Frederick County Traffic Lawyer
The penalties associated with a traffic charge can often include expensive fines and the possibility of incarceration, even when seen as a minor charge. With many different classifications of traffic offenses, it can be confusing to determine how your charge is going to be processed in the legal system. As such, it is essential to hire an experienced Frederick County traffic lawyer to assist you in determining the best course of action for your particular case.
Types of Offenses
The levels of the traffic offenses in Frederick County include payable and must appear offenses. Payable offenses are minor traffic citations that are not punishable by jail time, such as citations for speeding or running a stop sign. If a person receives a payable citation, they have the option to plead guilty and to pay a fine without going to a hearing.
If a person wants to contest a payable citation, they can request a waiver hearing or trial and appear in-person at a scheduled court hearing. However, regardless of whether an individual chooses to pay the fine or request a hearing, they must take action on a payable citation within 30 days of receiving such a citation. If they fail to do so, the MVA may be notified and their license may be suspended.
Unlike payable citations, must appear traffic offenses are serious citations that come with the possibility of incarceration. Such citations may be issued for driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, leaving the scene of an accident, or fleeing and eluding the police. If a person receives a must appear citation, they do not have the option to simply pay the fine. Instead, they must appear at a scheduled court hearing and should consult with a traffic lawyer in Frederick County as soon as possible. Both payable citations and must appear citations are heard in the Frederick County District Court.
A traffic infraction is a payable minor traffic citation, heard in the District Court. Most minor traffic citations come with at least two points. If a person pays the fine that is listed on the citation that they have received, the point or points associated with that citation will automatically be assessed to their driving record. The fine and point amount depend on the specific payable citation received. If a person requests a waiver hearing or trial and they are not satisfied with the outcome, they have the ability to appeal the judge’s decision and have their case transferred to Circuit Court.
A traffic misdemeanor is a must appear citation. A traffic misdemeanor is different from a traffic infraction due to the penalties involved, and, unlike a traffic infraction, carries a possible jail sentence. Most serious traffic misdemeanors are associated with a maximum penalty of one-year incarceration and/or a $1,000.00 fine. Like traffic infractions, traffic misdemeanors are heard in the District Court. A person has the right to appeal to the Circuit Court if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their hearing at the District Court level.
Specific violations in the Maryland Transportation Article and the Maryland Code are designated as felonies. Traffic felonies are distinct from traffic misdemeanors due to the offenses and penalties involved. For instance, fleeing and eluding the police may be treated as a felony if such actions resulted in a motor vehicle accident in which an individual was seriously injured. Felonies carry more severe penalties, including increased periods of incarceration. An experienced Frederick County traffic lawyer will know how to minimize the penalties associated with your traffic offense, which may include keeping the points off of someone’s driver’s record and keeping insurance premiums down.
Working with a Traffic Attorney
A Frederick County traffic attorney will be able to help someone who is charged with a traffic offense by making sure they are not being unreasonably penalized. They will let someone know options for sentencing with prosecution, if the prosecution is able to prove their case.