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I received a notice from the Court that I have traffic charges? Should I just pay the fines?

Posted by attorney Eduardo Gonzalez y Torres

This is a very common question. The response is usually to consult an attorney before paying. This is true because a lawyer may find a reason to have the case dismissed or have the fines reduced considerably. For example, in one of my recent cases, a client was fined almost $2,000 for driving without a license, insurance, registration, and numerous other charges. As a result of my defence, the fine was reduced to $150 (with three months to pay).

Unbeknowst to the general public, many traffic charges require an appearance before the Court. This means that you, as the Defendant, must appear before the Court to address your charges. In such cases, you generally face the possibility of imprisonment. Due to the severity of the consequences, e.g., jail time, high fines, points on your license (and increase in insurance for said fact), etc... it's always prudent to consult with an attorney. Unfortunately, many people believe if they pay the fines that is sufficient, however, what often happens is the driver fails to appear before the Court and the Court issues a bench warrant for the Defendant's arrest.

Disclaimer: Eduardo Gonzalez is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. His legal commentary is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be interpreted as formal legal advice nor the formation of a relationship of lawyer and client.

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