryland Transportation Article is a list of laws that must be followed. Some of the traffic offenses carry a fine, while others could be incarcerable. There are two different traffic offenses in Columbia, the first one is a payable offense and the second one is a must-appear offense.
Payable offenses are minor traffic offenses and must appear offenses are more serious traffic offenses that include misdemeanor or felony criminal charges. Payable traffic violation examples include a speeding ticket, running a stop sign, and improper turning. These are tickets that a person can plead guilty to, pay a fine, and do not have to appear in court.
No matter which one you may be facing, it is important to contact a Columbia traffic lawyer to discuss building a defense to avoid the most serious penalties. To learn more about the first steps you should take, consult with an attorney in Columbia today. En Español.
Payable Traffic Offenses
Payable traffic tickets are not punishable by jail time, however they will cause demerit points to accrue on an individual’s license. With payable traffic tickets, the charged has three options: the person can pay the fine, plead guilty with an explanation and request a waiver hearing, or plead not guilty and request a trial.
If they do not pay the fine, the individual or their traffic attorney in Columbia has to request a waiver hearing or a trial and must appear in person. With any of the three options, the person must respond within 60 days or the Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA) is notified and the person’s license may be suspended.
Paying the Fine
If an individual receives a payable citation, a person can pay the fine that is pre-set on the ticket without having to appear at a scheduled court date in front of a judge. For the purpose of their driving record, paying the ticket has the same consequence as pleading guilty or being found guilty because the person is essentially admitting they violated a specific Maryland traffic law.
The penalties are automatically assessed to their driver’s record. If the violation has points as part of the penalty, the points will automatically appear on their driver’s record.
Must-Appear Traffic Offenses
Must-appear traffic offenses are more serious and there is a potential for the person to be incarcerated. Examples of must-appear traffic offenses are DUI, fleeing and eluding the police, leaving the scene of an accident, or driving on a suspended license.
If a person is charged with a must-appear traffic offense, they cannot just pay a fine and should consult with a Columbia traffic lawyer immediately. They must appear in court on the day and time listed on the citation. Columbia traffic ticket cases are held in traffic court in the Howard County District Court
The penalties for traffic offenses include a fine that can be as small as $50. If the person is traveling 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limit, the fine can be close to $300. Most of the traffic infractions are moving violations with points assigned to the specific violation. Whenever a driver violates one of those moving violations, points are assessed to their driving records.
Appealing a Conviction
A person can appeal a traffic infraction conviction. If they do not like the outcome of the case, they have a right to appeal to the Howard County Circuit Court. In Maryland, the appeal would be de novo, meaning the person would be getting a brand new trial. The state would then have to prove their case against the defendant for the second time.
How an Attorney Can Help
A Columbia traffic attorney will have handled several Maryland traffic cases meaning that he or she was in traffic court for numerous times per week.
Due to this, the attorney will know how to minimize the penalties associated with their type of traffic offense, which may include keeping the points off of your driver’s record.