Baltimore Traffic Lawyer
If a person is facing a traffic offense in Baltimore, it is very important that they contact a Baltimore criminal attorney, particularly a Baltimore traffic lawyer, right away.
A qualified lawyer can use their knowledge of Baltimore laws as well as their experience in past cases to help a person combat their charges.
Elements of the Crime
Traffic offenses can be anything, however, they are generally separated into two categories: incarcerable and non-incarcerable. Incarcerable charges can carry anything from 30 days of incarceration up to a year of incarceration or more. These types of charges are typically offenses such as DUIs, driving on a suspended license, driving without insurance, and hit-and-runs.
On the other hand, non-incarcerable charges are the charges where a person does not risk the chance of incarceration. There is also no prosecutor involved and the defendant not entitled to a public defender. These charges are citations, including speeding, red lights infractions, illegal u-turns. These cases generally go to traffic court.
Classifying Traffic Offenses
There are three ways that a person can choose to deal with a payable ticket. The accused could pay a fine, plead guilty with an explanation and appeal it, or plead not guilty and request a trial.
Someone can choose to plead guilty and pay a fine for the following payable traffic offenses:
- Speeding ticket
- Running a stop sign
- Improper turning
If people choose to pay the fine, they are saying that they are guilty and that they are going to take the points. If the person does not respond within the appropriate amount of time, their license will be suspended by the MVA.
Examples of Speeding-Related Infractions
Speeding-related infractions, such as going ten miles over the speed limit, would be an infraction. Anything that is between one and nine miles over the speed limit constitutes one point that would be given if a person were convicted. For example, if the person were to be going 30 miles over the speed limit, if found guilty of that or if they decide to simply pay the fine, then that person would have to deal with five points on their license.
Even the most basic of traffic offenses, which are non-incarcerable traffic citations, can carry over $1,000 in fines. In addition to monetary penalties, a driver could be assessed points, which could lead to a loss of their driving privilege and could increase their insurance rates. For incarcerable offenses, a person could face fines in the hundreds to even thousands of dollars, as well as up to a year or more in jail.
These fines and possible jail time, however. Depending on the offense, a person could face the stigma of their crime, which could ultimately affect their relationships with friends and family, and their ability to be employed in certain places. These severe penalties are why it is so important for a person facing these charges to contact a Baltimore traffic attorney as soon as possible.
How to Handle Traffic Fines
In Maryland, traffic matters are misdemeanors. They are payable and they are not payable citations. If someone is given traffic or court fines to pay, they are mandatory to be paid as a part of the court process. Fines can fluctuate based upon the charges. Often the person will go before the judge and the judge will make the court cost and the rest of the fine equal what exactly the fine is supposed to be.
How a Lawyer Can Help
There are certain protocols police have to follow in traffic offense cases. Even if the cases regards a non-incarcerable offense to a basic traffic citation, the police still have to be able to prove certain elements, and if they do not prove all of the required points, then there is an opportunity for the defendant to combat their charges with the help of a traffic lawyer in Baltimore.
Additionally, a Baltimore traffic lawyer can help a person negotiate down the offense. For example, if someone is caught driving at a high rate speed, an attorney can possibly reduce the charges. An experienced traffic attorney in Baltimore could work toward probation before judgment, which could eliminate points from a person’s driving record and could help reduce the fines.
Regarding incarcerable offenses, there are a lot of things that can be done in advance of a trial date that would help lead to a more favorable resolution. The judges want to see what a person has done about their offense, what could be done, and what caused the offense to begin with. A Baltimore traffic lawyer can help a person go through their options and plan what would be the best option for their case. An attorney can help a person be proactive about their charges and plan ahead in order to have the potential for a better result in court and/or on the day of trial.