Aggressive Driving Charges
A person can be charged with aggressive driving in Maryland if they commit three or more specific violations simultaneously, or any time throughout a continuous period of operating a vehicle. These include passing a vehicle on the right, exceeding the maximum speed limit, following another vehicle too closely, failing to yield right of way, violating traffic lights and signs, or overtaking and passing another vehicle unsafely. An officer will look for any three of these elements when making an aggressive driving charge.
The fines for aggressive driving are $500 and five points will be assessed on a person’s license. In order to counter these charges and mitigate the penalties, anyone facing aggressive driving charges should consult with a Maryland aggressive driving lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced traffic attorney in Maryland can often assist by introducing evidence to help the defendant and preparing them for what to expect in court.
Maryland Driving Laws
There are only a few states with laws specifically defining aggressive driving; Maryland is one of those few states, and in fact commonly charges people with this offense. Overall, aggressive driving charges depend on whether the law enforcement officer noticed three or more of the specific violations that led to a charge of aggressive driving. This leaves it up to the Maryland aggressive driving lawyer to determine whether the officer can prove each of the three underlying charges because if not, a person should not be found guilty.
With this said, aggressive driving is a serious non-incarcerable traffic offense in Maryland. A person cannot be sent to jail for violating aggressive driving laws, but a conviction does come with fines and five points on a person’s driver’s license.
Aggressive Driving vs Reckless Driving
An aggressive driving citation and a reckless driving citation would look different because the underlying charges are different. For reckless driving there are two different boxes checked; for aggressive driving, there are three. Reckless driving is basically speeding, but with other factors included, such as how fast the person was driving and how erratic their speeding was.
Prosecuting Aggressive Driving Cases in Maryland
Aggressive driving cases are heard in the Maryland District Courts’ non-serious traffic dockets along with speeding tickets, red light tickets, and other less serious moving violations. They are not prosecuted by the state attorney’s office. Instead, the police officer who issued the ticket presents testimony and evidence to convince the judge of the person’s guilt. The police officer presents his or her case first and then the person or their Maryland aggressive driving attorney is able to cross examine and present evidence in support of their defense. These kinds of tickets are issued by Maryland State Police who are usually well trained in traffic law.
A person found guilty of aggressive driving in Maryland is subject to monetary fines and points on their license. If a person is guilty, they can face a fine of up to $500 and be assessed five points. Unlike reckless driving, the points accumulated with aggressive driving result in a person being required to enroll in a driver improvement program, a 48-hour program designed to teach safe driving skills.
Benefit of a Lawyer
Aggressive driving is a payable fine, meaning that a person can pay the fine and not appear in court. However, if a person chooses this course of action they instantly get five points, as well as any of the other consequences associated with the offense. For this reason, it is almost always better to get a Maryland aggressive driving lawyer who can cross examine the police officers, and knows how to present the evidence to a judge in court, to obtain an opportunity to waive the points and fines associated with the ticket. It is important to understand the consequences that an attorney can mitigate, such as increased insurance premiums, in addition to other costs that come with having to take a driver improvement program.