4 Ways to Beat a Traffic Ticket in Maryland
Think you have to pay that traffic ticket? Think again. There are a number of situations where you may be better off NOT paying your traffic ticket. It’s all about weighing the financial and long-term consequences of a traffic citation in Maryland. The Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. helps people throughout Glen Burnie and Columbia fight their tickets. Find out if we can help you. Here are just four quick examples of ways a lawyer might be able to help beat your traffic ticket.
#1 – Dispute the Evidence
Remember that the state has the burden of proving you committed the infraction. While the standard is not as high as it is in a criminal case, the government still has to prove you were speeding or that you made an illegal U-turn. Just because a police officer thinks he or she saw you break the traffic law, does not automatically mean you did. Often the first step is making the government jump through the appropriate hoops by demanding evidence and showing you are committed to proving your evidence.
#2 – The Non-Appearing Officer
You’ve probably heard the urban legend that if the officer doesn’t show for the hearing, you automatically get off. Well, in some ways this is myth and in some ways it’s fact. You actually can get dismissed if the officer fails to appear. But this is because without the officer’s testimony, the government can’t prove it’s case. Of course, if the government requests a continuance, then they may be granted a second chance. So it’s not necessarily always automatic.
#3 – Pretext Stops
The law measures the balance between its interest in catching wrongdoers and the value of protecting people’s privacy. We want the police to catch the bad guys, but we don’t want them violating people’s rights to do it. If the police have an unlawful purpose for stopping you (racial profiling, etc.), then any evidence of a violation they discover during the stop might be excluded. Of course, this is rarely an option because by their very nature, traffic violations are the first thing an officer usually observes.
#4 – Make it Worth Settling
Local prosecutors who handle traffic citations have very busy caseloads. Their job is to collect money for the municipality. So the more money they collect, the better. In some cases, a skilled attorney can make the case to a prosecutor that the cost of going to trial on a simple ticket will be a waste of money for the government and could actually result in a dismissal or not guilty verdict. On the other hand, you could offer to pay a similarly priced fine for a non-moving violation that won’t affect your insurance or driving record. The government gets its money and you get to keep your clean record.
Don’t Try to Deal With the Prosecutor Alone
While there are some people who have successfully negotiated great deals, the cast majority of prosecutors will not entertain good plea deals on traffic tickets unless you have an attorney involved. Call the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. in Maryland to get help today.