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Consequences of Columbia Demerit Points

Although one or two points on a license may seem insignificant, accumulating too many demerit points in Columbia could land you in big trouble. Along with the fines associated with it, enough demerit points can lead to driving correction programs, license suspension, and restricted driving privileges. However, with the right Columbia demerit point system attorney by your side, you can rest assured that your case will be taken seriously, and will be given the attention it needs. A traffic attorney can help in minimizing any potential penalties associated with accumulating an abundance of demerit points.

Accumulating Too Many Points

Depending on how many demerit points a person has accumulated over the previous two years, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will serve up varied consequences. Whenever the MVA adds demerit points to a person’s record, they review the individual’s driving record for the number of points the person has accumulated.

If the person accumulated three to four points, the MVA sends them a warning letter. The warning letter tells them that more stern measures will be taken by the MVA if they receive another infraction. If someone accumulates five to seven points, they are required to enroll and complete a driver improvement program.

These programs are offered across the state by various third party companies, and the fees may vary depending on which company the person uses. If someone accumulates eight to eleven points, they receive a notice of suspension. If they accrue 12 or more points, they receive a notice of revocation, which means that they must give up their driver’s license to an MVA office. Once that period of time is complete, they must go to the MVA to apply for a new license.

Suspension

In regards to suspensions on Columbia, an individual may receive either a Notice of Point Suspension or a Notice of Suspension. The Notice of Point Suspension means that eight to eleven points have been accumulated, but the points are not from alcohol or drug-related violations.

Upon receiving this notice, a person has two options:

  • Accepting the suspension: This requires the individual to return their last issued driver’s license to the MVA no later than the suspension date on the notice. If the individual is late in returning the license, the suspension period will be extended by the number of days that it had been delayed.
  • Requesting a hearing. If an individual wants to request a hearing to explain why the suspensions should not be imposed, they must complete and return the notice and filing fee within 15 days from the notice date.

The Notice of Suspension means that eight to eleven points have been accumulated, and at least one conviction is for an alcohol or drug-related violation. Upon receiving this notice, the consequences of such Columbia demerit points are laid out: accepting the suspension, requesting a hearing, or applying to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program.

If an individual participates in the Ignition Interlock Program, their license will not be suspended but their driving privileges will be restricted.

Long Term Impacts

In the long term, an individual’s insurance company could drop them, or increase their premium depending on the number of points they have on their license. If a person’s license is suspended or revoked, they no longer have the ability to drive anywhere.

Challenging Points

One option in challenging demerit points in Columbia is to request a trial. A trial gives the person the opportunity to challenge a traffic ticket. The majority of people prefer to hire a traffic ticket lawyer to defend them in court. Once an individual requests a trial date, a notice is sent to their address that identifies the date and time of the hearing. A person can also request a change in the date by contacting the Howard County District Court. If the verdict is not in the person’s favor, they can appeal the decision after 30 days.

Another option is to request a waiver hearing in which the accused person would plead guilty with an explanation. This gives the person an opportunity to explain their version of events to the judge, and possible reduce the consequences of their demerit points in Columbia. They can also look for a reduction in fees, for probation instead of the conviction, and a waiver of the points associated with the violation. The decision is always at the discretion of the judge.

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