Hello I got a speeding ticket last night 9/12/13 in Maryland (i'm also a Maryland Resident) for going 80 mph in a 55 mph highway. I think I have no case because I know I was surely going at least 15 mph over the speed limit even if it wasn't exactly 80 mph. The officer issued me a ticket. The problem is that I only have a provisional licence and I am literally a month away from completing my 18 month holding period to convert to a full license (I know, great time to get a ticket) and I already have one "Probation Before Judement" on my record from a traffic citation from Apr. 2012. So with this current ticket, If I were convicted, I would have 2 PBJ and/or a Conviction within the 18 month period which according to the MVA is a 30 day license suspension.
If you are on your Provisional License and you have already received a Probation Before Judgment (PBJ), then you are legally prohibited from receiving another PBJ while you are on your provisional license.
You have 30 days to comply with the citation by:
(1) paying the fine amount on the citation
You will receive the two points on your driving record, and you are assured of facing a 30 day suspension of your license for receiving two moving violations while on a provisional license. If you follow this route BEFORE the MVA changes your driver's license over to a full license, then your 18 month provisional period will start over again from the date that you pay the ticket. You DON'T want to do this.
(2) Ask for a waiver hearing
You are admitting guilt and the officer will not be required to appear in court. You can ask the Judge to reduce the penalty, but as mentioned before, you cannot receive another PBJ, so the best the Judge can do for you would be to reduce the speed to 64 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. This would reduce the two point violation to one point. By proceeding this way, you risk the MVA interpreting the request for a "Waiver Hearing" as a guilty plea and they may restart that 18 monthpProvisional period again. You DON'T want to do this either.
(3) Request a trial
This is the ONLY way that you will be able to possibly avoid (a) the points and (b) the MVA ordering a 30 day suspension of your license. Even though you request the trial before the 18 month supervision period is over, the MVA cannot deny you a full driver's license if the citation is not on your driving record. The trial, depending on the County, will likely not be until mid to late October at the earliest, which should give you time to get your full driver's license.
If you have a full license before you go to Court, then at least theoretically the Judge can grant another PBJ (although it is unlikely). This will only keep the points off of your driving record, but it does not avoid a potential 30 day suspension of your license because you received two moving violations for which you were either (a) granted a PBJ or (b) convicted of WHILE ON your provisional license. Although you will not face the additional 18 months of the provisional period, you are only facing the 30 day suspension.
If your lawyer is successful in fighting the citation (my defense of speeding tickets is usually technical in nature, and I don't argue you were or weren't speeding), then you won't have to worry about the 30 day suspension.
Feel free to take a look at my website and contact me to discuss your options. Even if the MVA wants to suspend your license for 30 days, there are ways a lawyer can get a restricted license for you for that 30 day period that would allow you to get to/from work, school, etc.
You should request a trial date and not a waiver hearing. This way if the officer does not show up, you will be found not guilty and eligible for your regular license after the 18 months. You should consider getting an attorney to defend the traffic ticket.
A Probation Before Judgment or a conviction on a provisional starts over the 18 months and counts as a violation on a provisional. A second violation on a provisional will result in a 30 day suspension, but you can request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge who can reduce the suspension or modify the suspension to allow you to go to work or school. You have to request a hearing within 15 days of getting the letter from the MVA and there is a $150.00 filing fee. You should consider getting an attorney for the MVA hearing if it gets to that point.
Due to the provisional license regulations in the Maryland Transportation Article, you will likely face negative consequences at your District Court waiver hearing. I would not request a waiver hearing for many reasons and I have blogged about that issue in more specificity at WWW.BALT-LAW.COM.
Alternatively, I would request a trial and then contact an experienced traffic defense lawyer. An aggressive traffic defense lawyer can do much more than hope the officer does not show up to court. For example, your lawyer can subpoena certain records and information in advance of trial. Or your lawyer can try to the case. An aggressive and experienced traffic lawyer can not guarantee you a "not guilty" disposition, but he or she can prepare the case in advance, open up a dialogue with the officer or trooper before court and, ultimately, determine the best way to defend you.
If you have any additional questions, please contact Law Office of Adam M. Smallow for a free consulation at 410.777.8960 or find us on the Internet at WWW.BALT-LAW.COM.
A traffic ticket is issued for moving or non-moving vehicle violations. Potential consequences include fines, license penalties, traffic school, or jail.
A moving violation is a traffic infraction committed in a vehicle in motion, such as speeding, reckless driving, or following another vehicle too closely.
Written by attorney Jeffrey Howard
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