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Payable vs. Must Appear Traffic Violations in Maryland

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No matter the reason you’re being pulled over, getting a ticket for a moving violation can often be overwhelming, especially because there is so much information on the small sheet of paper the officer hands to you. You may be wondering what to do next after receiving a ticket. Although there are several ways to violate a transportation statute, the traffic offenses you may be charged with in Maryland can be only one of two types: payable and must appear.

Our team of criminal defense lawyers and traffic defense lawyers represent clients throughout Maryland. Contact the team at Gracia & Mintz at (301) 842-8584 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to schedule your free consultation.

What is a payable traffic violation?

Examples of a payable offense include running a stop sign, speeding, and improper turning. If you have been charged with a payable traffic violation, you can pay a fine after pleading guilty and you are not required to appear in court. One of the most important details to note is that, if you have been issued a citation in Maryland, you have 30 days to respond to the court. This gives you the opportunity to request how you would like to proceed with the citation. Because it’s important to act quickly, as failure to respond in a timely manner will require further action and may even result in a suspension of your license, you would be best served to find an experienced traffic defense lawyer like the team at Gracia & Mintz to help you navigate the next steps.

However, if the police officer did not check “this is a payable citation” on your ticket, you will be required to appear in court for trial; this is a must appear traffic violation.

What is a must appear traffic violation?

A must appear offense is more serious than a payable traffic violation. As such, there is a possibility of incarceration along with the charges. Examples of infractions that may result in a must appear violation include driving under the influence (DUI) or driving on a suspended license.

How long does a warning stay on your record in Maryland?

Depending on the severity of the traffic violation, the police officer who pulled you over may choose to issue a warning instead of a citation. Whether verbal or written, a warning does not go on your driving record, and it is not reported to the DMV or your insurance company.

However, should you get a ticket, also known as a citation, the consequences are often more severe, sometimes including a fine, a court date, and/or points on your record. The fine may be high, and while it tends to relieve you of a trip to court, paying it does constitute a guilty plea. Any points you receive will stay on your record for 2 years, starting on the date of the infraction.

Do you still have questions about the traffic violations you may be charged with in Maryland? Gracia & Mintz has been protecting our clients’ interests as they face the legal system in Prince George’s County and beyond over the course of thousands of cases. Our team is available to answer questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us at (301) 842-8584 now.