Maryland Driving Point System
If a person is convicted of a violation that is in the Maryland Transportation Article and either the Maryland District Court or Circuit Court notifies the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) of that conviction. The MVA then assesses the number of points associated with the traffic offense to the person’s driving record.
The Maryland Annotated Code or the Code of Maryland Regulations identifies the number of points assigned to each violation. Most moving violations a person receives in Maryland will come with at least two points automatically put onto their driver’s record, if the individual pays the fine and does not contest it. With that said, it is important to minimize the number of points on a driver’s record because an accumulation of points can lead to severe consequences on one’s insurance rates or even one’s livelihood if someone is a commercial driver. In this regard, a Maryland traffic lawyer can help by building a strong defense and ensuring that points are minimized as much as possible.
Longevity of Demerit Points
Points remain on a person’s record until they are expunged by the MVA after the violation. After two years from the violation date, the points are no longer current. Insurance companies or employers can see how many points are on a person’s record because the records are public information for three years from when the violation occurred.
The points are removed automatically after three years if the person has not committed another moving violation or other criminal offense involving a motor vehicle. However, during the three-year period the driver’s license must not have been suspended or revoked, and they must never have been convicted of driving while intoxicated, fleeing the scene of an accident, or any similar violation.
Effects of Point Accumulation
The number of points a person accumulated over the previous three years will determine what action the MVA takes. Whenever the MVA adds more points to a record, they review the driver’s records and the number of points the person accumulated.
If the person accumulated three to four points, the MVA sends a warning letter. The warning letter states that more serious measures will be taken by the MVA if another infraction occurs.
If someone accumulates five to seven points, they are required to enroll in and complete a driver improvement program. These are offered across the state by various third-party companies and the fees may vary depending on which company the person uses.
If a driver accumulates eight to eleven points, they will receive a notice of suspension. If they accrued 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 the required period of time is completed, they must go to the MVA to apply for a new license.
Regarding suspension, a person may receive either a Notice of Point Suspension or a Notice of Suspension. A Notice of Point Suspension means that they have accumulated 8, 9, 10, or 11 points, but the points are not from alcohol or drug-related violations. Upon receiving this notice they have two options. First, the driver can accept the suspension and return their last-issued driver’s license to the MVA, no later than the suspension date on the notice. If late in returning a license, the suspension period will be extended by the number of days that were delayed. Second, the driver may also request a hearing. If they want to request a hearing to explain why the suspension should not be imposed, they must complete and return the notice and the filing fees within 15 days from the notice date.
The Notice of Suspension means that a driver accumulated 8, 9, 10, or 11 points and at least one of the convictions is for an alcohol or drug-related violation. Upon receiving this notice, there may be three options. The suspension can be accepted, a hearing can be requested, or the driver can apply to participate in the Ignition Interlock program. Participation in the Ignition Interlock program prevents the driver’s license from being suspended, but driving privileges are restricted.
A Maryland Point System Lawyer can Help
A Maryland point system lawyer can help by ensuring the best possible outcome for a driver’s case, and by making arguments on their behalf that may result in the number of points assessed to a driver’s record being reduced, or being waived altogether.