Published on 4/11/2022, 3:35:00 PM
How to beat a speeding ticket in Maryland
If you've been charged with a speeding ticket in Maryland, you may be wondering how to beat your charges.
This article will discuss different strategies to handle speeding tickets in Maryland, including the different pleas a person can enter, what a trial consists of, some common defenses in speeding ticket cases, and how hiring a lawyer might help.
Speeding in Maryland
Speeding tickets in Maryland are civil citations, issued by law enforcement officers. Typically, Police Officers who issue speeding tickets cite drivers for exceeding the posted speed limit.
Many times, speeding ticket are issued in a "string" of citations, which can confuse drivers who now face multiple charges. While speeding tickets are not "must appear" tickets, they can accompany other "must appear" tickets like driving suspended, or driving under the influence of alcohol.
If a person is issued citations for speeding in Maryland, they have several options on how to handle their tickets. The criminal defense attorneys with FrizWoods recommend contact us to speak with an attorney before making any decisions. We can help reduce fines, avoid points, and resolve citations without a client needing to appear in Court.
What are different pleas
If a person is charged with a speeding ticket they may take one of several actions. Either by mailing in a request for trial, or hiring an attorney, a person could request a trial.
Trial on a Speeding ticket in Maryland
If a person requests a trial, either on their own or through their attorney, the police officer who issued the ticket must appear in court to explain the basis for the traffic tickets at a scheduled court date.
While the police officer must appear in court, a Maryland driver may chose to have their attorney appear in court instead of going themselves. A driver must appear in Court for their trial date if they are not represented by an attorney.
If the Police Officer fails to appear, a driver's attorney may ask for the Court to dismiss the tickets. If the Officer appears and the driver choses not to go, their attorney may then enter a plea of guilty with an explanation.
Guilty with an explanation
Maryland drivers may enter a plea of guilty, and have their attorney provide an explanation if they chose not to appear in Court for their trial date. There are advantages to having your attorney appear and enter a plea of guilty over paying your speeding tickets
Why should I have a lawyer go to Court if I want to plead guilty?
If a person prepays a traffic ticket ahead of Court, you risk accruing points on your license. This is because pre-paying tickets is the same as entering a plea of guilty. Additionally, the pre-set fine amount is often quite high.
The advantage of having your attorney do it in court is that they can request a probation before judgment, which will keep the points off your license and prevent your insurance rates from going up. An attorney can petition the Judge to reduce the fine in your case as well.
Common defenses in Speeding Ticket cases
An attorney should be able to challenge the grounds for the stop of your vehicle. A Police Officer must articulate why he/she stopped a driver's vehicle.
Most traffic stops originate based an Officer's observation of a moving violation, or an equipment issue with a driver's vehicle.
Contesting moving violations
Many speeding cases involve an Officer's allegation that they saw a vehicle speeding. Speeding can be measured by scientific instruments like Radar, or LIDAR.
These instruments must be properly calibrated, and the Officer employing them must be certified to use them. Additionally, often these instruments can be shown to be unreliable when utilized in areas of high traffic.
Another common scheme officers employ to justify a speeding ticket is "pacing". This occurs when an officer follows a vehicle for a short distance, and then uses his own speedometer to "guess" the speed of a driver's vehicle. This method of measuring speed is highly unreliable, and should be challenged in Court by an attorney during a trial.
Police Officers often go unchecked in traffic ticket cases, and many will concede that they may not have properly recorded a person's speed during cross examination. Don't hesitate to explore your legal options with an attorney.
What if I lost my ticket
Even if you lost your ticket, an attorney should be able to find your citations on Maryland Case Search easily. You can also request a copy of your citations at any Maryland District Court Clerk's Office.
What about red light and work zone tickets?
Red light, and work zone tickets are typically handled by administrative agencies and third party processors. These tickets are often hard to contest, and typically do not carry points on your license.
For this reason, along with the likelihood that attorney's fees exceed the value of the tickets, most traffic ticket attorneys do not handle red light or work zone tickets.
Do I need to go to Court if I hire a lawyer?
Luckily, if you hire an attorney for civil traffic tickets you will not need to appear in Court.
An attorney can represent your interests on your court date, and their law office can resolve the entire case with out you having to appear.
If you are charged with must appear traffic offenses, you are likely to have to appear with your attorney.
An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to convince the state to dismiss the "must appear" citations and spare you a court date. In the event that the matter is resolved ahead of Court, you can avoid having to go to Court and send your attorney instead.
How many points am I facing?
If you have received a ticket and are facing traffic charges, avoiding points on your license may be a top concern for you. Charges involving exceeding the speed limit often carry points, which are based on each individual traffic law. The District Court of Maryland hosts an exhaustive list of potential points online
In Maryland, there are numerous potential traffic citations a person can be charged with associated with speeding. Almost all moving violations carry some level of potential points.
How many points does speeding carry?
Section 21 801.1 is the most common speeding charge, driving a vehicle on a highway at a speed exceeding the posted speed limit. This traffic offenses carries both monetary fines and points on a person's license. The potential points increase based on the recorded speed of your vehicle:
1-9 miles over the speed limit carries 1 point
10-19 miles over the speed limit carries 2 points
20-29 miles over the speed limit carries 2 points
30-39 miles over the speed limit carries 5 points
There are additional enhancements based on work zones, school zones, contribution to an accident, and areas where the maximum speed limit is 65 miles per hour.
How do I avoid points on my license?
Avoiding points on your license can be done three different ways:
Having your case dismissed
Overcoming the charges at a trial
Having the Judge grant you a Probation before Judgment, or "PBJ")
Can you check my traffic record?
The attorneys with FrizWoods are able to review a client's traffic record with the MVA, dating back three years. The State of Maryland, and the Court can access a full driving record for a driver.
A driver can also go to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and request their own full driving record in advance of meeting with an attorney.
Why you should fight a traffic ticket in Maryland
Fighting traffic tickets in Maryland is a worthwhile venture. If a person accrues points on their license, they could face increasing insurance premiums, license suspension, or even license revocation.
Additionally, many drivers need their driving record to continue to work. This is especially true for commercial drivers who hold a CDL.
Maryland Speeding Ticket Defense Lawyers - Free Consultation
The criminal defense attorneys with FrizWoods have handled countless speeding tickets, including trials on numerous payable traffic citations. Max Frizalone and Luke Woods are highly qualified Maryland attorneys who solely handle criminal and traffic matters across the State of Maryland - we know the criminal justice system.
If you're looking for a baltimore speeding ticket attorney or a baltimore speeding ticket lawyer, contact our firm. We are baltimore traffic lawyers who have reputations for handling traffic violations with ease.
Our firm will form an attorney client relationship with you, and ensure that your traffic citation is well handlded at traffic court.
If you've been charged with a speeding violation, do not wait to contact us for a free consultation. Our firm has multiple law offices in Maryland, and isn't afraid to challenge Police at a hearing. Contact us today.