Rockville Traffic Lawyer
Most people realize they need a lawyer if they are going through a divorce or are facing criminal charges. However, you may not realize the benefits an attorney can provide even if you are only dealing with a civil traffic offense.
A Rockville traffic lawyer could help you fight allegations of road infractions and protect your driving record. An investment of time and resources spent now in defending against traffic charges could save considerable expense and headaches in the future. A defense lawyer who has experience in the local traffic court could help protect your driving privileges and work towards an outcome that avoids substantial increases in insurance rates and other negative consequences.
Common Traffic Offenses in Rockville
State driving laws are complex, and police can charge motorists with a wide array of offenses. Some of these carry the potential for serious penalties including incarceration and heavy fines.
A Rockville traffic attorney could defend against charges involving alleged violations such as:
- Driving an unregistered vehicle
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Failing to keep insurance on a vehicle
- Driving on a suspended license
- Reckless driving
- Fleeing and eluding
It is critical to understand the nature of the offense charged and the potential ramifications.
Penalties for Traffic Offenses
Traffic offenses in Maryland may be treated as a civil offense, misdemeanor, or felony crime. When an offense is considered “payable,” the driver may admit guilt and pay the fine without appearing in court. If a driver is issued a “must appear” citation, then a court appearance is required.
Civil Offenses and Misdemeanors
Civil offenses are penalized by a fine, while other violations may be punishable by imprisonment as well as a fine. Someone convicted of driving with a cancelled or suspended license under Md. Code, Trans. Law §16-303(b) or (c) may be imprisoned for up to one year and required to pay a fine of up to $1,000 for a first-time offense.
However, if the license was suspended for a reason not related to driving such as failure to pay child support, failure to appear in court, or failure to pay a traffic fine, then the act of driving on a suspended license is penalized by a fine only. A local traffic lawyer may be able to show that an offense alleged to be a misdemeanor should be penalized by no more than a civil fine.
More serious traffic offenses may be penalized by much longer felony criminal sentences. Leaving the scene of an accident is treated as a felony if the driver knew or should have known the accident might have resulted in serious injury to another, and such injury has occurred. Drivers convicted of this crime face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Points on the Record
Many traffic offenses also impose points on a driver’s record. Points often cause insurance companies to raise rates substantially, and if enough points are accumulated, drivers may face license suspension or even full revocation.
Consult a Knowledgeable Rockville Traffic Attorney
Paying a fine is an admission of guilt, and it puts a conviction on your driving record. If you are stopped again and a conviction appears, the court may perceive you to be a habitual offender.
A Rockville traffic lawyer could fight to avoid a conviction and protect your driving record from points and other negative consequences. Talk to a traffic attorney today to learn about the defense options available in your case.