It’s such a drag when you pick up your mail and see that tell-tale envelope – you’ve been caught running a red light again. How did the state ever manage to get by without that extra revenue pre-technology? With all of the traffic around the state and distracted drivers causing you to miss your chance at making it through an intersection, is it really any wonder why so many people run red lights?

Maryland drivers have so many frustrations to contend with on a daily basis, and receive so many traffic tickets as a result, that six counties felt the need to install these red light contraptions around Baltimore and 22 other jurisdictions. It’s really the most economical and expeditious way for law enforcement to handle what amounts to a minor traffic violation at the end of the day.

I can run as many red lights as my little heart desires

Okay, so that’s not exactly the case but you won’t have your registration suspended for non-payment either if you do. The law previously allowed the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to suspend your registration if you didn’t pay your $100 fine for – let’s face it – being too slow beating the yellow light. In other words, you weren’t driving anywhere until you caught up your fines and paid a $30 reinstatement fee.

The state legislature has finally come to its senses and realized that it’s not benefitting anyone to hinder people getting to work, medical appointments, etc. In fact, Maryland is the only state that was using suspensions as a punishment for a low-level moving violation. That said, what can happen is when the time comes to renew your registration, you’ll be denied until your tickets are paid.

Don’t get too excited about the red light law

Maryland hasn’t approved a free-for-all when it comes to obeying other traffic rules. It also doesn’t mean a human police officer won’t ever pull you over for running a light, and he or she may find more violations to cite you for in the process.

If you do get busted for breaking a traffic law, you’re likely going to want to hire an attorney who can attempt to get your tickets dismissed or at least lower the points and fine amount. Depending upon how serious is it you could face:

  • Arrest
  • A trial
  • License suspension
  • Being required to attend traffic school
  • Payment of a large fine
  • Jail time
  • Probation

Help yourself by helping your Annapolis traffic violation lawyer

If you get arrested (this can mean anything from stopped to taken to jail), don’t help the police build a case against you. There are things you can do immediately to start protecting your rights.

  • Be polite to the officer and cooperate, but don’t offer information other than your driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance, if asked.
  • Keep answers short and to the point. Don’t go into explanations about anything.
  • Ask if you are under arrest or if you are free to leave. If you are under arrest, immediately state that you wish to contact a lawyer and don’t want to answer any more questions.
  • Be sure you sign the ticket(s). Failure to do so gives the officer grounds to arrest you.
  • Get the officer’s name and badge number.
  • Pay attention to whether the officer continues to ask you questions if you have asked for a lawyer.
  • If you are taken into custody, note whether you were read your rights.

Following these simple steps will help minimize the evidence the officer is able to obtain from you, which will only serve to help in your defense. It’s much easier to succeed in getting tickets and traffic-related charges reduced when the police have little to work with.

Knowing when you need to hire an experienced traffic violation attorney can be a pretty simple question to answer. You have a job to get to and a family to provide for. If you have too many points that have crept up on your license, you can’t risk the possibility of losing your driving privileges for any period of time. You need the effective legal representation of Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law. To schedule your free consultation with a results-oriented criminal defense attorney in our Annapolis or Ellicott City offices, call 410-777-8103, or reach out through our contact page.

And remember – Keep Calm, and Call Drew.