What Are Payable Traffic Tickets?
If you have recently been pulled over by the police for speeding or violating a traffic law, you may be asking yourself: what are payable traffic tickets? People often panic when they receive a ticket and make very expensive mistakes as a result. Read on to learn more about what you should do in this situation.
Types Of Payable Traffic Tickets In Maryland
There are seemingly countless different kinds of traffic violations. All of them carry possible fines, and most of them carry points violations too.
Points have 2 negative functions for you. First, the more points you have, you can subject yourself to losing your license either by being suspended for a period of time or revoked for a much more extensive period of time. Second, any amount of points on your license is a red flag to all car insurance companies that you are not a perfect driver. Your car insurance rates will likely go up once you start accruing your very first points.
Decoding this area of Maryland law can be confusing and difficult. Read on to learn more about the different kinds of payable traffic tickets in Maryland.
What Kinds of Tickets Are There?
The most common payable ticket issued is for speeding. You may have heard that you can only get a speeding ticket if you are going more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit. This is simply not true—driving one mile per hour over the limit is still speeding, and all speeding violations can carry up to 5 points and up to $500 in fines.
Here are a few more of the most common traffic accident offenses:
- Reckless Driving
- Negligent Driving
- Failure to Obey a Traffic Device
- Failure to Remain in Lane
- Failure to Control Speed
- Failure to Yield
Traffic accidents can also earn you a ticket. In most cases, any traffic tickets you receive after a car accident will earn you more points than they otherwise would. An infraction that would normally receive one point may be raised up to 3 points simply because it contributed to an accident. Paying these tickets instead of going to court will usually hurt your insurance claim.
How Much Will I Pay?
Except in a few limited situations, payable traffic tickets usually do not exceed a $500 fine. One exception is Reckless Driving, which could cost you up to $1,000. Reckless Driving is perhaps the most serious of the non-incarcerable traffic tickets, because you will receive 6 points on your driver’s license if convicted.
In Maryland, the district courts have established fines for every possible traffic violation. These payable fines are designed as convenience fees to avoid having to appear for court. Once you pay your ticket, a guilty verdict is entered, a notice is sent to the Motor Vehicle Administration, and a preset amount of points are added to your driving record. So before paying that fine, remember that the real cost of the ticket will be the amount that your car insurance rates increase once you have points on your license.
Should I Pay The Ticket?
Whenever an officer issues you a ticket for a traffic offense, the information on the ticket will tell you what kind of offense you are being charged with and which fines are associated with this type of ticket. It will also provide you with a choice between paying the ticket and requesting a trial. This information may appear harmless, but it is a trap. If you pay the ticket without consulting an attorney, there is much you haven’t considered.
Many people do not realize that the fine written on the ticket is a preset amount. Depending on the circumstances a judge may consider a much lower fine. But once you pay the ticket, a guilty verdict will be entered on your record. The court will then send notice to the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), which may put points on your driving record.
Do I Have A Case?
You may even be able to win your case if you attend the traffic hearing with an attorney. Here are some questions to keep in mind in determining if you have a winnable case:
- Have you been charged with the right ticket?
- Did the police officer stop your car legally?
- Is there enough evidence for a conviction?
Sometimes even the smallest technicalities can help you receive a not guilty verdict. However, if you lose your trial, it is still possible to keep points off your Maryland driving record. In Maryland, if a judge provides a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ), then no points will be placed on your driving record. This will give you the chance to keep your record clean.
Now that we’ve addressed your most important concern—what are payable traffic tickets?—you probably have a lot more questions about your traffic ticket situation. That is why the experienced Traffic Violation Defense Attorneys at Zirkin and Schmerling Law offer free initial consultations to evaluate your case and inform you of your rights. Contact us at 410-753-4611 to learn more.