Maryland Traffic Lawyer
Traffic violations may not seem serious, but certain citations can have long-lasting consequences and all traffic violations can contribute to a loss of driving privileges. Our team has experienced Maryland traffic lawyers who have handled numerous traffic and traffic-related cases.
Aside from the information below, we have provided several links to pages discussing frequently asked questions about traffic offenses in Maryland.
A Maryland Traffic Lawyer Can Help
To help you avoid these consequences, contact a qualified traffic lawyer in Maryland. Our traffic attorneys have handled these type of charges of driving while suspended, driving without insurance, and driving without registration. These apparently minor traffic violations can have major repercussions. With representation from a skilled Maryland traffic lawyer, you can build a strong defense to minimize the impact a driving without insurance charge has on your life.
What does it mean if you drive when your license privileges were canceled, suspended, refused, or revoked? It’s important to understand what is and isn’t allowed, as well as the consequences for defying Maryland license laws.
Section 16-303 of Maryland license law states that “a person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any property specified in [the] article while the person’s license or privilege is suspended in this State.” This means that if your license was suspended, the Maryland Vehicle Administration revoked your ability to drive for a set amount of time. Two suspended driving charges that may apply to your Maryland license are 16-303(c) and 16-303(h). Both are very serious charges, and it’s imperative to get help from a Maryland traffic attorney if you face them.
Several differences exist between these charges. With 16-303(c), the maximum penalty is one year in jail and / or a $1,000 fine for a conviction. In addition, you can get 12 points on your license, which revokes your ability to drive. The second conviction of 16-303(c) may bring the maximum penalty of two years’ incarceration and / or $1,000 fine. A conviction for 16-303(h) means a maximum penalty of sixty days in jail and / or a $500 fine. You can also get 3 points on your license under license law.
There are two different statutes of license law because of the different reasons driving privileges are suspended. The charge that you face is determined by the reason your license was suspended. For instance, you’d face a 16-303(c) charge if your license was suspended because you received a DUI, failed to pay child support, failed to complete a driver improvement program, had too many points on your license, or failed to pay a civil judgment. A 16-303(h) charge might apply if your license was suspended because you failed to pay a traffic ticket or fine, failed to appear in court for a ticket, and/or failed to maintain your insurance.
Charged with Driving on a Suspended License in Maryland?
When you are charged with driving on a suspended license, technically, you are being arrested. Many people don’t realize this because police can “discretionarily release” them back onto the road once the ticket is received. So, even though you are never put in handcuffs and taken to a police station, you’re still charged with a serious crime under Maryland license laws. You’re only released upon your promise to appear in court when notified to do so.
In Maryland, the circumstances of a DUI/DWI charge can instantly affect the status of your driver’s license. When you were being arrested, if you refused or failed a breathalyzer test, the result is an automatic suspension of your driver’s license on the 46th day after you were pulled over. The police will confiscate your license and issue a temporary one that is good for 45 days.
Afterwards, you must request an MVA hearing within ten days of your arrest. You’ll find it is one of the many administrative tasks ahead of you after a DUI/DWI arrest. After your hearing request is received, you receive an extension of your driving privileges. You are issued a temporary license and extension letter, and must have them with you while driving.
If you are charged with a DUI/DWI, but fail to request an MVA hearing within ten days, your driving privileges are suspended. If you request a hearing after more than ten days, but in less than thirty days, this may result in a license suspension, pending your MVA hearing.
Getting arrested for a DUI/DWI charge is challenging and stressful. In addition, having your license suspended is only one way such charges impact your life. Being unable to drive can also impact work, family, or lifestyle obligations. Even in the absence of a conviction for a DUI/DWI charge, you still may face consequences with the MVA.
During an MVA hearing, your attorneys can fight to prevent any suspension from being imposed. They can also question things such as whether you were adequately advised about MVA sanctions. This advisement is something that law enforcement is required to do when you take or refuse a breathalyzer test. Your legal representative can also challenge incorrectly administered tests.
Since things like MVA advisement and breathalyzer tests can affect the ultimate status of your license, having a skilled attorney to discuss them with prosecutors is very important. Your lawyer can also attempt to retain your driving privileges for work / school purposes during the period of your suspension. He or she can also ask for retention of your driving privileges by offering to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in your vehicle.
Finally, a Maryland traffic lawyer can help you navigate the administrative quagmire that often comes with a DUI / DWI arrest. He or she can also examine your case from every angle, and make sure that your rights are being vigorously protected.
Driving Unregistered Vehicle in Maryland
Every operable vehicle in Maryland is required by law to be registered with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Driving an unregistered vehicle, or permitting an unregistered vehicle to be driven by another, is a criminal misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. Typically, a citation for driving a vehicle without registration is about $300. If you are accused of driving without registration, or if you are accused of allowing another person to drive your unregistered vehicle, contact an experienced traffic lawyer as soon as possible. Taking a proactive approach to your defense can help you protect yourself against preventable negative outcomes such as fines and driver’s license restrictions.
Unregistered Motor Vehicles in Maryland
Though motor vehicle registration is mandated by the state of Maryland and the MVA, many operable vehicles are not registered for a variety of reasons:
- Failure to register a new vehicle within the required time period
- Accidentally lapsed registration
- Suspended registration from lack of adequate insurance
- Fear of registration due to outstanding warrants
Regardless of the reason your vehicle is unregistered, the state of Maryland prohibits you from driving without registration and from allowing someone else to drive your unregistered vehicle. If you have been cited for driving without registration, call a qualified traffic lawyer for an evaluation of your case. A traffic attorney who has successfully represented clients cited for driving without registration has the experience and resources to help you fight the charge. Whether showing that an unregistered vehicle was driven without your knowledge, demonstrating a willingness to compensate for an accidental lapse, or helping you handle an outstanding warrant, a traffic lawyer can try and cast your case in a positive light for a more positive outcome.
Driving Without Insurance in Maryland
To protect the state’s drivers, Maryland requires that all vehicles be insured. As an uninsured motorist, you face not only a difficult financial road if involved in a motor vehicle accident, but you also face criminal charges for driving without insurance. If you are charged with driving without insurance in Maryland, it is in your best interest to consult a qualified traffic attorney who can help defend you against unnecessary consequences.
Uninsured Vehicles in Maryland
The state takes motor vehicle insurance so seriously that you can be subject to fines even if you never drive the uninsured vehicle. If insurance lapses on your vehicle, you can be fined up to $2,500 each year the car is uninsured. Furthermore, the MVA may confiscate your license plates and prohibit you from registering another vehicle until you have met your automobile insurance obligations.
Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Maryland
Driving without insurance is a risky behavior. If caught, you face serious consequences that restrict your freedom and create a heavy financial burden. Possible ramifications of a driving without insurance conviction include:
- Up to $1,000 fine
- Up to 1 year in jail
- 5 points against your license, which can lead to
- Mandatory enrollment in a Driver Improvement Program
- Increased insurance premiums
- Suspension (at 8 points) or revocation (at 12 points) of your driver’s license.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident
Accidents can be traumatic experiences for all parties involved, and can challenge an individual’s ability to act rationally and assess the situation. A consequence of this is that some individuals may flee the scene of an accident. It is important to understand that leaving the scene of an accident in the state of Maryland is a criminal offense, and entails substantial penalties. If the accident resulted in a fatality, fleeing the scene is considered a felony under Maryland law. Thus, if you are facing such charges it is unequivocally in your best interest to retain legal counsel.