New Year Brings Changes to Maryland Traffic Violations

When you are counting down to the new year this holiday, it is important to remember that Jan. 1 brings in a change other than the beginning of a new year. It will be welcome 2011, and welcome new laws regarding Maryland traffic tickets.

According to a report by NBC Washington, area drivers will have to be more vigilant regarding their responses to traffic tickets. If someone is cited for speeding, running a red light, ignoring a stop sign or another Maryland traffic violation not categorized as “must appear,” they will have three options of how to move forward:

  • Pay the fine soon after being ticketed, or else you could have your license suspended
  • Request a hearing to discuss sentencing
  • Request a trial to contest details of the traffic violation charge

Within 30 days of receiving the ticket, drivers have to inform the District Court of their chosen action. This process differs compared to the status quo in Maryland because at present, all drivers cited for traffic violations are automatically scheduled for a court date.

Because that process has reportedly been wasteful in regards to time and money, the district decided to do away with that system. According to sources, the court would think that drivers were going to appear at their scheduled hearings due to lack of ticket payments. Officers would be scheduled to appear in court only for them and the court to find that drivers merely put off paying their tickets and didn’t intend on attending the hearings.

While the new process could save money, it could also put drivers at risk of missing the chance to challenge their traffic tickets in court. Remember, 30 days is all you will have to make your intentions to appear in court known. So if you have reason to believe you were wrongfully cited for a traffic violation, don’t hesitate to contact the District Court regarding your case.

Source “Traffic Ticket Trial Procedure Changing in Maryland ,” 1 Dec. 2010

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