In Maryland, traffic offenses are divided into two categories, Payable and "must appear." "Must appear" offenses are those that are punishable by a jail sentence, such as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving on a suspended license. Payable traffic offenses are most speeding violations. Other common violations include:
Maryland tracks all moving traffic violations on a point system, and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) may suspend your license for the accumulation of points. Paying the fine without appearing in court is an admission of guilt and your insurance premiums may go up significantly, or your insurance could be cancelled as a result.
Many people simply pay the fine in order to avoid appearing in court. However, the Law Offices of Terence Garvey can challenge minor violations on many grounds.
If you citation is marked "must appear," you must appear in court, even if you intend to plead guilty. This is the case with most major traffic offenses, such as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or driving on a suspended license. If you fail to appear, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest. The punishment for serious offenses can include jail time, fines and driving restrictions, as well as additional points on your license.
In Maryland, if you are stopped and charged with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, you should immediately file a request for a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) within the required time frame. If you fail to request an MVA hearing, the MVA will automatically suspend your driver's license for at least 45 days.
In addition to fighting payable and must appear traffic charges, Mr. Garvey represents clients in seeking license reinstatement after suspension. You can arrange a free initial consultation by calling (301) 948-1227.