Nearly everyone who drives regularly knows the sinking feeling in their stomach when they see a police officer’s flashing lights in their rearview mirror. For many of Maryland’s nearly 4.1 million drivers, a traffic violation is issued unfairly, with insufficient evidence, or without due process. Such traffic violations may include:
- Reckless Driving
- Vehicular Homicide
- Street Racing
- Driving an Unregistered Vehicle
- Violating traffic laws
- Driving Without a License
- Driving an Uninsured Vehicle
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
How to Request a Traffic Defense Hearing
According to the District Court of Maryland, a person has 30 days after receiving a payable traffic citation to either pay the fee in full and plead “guilty”, ask for a waiver hearing to plead, “guilty with an explanation”, or ask for a trial and plead “not guilty”. Prior to 2011, the District Court of Maryland would automatically set a trial date for payable traffic offenses. Today, in order to streamline the process and allow officers of the court to make the best use of their time, a person who wishes to plead “not guilty” to a payable traffic citation must request one through the District Court of Maryland. Information can be found on the back of the citation. Failure to either pay the fine or submit a request for a court date will result in a suspended driver’s license. The Motor Vehicle Administration mails a notice that the driver’s license has been suspended and a list of court requirements to satisfy before it can be reinstated. The process of reinstating suspended license is long and costly, and driving with a suspended license can result in incarceration.
DUI vs DWI
In the state of Maryland, Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are considered different offenses. DUI is considered the greater of the two offenses and is used to describe anyone with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. A person convicted of DUI can face up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, and a 120 day driver’s license suspension. A driver found to have a blood alcohol content of .04 to .079 is consider to be Driving While Intoxicated, or DWI. A DWI conviction carries a maximum of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. A traffic defense attorney, like Bradley MacFee, can offer legal counsel as well as representation to reduce or even eliminate potential jail sentences and fines associated with DUI and DWI.
If you or a loved one is facing a traffic violation, from a payable citation for speeding to a more serious charge such as DUI, contact the office of Bradley MacFee to discuss your case.