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How are traffic violations in Maryland prosecuted?

When a person is convicted of a traffic violation in Maryland, points are assessed to his or her driver's license. The number of points that is placed on a license is based on the charge that was levied during the traffic stop, and in cases where a person allegedly committed more than one violation, only the violation that results in the largest number of points will be noted on the individual's driver's license upon conviction.

When a license accumulates a certain number of points, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration takes steps to address the behavior. Those who accrue three or five points on their licenses will receive a warning letter in the mail or be asked to discuss their driving behaviors in a conference with administration officials respectively. If a license collects eight points, the holder's driving privileges are suspended, and a 12-point license is revoked.

Different traffic violations are also placed into different categories. A conviction of a minor violation may result in points and a fine, and major violations could include points, a fine and jail time. After the charges are levied, the driver has the option to challenge the allegations in court, and if the charges include a major traffic violation, the defendant has the right to be represented by an attorney.

This information is provided to give readers a basic understanding of the system. However, many cases may be more complicated. An attorney could help a person who has been charged with traffic violations understand the different penalties that he or she might face if convicted. In cases that involve the possibility of jail time, the attorney might also provide representation in court hearings if the client chooses to dispute the allegations.

Source: MSBA.com, "Traffic Violations," July 28, 2014

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