Let’s set up the scenario. You’re pulled over by a police officer and issued three separate tickets. The first and second tickets are payable tickets. Payable tickets in Maryland are less serious offenses and typically moving violations. If a driver receives a payable ticket, they have three options:
- pay the ticket and potentially receive points to your driving record;
- request a waiver hearing; or
- request a trial.
Pay the Ticket
If a driver elects option 1, paying the ticket, then they can go online and make payment or visit any District Court and pay the preset fine on the ticket. However, by paying the ticket, the driver is admitting fault and guilt.
By pleading guilty and paying the ticket, points will be assessed to the drivers motor vehicle administration record.
Waiver Hearing Option
If a driver elects to “request a waiver hearing,” the driver must mail in the ticket with the waiver hearing boxes selected and wait for a court date. This is not a preferable method as the driver will appear in court and the only option is to plead guilty. When a waiver hearing is selected, the police officer is not summoned to court and thus a trial cannot be held.
Request a Trial for a Ticket in Maryland
If a driver elects option #3, requesting a trial, then the driver is telling the court that it wants the police officer present and has the option to plead not guilty. In addition, if the police officer does not appear in court, the state will have no evidence to offer against the driver and the ticket is typically dismissed.
Going back to our original example, the first two tickets are payable tickets and the third ticket is a “must appear.” Must appear tickets are more serious and carry the potential of jail time if convicted. If a driver pays out or pays the payable ticket before the trial date for the most appear, this leaves the driver at a disadvantage.
Often, a traffic lawyer can use the payable tickets as a negotiating tool with the state’s attorney to resolve the must appear ticket. It is often the case, that your lawyer can also use the payable tickets as leverage to resolve the case without admitting guilt to the more serious traffic offense.
What is the lesson learned?
If you receive payable tickets and must appear tickets for the same stop, do not pay the payable tickets before you appear in court. If you are facing a trial date for a must appear ticket, like driving on a suspended license or driving without insurance, the help of a Maryland traffic lawyer may result in the dismissal of the tickets. Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today to schedule a free consultation and learn how his experience can help you with your traffic tickets in Maryland.