Levels of Howard County Traffic Offenses 

There are two levels of traffic offenses in Howard County. There are payable offenses, which are minor traffic offenses, and must-appear offenses, which are the more major ones. Payable offenses are speeding, improper turns, and things where a person can choose to plead guilty and pay the fine. The person does not have to go to court. The person can also request to have a waiver hearing, where the person would say that they did it, but they want to waive the points and the fines.

There is also an outright hearing, where the person is hoping that the officer does not appear and they can try to go in with the argument that they should not be found guilty in the pending matter. Payable offenses are not punishable by jail.

The more serious “must-appear” offenses require that the person appear in court. If the situation deemed it necessary for the person to have a lawyer, a judge will ask the person to get one. Pleading guilty could result in jail time. If an individual has multiple charges, it is worse than if an individual has one charge since it is easier to get rid of one than it is to get rid of two. Talk to a professional Howard County traffic lawyer for more on the issue.

Traffic Infraction

Levels of traffic offenses include infractions and speeding in Howard County. A traffic infraction is an offense that carries points and a fine. It is not as severe as other violations that occur in Howard County. But because it carries points and a fine, like an infraction, it is a little bit different than things that will be more serious like misdemeanors.

An infraction is different from a misdemeanor because a misdemeanor can result in jail time. It is a violation of the Transportation Code, so the penalties are more severe. An individual can have 60 days in jail as well as a $1,000 fine.

Speeding-Related Infractions

Going 30 miles over the speed limit would be a speeding-related infraction, which would also have five points associated with it. It triggers the MVA to require the person to do a course in driver improvement.

If an individual gets more than five points, the individual might lose their license. Traffic law dictates that they are only going to give the person a class one violation. They typically have to cap it at whatever an individual’s most points would be for the infraction. For example, if an individual has a ticket for multiple things, like one offense that will be five points, another one that would be two, and another one that would be one, typically they would get the five-point one and not add them all together.

A DWI is a misdemeanor as is failing to stop at the scene of an accident, and driving without insurance. A misdemeanor is jailable.

Traffic Infraction Hearings and Appeals

Traffic infraction hearings are held in Ellicott City at the district courthouse. A person can appeal in the circuit court of the county in Ellicott City at the circuit courthouse. For more information regarding the levels of traffic offenses, contact a skilled attorney who can offer sound advice and guidance regarding such a situation in Howard County.

Length of Time

If the person does not like the decision of the district court, the person can pay an $80 appeal fee and have the case moved to the circuit court. That is going to be up to the court’s discretion, so there is no way for anyone to know how long will it take for that to be scheduled. Typically, it will be within a month, but it could take longer or it could take less time. It depends on how the court is feeling about the issue.