Annapolis Demerit Point System
Annapolis enforces a point system, which determines the amount of points associated with each moving violation that occurs in the state. These points may lead to severe consequences for an individual’s driving record and their insurance rates. A traffic attorney in Annapolis will have a great deal of experience handling traffic cases in various Maryland courts and will be available to assist if you are facing any wide range of traffic charges.
Accumulating Demerit Points
The Maryland Annotated Code—or the Code of Maryland Regulations—identifies the number of points assigned to each traffic offense. When points are assessed to an individual’s driver’s record, the MVA reviews that record to determine how many points they have accumulated. Following this review, the MVA’s actions will be dependent upon the number of accumulated points.
- If an individual accumulates three to four points, the MVA will send a warning letter. This letter will state that more serious driving measures will be taken if that individual receives additional points.
- If an individual accumulates five to seven points, they will be required to complete a driver improvement program offered by a third-party company in the state.
- If an individual accumulates eight to eleven points, they will receive a Notice of Suspension and their license will automatically be suspended. However, at this time, there is the option of requesting a hearing to explain why the suspension period should not be imposed.
- If an individual accumulates 12 or more points, they will receive a Notice of Revocation and their license will be revoked. Once the applicable revocation period is complete, they will be required to apply for a new license.
In addition to the above consequences, insurance companies reserve the right to increase the rates of or drop customers who have accumulated too many points, as such drivers can be considered too risky to insure.
Demerit Point Longevity
Points remain on a person’s driver’s record until such points are expunged by the MVA. After two years from the conviction date, the demerit points are no longer considered current. However, an insurance company or employer can see how many points are on an individual’s driver’s record for up to three years after the conviction as such information remains in the public record during that time period.
Points are automatically removed from an individual’s driver’s record after three years if the following conditions have been met:
- They have not committed another moving violation or criminal offense involving a motor vehicle during that three-year period
- Their license has not been suspended or revoked during that three-year period
- They have never been convicted of driving while intoxicated, fleeing the scene of an accident, or any similar violation
Infractions in Other Jurisdictions
If an individual is convicted of a demerit point system violation in a jurisdiction other than Annapolis, the MVA may assess the associated points onto their driving record, depending upon the nature of the offense. The MVA will assess points for convictions involving motor vehicle-related alcohol or drug offenses, as well as for instances of homicide or manslaughter involving a motor vehicle, the use of a motor vehicle in a commission of a felony, and the act of leaving the scene of a personal injury incident.
The State of Maryland is involved in the Driver’s License Compact program, which states that Maryland will notify the home state of an out-of-state driver if they violate any traffic laws in Maryland. The effect of such a violation on that individual’s points is then dependent upon the laws of their home state.
An individual can challenge the points assessed to their license by requesting one of two hearings. An individual may either request a trial and plead not guilty or request a waiver hearing and plead guilty with an explanation. However, it is important to note that such a hearing must be requested within 30 days of receiving the citation. A dedicated demerit point lawyer in Annapolis will help build a case to challenge points and explain options in this time.
Once the demerit points have been assessed to an individual’s driver’s record, they can request that those points be removed from their record prior to their automatic expiration. In reviewing such a request, the MVA will consider the frequency with which that individual has been assessed points and the date of their last moving violation. A hearing is not required in this manual expungement process.
Contacting an Attorney
A traffic lawyer can be essential in negotiating on your behalf. Such negotiations are often key in reducing the number of points you may face and may result in the points being completely waived. Having a skilled lawyer on your side with experience defending these demerit point system charges will give you the best chance of success in your case.