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Montgomery County Speeding Ticket Lawyer
Depending on how much over the speed limit a driver was traveling, speeding offenses in Maryland can be serious and carry a number of short and long-term consequences. For a first offense, fines may reach up to $500 and carry a license suspension. In addition, a speeding ticket conviction may lead to an increase in an individual’s insurance rates, and points on an individual’s license.
With these consequences in mind, it is important those accused of speeding consult with a Montgomery County speeding ticket lawyer to minimize penalties and much as possible and ensure that their rights are protected. A defense attorney can assist both in protecting an individual’s privilege to drive and minimizing any criminal consequences as much as possible.
Deciding When to Go to Court
For minor traffic violations, a person can pay the fine that is pre-set on the ticket without having to appear at one of the Montgomery County District Courts in front of a judge. However, paying the ticket has the same consequences as pleading guilty or being found guilty because by paying an individual is essentially admitting that they violated the specific Maryland law. Therefore when a fine is paid, the penalties are automatically added 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.
If someone believes they are not guilty of any offense, the only way to challenge the ticket is to go to court. Even if the person does not have a defense to the ticket, there is still a possibility of the ticket being dismissed if the officer or witness does not show up on the scheduled court date. A Montgomery County speeding ticket lawyer can help walk you through the process, and argue on your behalf in front of a judge.
Even if the person is guilty but has an explanation an attorney may be able to mitigate the violation, they can go to court and explain their version of the events. The judge may reduce the fine, amend the charge, reduce the points, or have the points erased completely. The person will also have the opportunity to possibly be granted a Probation Before Judgment so that they receive no points.
Proving a Driver’s Speed
An officer will try to prove that the driver was speeding in Montgomery County by using the technique of pacing, radar, or LIDAR. With the pacing technique, the officer must maintain a constant distance between the police vehicle and the suspect’s car long enough to make a reasonably accurate estimate of its speed.
In regards to the radar technique, radar uses radio waves reflected off of a moving object, which would be the individual’s car, to determine its speed. Radar units generate their waves with a transmitter. Once the waves bounce off the car, they are picked up and amplified by a receiver so they can be analyzed. The officer is then able to read the analysis on the device’s screen.
Finally, the LIDAR technique requires a detector using a low-powered beam of laser light, which bounces off the suspect’s vehicle and returns to a receiver in the unit. The unit will electronically calculate the speed of the driver’s vehicle, and can be read by the officer on the device’s screen. Depending on which technique was used to catch the driver in question, a speeding ticket attorney in Montgomery County may be able to build a defense.
Driving Point System
There are points assessed to the person’s driving record depending on how much over the speed limit the person was going. If they were traveling 1-9 miles per hour over the speed limit, they will be assessed 1 point. If traveling 10-19 miles per hour over the speed limit, they will be assessed 2 points. If traveling 20 to 29 miles per hour over the speed limit, they will be assessed 2 points with a higher fine. If traveling 30-39 miles per hour over the speed limit, they will be assessed 5 points. If traveling 40 miles per hour or above over the speed limit, they will be assessed 5 points with a higher fine.
Advantages of an Attorney
An experienced Montgomery County speeding ticket lawyer will understand the specific driving laws in Maryland and will use his or her knowledge to achieve the best outcome possible. An attorney may be able to help you use the appropriate defenses, such as inaccurate pacing techniques, to get a waiver of points and/or fines from your Montgomery County speeding ticket.