Rockville Criminal Lawyer
The severity of a traffic offense depends on the specific charge being alleged. Examples of minor traffic offenses include following another vehicle too closely, not wearing a seatbelt, operating a vehicle with an improper class of license, and speeding. Examples of major traffic offenses include reckless driving, fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, driving under the influence, and leaving the scene of a collision.
If you are currently facing a traffic charge in Rockville, it is critical that you have legal representation. Consult with a Rockville traffic lawyer immediately to begin mounting a case to help lessen or dismiss any penalties associated with your charge.
Traffic infractions are payable minor traffic citations. An individual who is charged with a traffic infraction may either pay the associated fine or request a trial and plead not guilty or request a waiver hearing and plead guilty with an explanation.
Such citations are heard in the Montgomery County District Court. Most minor traffic citations are associated with at least two points. If an individual pays the fine listed on the citation, the points associated with the citation will automatically be assessed to their driver’s record.
If an individual chooses to contest the citation, the points will not be assessed unless they are found guilty of the offense at the scheduled trial or hearing. If they are not satisfied with the outcome of that trial hearing, they have the ability to appeal the judge’s decision and have their case transferred to the Montgomery County Circuit Court, where they should enlist the help of a Rockville traffic attorney to help ensure a favorable outcome.
Misdemeanor Traffic Offense
Traffic misdemeanors are “must appear” citations, meaning that an individual who is charged with a traffic misdemeanor is required to appear at a scheduled court hearing. Unlike traffic infractions, traffic misdemeanors carry possible jail sentences upon conviction.
Most serious traffic misdemeanors are associated with a maximum penalty of one year of incarceration and/or a $1,000 fine. These penalties can be effectively defended using a Rockville traffic attorney.
Traffic misdemeanors are heard in the Montgomery County District Court. If an individual is not satisfied with the outcome of their hearing, they have the right to appeal the decision to the Montgomery County Circuit Court.
Driving on a Suspended License
Driving on a suspended license is taken extremely seriously in Maryland and can result in misdemeanor charges. This means it can result in a $1,000.00 fine and a year in jail. However, repeat offenses can increase the period of incarceration to three years.
People’s licenses can be suspended for a variety of reasons, including:
- Failing to appear in court for a traffic violation
- Failing to pay a traffic ticket
- Accumulating too many traffic points
- Failing to pay child support
- Driving under the influence
There are many potential defenses available to this offense. Therefore, it could be beneficial to speak with a Rockville attorney when facing a traffic violation of driving on a suspended license.
Felony Traffic Offenses
Traffic felonies are more serious offenses than traffic infractions and misdemeanors. Examples of traffic felonies include vehicular homicide, multiple driving under the influence convictions, and hit and run.
Felonies are associated with more severe penalties, including increased periods of incarceration and greater fines. Like traffic infractions and traffic misdemeanors, traffic felonies are heard in the Montgomery County Circuit Court and an individual does have the right to appeal their conviction with the assistance of a traffic attorney in Rockville.
Out of State Drivers
Rockville does not use the uniform demerit point system. The State of Maryland is involved in the Driver License Compact Program, which guides the MVA’s actions. This means that Maryland will notify an out-of-state driver’s home state if they are cited for violating any traffic laws in Maryland.
The Maryland Annotated Code, or the Code of Maryland Regulations, identifies the number of points assigned to each offense. These points remain on an individual’s driver’s record until they are expunged by the MVA. After two years from the conviction date, the points associated with that conviction are no longer considered current. However, such points remain public record, and may be seen by an insurance company or an employer, for up to three years after the conviction.