In Maryland, speeding carries up to a $500 fine. Additionally, the person is subject to being assessed 1 point if the speed is between one and nine miles over the speed limit, 2 points if the speed is between 10 and 29 miles over the limit, or 5 points, if the speed is more than 65 mph or more than 30 miles over the speed limit. Speeding is a “strict liability” case. This means that it is not a defense that the driver was unaware that he or she was speeding.
In Maryland, every driver receiving a payable traffic citation must file one of three responses to the District Court. The first is to plead guilty and send in the fine. Although paying a ticket is not technically an admission of guilt it does result in a conviction and points on the driver's driving record at the Motor Vehicle Administration. The second option is to opt to plead guilty but to come to court and ask for a reduction in points or a probation before judgment. When a driver elects this option the officer is not required to appear in court. The third and best option is to request a trial. The officer is then required to appear in court. If the officer fails to appear the case is usually dismissed, or the judge will just find the defendant not guilty since there is no evidence against him or her. If the officer does appear, then it is possible to challenge the officer's conclusions and plead not guilty.
If the driver fails to respond to the tickets within 30 days, then the Motor Vehicle Administration will suspend the driver's license, or if the driver is from another state - the driver's privilege, until the tickets are paid.
The officer usually relies on either laser, radar, vascar or a pace to determine a vehicle’s speed. Each of these methods of determining speed relies on different equipment and paperwork to demonstrate the speed determination is accurate and reliable. It is not unusual for the officer to fail to bring proper documents in court to substantiate the case, or for counsel to uncover defects in the documents that result in their exclusion from evidence, and a favorable verdict for the client. In many cases, even if the court finds the client guilty the court will award probation before judgment, resulting in no points, or reduce the speed to lower the point assessment.
If the driver cannot attend court, then it is possible to have a lawyer go to court for them to try to obtain the best possible result.
Federal cases arising from speeding stops on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway or other roadways (such as Suitlant Parkway) under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service are handled differently. These cases are prosecuted under 36 Code of Federal Regulations, § 4.21 in Baltimore or Greenbelt before federal magistrate judges. The potential penalty is six months in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. Unlike state speeding cases where there is no potential for jail, as a matter of practice, drivers found to have exceeded 100 miles per hour are usually given some jail time.
If you are have received a speeding ticket, call Leonard R. Stamm of Goldstein & Stamm, P.A. at 301-345-0122 for a free consultation.
Leonard R. Stamm
Goldstein & Stamm, P.A.
6301 Ivy Lane, Suite 504
Greenbelt, MD 20770