Silver Spring Speeding Ticket Attorney
Call a Silver Spring speeding ticket lawyer if you’re facing charges that could take you off the road or drive up your insurance premiums. Our Silver Spring attorneys can listen to your side of the story and work to build an effective defense on your behalf.
A speeding ticket in Maryland can be a serious offense, especially if it is for reckless speeding, or if issued someone with a commercial license whose livelihood could be threatened because of a speeding ticket. Convictions can produce fines, court-ordered participation in a driver safety class, higher auto insurance rates, Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) points against your driving record, and possible suspension of your driver’s license. Many will just “take the hit,” pay the fine, and hope that’s the end of it. But in truth, you should consult a Silver Spring speeding ticket lawyer before making your decision.
Traffic Laws in Silver Spring, MD
Maryland’s traffic laws were rewritten a few years ago. They now require all who receive any moving violation to request a trial if they wish to contest a speeding charge. Otherwise, they will automatically be found guilty [Maryland Transportation Code Section 26–201]. Before then, a trial date was automatically assigned to every ticketed driver, who then would be able to either appear in court or pay the fine and end the matter. Now, all who are innocent must request a trial within 30 days, or they are automatically found guilty.
The penalties for speeding were also recently modified. And though they can vary based on your current driving record, there are statutory guidelines. They are now based on how fast you were going and whether you caused an accident [Sections 27-101(b), 16-103(c), and 16-113(d)].
If the offense occurred in a school or work zone, fines can be doubled [Section 27-101(r)]. If you have a provisional driver’s license, there could be additional consequences for speeding violations and possibly additional demerit points added to those outlined above. There is also a “driving too slow” statute that brings an $80 fine and one MVA demerit point [Sections 21-301(b)].
Reckless Driving and Commercial Driver Speeding Offenses
Reckless speeding [Section 21–901] is charged as reckless driving, which goes on your record as a criminal misdemeanor if convicted. Penalties involve a $500 fine and six MVA points for a first offense. Penalties for subsequent offenses can be much higher, though the MVA points are the same.
Racing is another misdemeanor [Sections 21-1116(a) and 27-101(a) (b)]. It, too, brings a $500 fine and up to five MVA points, based on the speed. But if the points produce a suspension of your driver’s license, it could be for as long as two years.
If you hold a commercial driver’s license and are ticketed for any speeding offense, and have previous convictions, your license can be suspended for three or four months [Section 16-812(f) (g)]
Traffic Court, Probation, and Appeals
You have three plea options: guilty, guilty with explanation, and not guilty. Guilty with explanation (exigent circumstances) finds you and your Silver Spring speeding lawyer requesting a pre-trial hearing, where you tell the judge your explanation and are then told whether you may proceed to trial with that defense. The court might offer you “probation before judgment” (PBJ). This allows you to keep the conviction off your record (which means no DMV points) if you don’t receive any tickets in the next six months.
Those convicted of traffic violations may also appeal. It is, however, an appeal “de novo,” which means the old conviction is thrown out, and a new trial takes place in Circuit Court. Violators who accept a PBJ surrender their right to appeal.
There are risks involved, however. Because it’s a brand-new trial (with a new judge and possibly a new prosecutor), you could have the case dismissed or receive another guilty verdict. It’s best that you discuss the merits of your situation with an experienced Silver Spring speeding ticket lawyer who understands how the courts in Montgomery County work and can work to positively influence your legal outcome.