Moving violations (speeding, red light, stop sign, etc.) are common in the state of Maryland. While they can be handled by mailing in payment of a fine, this has implications with the Motor Vehicle Administration and your insurance company. When you pay a traffic ticket, you are entering a guilty plea and points may be assessed. Once a certain number of points are accumulated, ones privilege to drive may be suspended or revoked. If you hire an attorney, they can appear on your behalf and attempt to obtain a result that will prevent points – therefore protecting your ability to drive.
Driving on a suspended license is covered in § 16-303 of the Maryland official code. It states that a person is not permitted to operate a motor vehicle while their privilege to drive has been suspended. The possible penalties vary depending upon the reason for the suspension. For example, if the license is suspended for an alcohol violation, failure to pay child support, or points accumulation, the maximum penalty is one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. However, if your license is suspended for failure to pay a traffic ticket, the maximum penalty is 60 days incarceration and/or a $500 fine. Regardless of the reason, a conviction for driving on a suspended license will result in the imposition of points by the Motor Vehicle Administration.
To operate a motor vehicle in Maryland, you must also have your vehicle registered with the state and properly insured. If you are convicted of driving without insurance, you could be sentenced to up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, along with having points assessed by the Motor Vehicle Administration.
When you are charged with driving on a suspended/revoked license or driving uninsured, technically, you are being arrested. Many people don’t realize this because police can “discretionarily release” you back onto the road once the ticket is received. So, even though you are never put in handcuffs and taken to a police station, you’re still charged with a serious crime under Maryland license laws. You’re only released upon your promise to appear in court when notified to do so.