There are a variety of possible speeding violations and penalties someone may face in Maryland. However, anyone facing any type of speeding charge should consider consulting with a Maryland speeding ticket lawyer to discuss their options and understand what consequences they might be facing. A first time violator exceeding the speed limit may be fined no more than $500 and their license may not be suspended for more than two years. For reckless driving for a first time violator, the driver cannot be fined more than $1,000 and their license may not be suspended for more than two years.
Attending Court for a Speeding Ticket
For minor traffic violations, a person can pay the fine without having to appear for a court date in front of a judge. For purposes of their driving record, paying the ticket has the same consequences as pleading guilty or being found guilty. This citation will likely appear on their driving record. If the violation has points, they appear on the person’s driving record as well. But if a person thinks they are not guilty of the offense, the only way to challenge the ticket is to go to court. In this situation it is usually best to work with a Maryland speeding ticket lawyer, who knows the traffic court system. Even if there isn’t a defense; the case may be dismissed if the officer does not show up. If the person is guilty, but has an explanation that might be helpful, the judge could reduce the fine or waive the points.
Speeding tickets are payable minor traffic offenses. First time violators exceeding the speed limit cannot be fined more than $500 and their license may not be suspended for more than two years. The penalty depends on how fast the person is driving over the posted speed limit.
Speeding violations will usually result in points being assessed on the driver’s driving record. If a driver goes to court with an experienced speeding ticket attorney from Maryland, it is possible they may be able to get the charges lowered, and so to the point assessment. Driving more than ten miles per hour over the posted speed limit results in two points. Reckless driving is six points. Driving 30 miles over the posted speed limit results in five points. Participating in a race or speed contest on a highway is five points. Exceeding the 65 miles per hour posted speed limit by more than 20 miles per hour is five points. For any other traffic law moving violation that doesn’t contribute to an accident it is one point. For any other traffic law moving violation that contributes to an accident it is three points.
It is possible to pre-pay a speeding ticket. However, for purposes of a driving record, paying the ticket has the same consequences as pleading guilty or being found guilty. Any points associated with the ticket will likely appear on the person’s driving record.
Common Ways Speeding Tickets Are Issued
One of the common ways for speeding tickets to be issued is through speed camera tickets where the driver receives a speeding ticket in the mail.
Once a speeding camera is activated, during the first 30 days, people are given a warning because the speeding camera placement is new. However, after that initial period, the majority of the tickets carry a $40 fine. There are no points attached to these tickets because they are civil violations. The person can pay the ticket online, in person, or by mail. Vehicle owners are able to contest these fines in Maryland District Courts. If someone wants to contest, they can use the defense that they were not driving the vehicle when the infraction occurred. This is because speeding cameras are not able to pick up the individual driving the vehicle, only the car’s license plate. A person always has the opportunity to present to the court any information that can challenge or mitigate this type of speeding ticket, just as if the speeding ticket was issued by a police officer.
Reckless Driving in Maryland
Reckless driving is a misdemeanor classified under the transportation section of Maryland law as opposed to the criminal law section. Some examples of this include, weaving in and out of traffic, driving on the shoulder, and tailgating. While it is common for a police officer to write a ticket that cites a speeding violation, and speeding may be one of the underlying offenses that results in a charge of reckless driving, a person cannot be charged for reckless driving just for speeding. A reckless driving citation would also have to take into account if the person was weaving in and out of traffic, how erratic they were driving, and how much over the speed limit they were driving. A reckless driving charge, as a misdemeanor, is a more serious offense than most traffic infractions, and should definitely be addressed with the assistance of a Maryland speeding ticket lawyer.