College Park Speeding Ticket Lawyer
A speeding ticket in College Park, Maryland can have serious consequences for your driving privileges. Not only can a conviction result in fines and court-ordered participation in a driver safety class, but also higher auto insurance rates and/or Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) points against your driving record, which could lead to suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Most individuals will just pay the fine and accept the consequences, even though many speeding tickets can be aggressively challenged. By contacting a College Park speeding ticket lawyer, you can arm yourself with the support and know-how that can help you attain the best possible outcome under the circumstances. Here is information on other criminal and traffic matters in Prince George’s County.
College Park Speeding Ticket Lawyers Fight To Protect Your License
The Maryland traffic laws were rewritten a few years ago. They now require all who receive any moving violation to request a trial, or they will automatically be found guilty [Maryland Transportation Code Section 26–201]. Before, a trial date was automatically assigned to every ticketed driver, who then had the option of appearing on that court date or paying the fine and automatically accepting guilt.
The penalties for speeding were also recently modified, and though they can vary based on your current driving record, there are specific guidelines. Currently, penalties are based on how fast you were driving and whether an accident was caused by your excessive speed.
- If the ticket is for one to nine MPH over the limit, the fine is $80, and the driver receives one point, but if there was an accident, it’s $120 and three points.
- A ticket of 10 to 19 MPH brings a fine of $90 and two MVA points, but if there was an accident, the penalty increases to $130 and three points.
- If the driver goes 20 to 29 MPH over the speed limit (or 10 to 19 if the speed limit is 65 MPH), the penalty is $160 and two points. If it causes an accident, the fine is $200 and three MVA points
- Driving 30 to 39 MPH over the limit (or 20 to 29 over a posted speed limit of 65 MPH) results in a fine of $290 and five MVA points.
- Driving 40+ over the posted limit not only brings a fine of $530 and five points, it can also be charged as reckless driving (six points).
If the offense occurred in a work or school zone, fines can be doubled. If you have a provisional driver’s license or a commercial driver’s license (CDL), there could be additional consequences for speeding violations and possibly additional demerit points added to those outlined above. There is also a “driving too slowly” statute that brings an $80 fine and one MVA demerit point.
Traffic Court, Probation, and Appeals
On your court date, you have three options. You can plead guilty, not guilty, or guilty with explanation (that is, exigent circumstances that you feel justified your speeding). But if you choose that route, you and your College Park speeding ticket attorney must request a pre-trial hearing, at which time the court will hear you explanation. If you plead guilty with explanation, or are guilty, the court – after reviewing your record – could offer “probation before judgment” (PBJ). This allows you to keep the conviction off your record (which means no DMV points) if you don’t receive any tickets over the ensuing six months. You’ll also likely have to take a driver education course during that time. But if you have previous speeding convictions or other serious moving violations, a PBJ is problematic.
Those convicted of traffic violations have the right of appeal. It is, however, an appeal “de novo,” which means the old conviction is thrown out, and a new trial takes place in Circuit Court. Violators who accept a PBJ surrender their right to appeal, however.
There are risks involved in an appeal. Because it’s a brand new trial (with a new judge and possibly a new prosecutor), you could have the case dismissed, or the opposite – a more serious penalty. It’s best that you discuss the merits of your situation with an experienced College Park speeding ticket lawyer who understands how the courts in College Park work and can anticipate potential outcomes.
A College Park Speeding Ticket Lawyer Can Help Protect You
All MVA demerit points for moving violations – with a few exceptions, for lesser convictions – remain on your driving record for three years from the date the ticket was written, not the date you were convicted. But for the purposes of whether you may keep your license or not, the MVA only goes back two years in calculating points relative to suspension or revocation.
The MVA has administrative levels for keeping you apprised of where you stand. If you have three or four points, you will receive a warning letter. If five to seven points, the MVA will require you to attend a “point system conference” and likely also a driver-improvement class. Some refer to the class as “defensive driving” when it’s used to qualify for an insurance rate discount, but since you are using this class to avoid driver’s license suspension, it isn’t normally applied to qualify for rate discounts. If your point total is eight to 11, you could face suspension of your license, and with 12 or more, your license could be revoked.
Contact a College Park speeding ticket lawyer today to help minimize the impact on your driving privileges.