Maryland Traffic Attorney | License Suspensions | Shayan Modarres
What Are License Suspensions?
When your license privileges were canceled, suspended, refused, or revoked, it means you can’t drive in the State of Maryland for one of many reasons. It’s important to understand what the applicable Maryland license law is, and what the consequences are for violations of the law.
Some common reasons for license suspensions include:
- Failing to pay a prior traffic ticket.
- The driver has accumulated to many points on his or her driving record. 8-11 points on your driving record and you will received a notice of suspension from the MVA.
- The Medical Advisory Board (MAB) has suspended a driver’s license.
- Failure to pay child support.
- A license restriction has been violated.
- A person refused to take a blood or breath test after being stopped for suspicion of DUI/DWI.
- A DUI/DWI conviction or too many DUI/DWI convictions.
Section 16-303 of Maryland license law states that “a person may not drive a motor vehicle on any highway or on any property specified in [the] article while the person’s license or privilege is suspended in this State.” This means that if your license was suspended, the Maryland Vehicle Administration revoked your ability to drive for a set amount of time. Two suspended driving charges that may apply to your Maryland license are 16-303(c) and 16-303(h). Both are very serious charges, and it’s imperative to get help from a Maryland traffic attorney if you’re being charged with driving on a suspended license.
Several differences exist between these charges. With 16-303(c), the maximum penalty you can face is one year in jail and / or a $1,000 fine for a conviction. In addition, you can get 12 points on your license, which completely revokes your ability to drive. The second conviction of 16-303(c) may bring the maximum penalty of two years’ incarceration and/or $1,000 fine. A conviction for 16-303(h) means a maximum penalty of sixty days in jail and/or a $500 fine. You can also get 3 points on your license under license law. If you receive a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ), points will NOT be assessed to your driving record. If you’re found guilty, points will be assessed. An accumulation of points in Maryland can lead to additional suspensions or revocations by the MVA.
The distinction between the two charges relates to the reason your driving privileges were suspended in Maryland. For instance, you’d face a 16-303(c), often referred to as “the c,” charge if your license was suspended because you received a DUI, failed to pay child support, failed to complete a driver improvement program, had too many points on your license, or failed to pay a civil judgment. A 16-303(h), often referred to as “the h,” charge might apply if your license was suspended because you failed to pay a traffic ticket or fine, failed to appear in court for a ticket, and/or failed to maintain your insurance.
Charged with Driving on a Suspended License in Maryland?
Even the police “discretionarily release” you back on the road after writing you a ticket, you are still technically being arrested and charged with driving on a suspended license although you’re free to go. The only reason you are not being placed in handcuffs and taken to jail is because you are promising to appear in court when you are notified to do so. You MUST appear in court, this is not a ticket that you can simply pay.
NOTE: DO NOT pay the”payable”tickets before you appear in court with your lawyer. Often times, your attorney can have those tickets dismissed when you appear in court for your driving while license suspended case.
One element of the crime of driving on a suspended license in Maryland is “knowledge.” We can present a defense at trial arguing before the Judge or Jury that you did not KNOW your license was suspended.
Shayan Modarres can provide you with a strong defense against such charges. Read more about DUI/DWI in Maryland: http://modarreslaw.com/practice-areas/criminal/dui-and-dwi-laws-in-maryland-what-the-difference-is-penalties-you-face-and-how-to-beat-a-dui-or-dwi/
Click here for a complete list of Maryland violations and their respective point values and fines. The more common examples of traffic violations in Maryland and their respective point values from the MVA include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – 12
- Reckless driving – 6
- Driving without proof of insurance – 5
- Driving without a license – 5
- Failure to stop at a red light – 2
- Failure to stop for a school bus – 2
- Improper turn – 1
- Failure to yield – 1
- Speeding (9 mph over the limit or less) – 1
- Speeding (10 mph and over) – 2
- Speeding (20 mph or greater over a 65 mph speed limit) – 5
- Speeding (30 mph and over) – 5
Will out-of-state driving infractions result in points on my Maryland license?
If you commit a serious traffic offense in another state, often time those tickets can follow you to your Maryland record. This is because Maryland is a party to the Driver License Compact, an agreement between states that allows them to share information about crimes and other traffic violations that occur across the country.
According to the Maryland MVA, the following are some examples of violations that will be assessed on your Maryland record:
- Alcohol or drug related offenses
- Leaving the scene of an injury causing accident
- Homicide or manslaughter involving a vehicle
- Use of a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony
If you are found guilty of an out-of-state violation, it’s important to understand that these violations will incur penalties on your driver’s license according to Maryland’s point system, and not according to the scale in the state where the violation took place.
If you have been ticketed for a traffic violation and are concerned about the amount of points you might incur on your Maryland driver’s license, experienced defense attorney Shayan Modarres can help explain your options. Having a skilled lawyer on your side with experience defending traffic-related charges gives you the best chance for success in your case. Call Shayan Modarres’ Maryland law office today at (407) 408-0494 for a free discussion about your case.
Unregistered Motor Vehicles in Maryland
Every operable vehicle in Maryland is required by law to be registered with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). Driving an unregistered vehicle, or permitting an unregistered vehicle to be driven by another, is a criminal misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. Typically, a citation for driving a vehicle without registration is about $300. If you are accused of driving without registration, or if you are accused of allowing another person to drive your unregistered vehicle, contact an experienced traffic lawyer as soon as possible. Taking a proactive approach to your defense can help you protect yourself against preventable negative outcomes such as fines and driver’s license restrictions.
Though motor vehicle registration is mandated by the state of Maryland and the MVA, many operable vehicles are not registered for a variety of reasons:
- Failure to register a new vehicle within the required time period
- Accidentally lapsed registration
- Suspended registration from lack of adequate insurance
- Fear of registration due to outstanding warrants
The state of Maryland prohibits you from driving without registration and from allowing someone else to drive your unregistered vehicle. If you have been cited for driving without registration, call a qualified traffic lawyer for an evaluation of your case.
Driving Without Insurance in Maryland
Even if you or someone else never drives the uninsured vehicle, the state of Maryland can still subject you to fines. If insurance lapses on your vehicle, you can be fined up to $2,500 each year the car is uninsured. The MVA may also confiscate your license plates and prohibit you from registering another vehicle until you have met your automobile insurance obligations.
Penalties for Driving without Insurance in Maryland
Possible consequences of a driving without insurance conviction include:
- Up to $1,000 fine
- Up to 1 year in jail
- 5 points against your license, which can lead to
- Mandatory enrollment in a Driver Improvement Program
- Increased insurance premiums
- Suspension (at 8 points) or revocation (at 12 points) of your driver’s license.
A Maryland Traffic Lawyer Can Help
To help you avoid these consequences, contact a qualified traffic lawyer in Maryland. Attorney Shayan Modarres is a criminal defense lawyer handling these types of charges of driving while suspended, driving without insurance, and driving without registration. These apparently minor traffic violations can have major consequences. With representation from a skilled Maryland traffic lawyer, you can build a strong defense to minimize the impact a driving without insurance charge has on your life.
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