Experienced Annapolis Traffic Violations Lawyer

Defending clients in Howard and Anne Arundel counties against unfair traffic charges

Few things are worse than seeing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror. After the initial queasiness subsides, you might start adding up the cost of the citation you will likely receive – or figuring out what excuse to give to the cop. Even if you are confident you didn’t do anything wrong, a traffic stop is stressful. In Maryland, a traffic violation can result in extensive fines, costly increases in insurance rates, and even the loss of your driver’s license. If you are a commercially licensed driver, you may be in danger of losing your job.

My name is Gill Andrew Cochran, and I vigorously defend my clients against traffic citations. When you turn to Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, you can trust that you will be represented by an experienced Annapolis criminal defense attorney with the skill to fight for your rights. I work to have the citations dismissed before trial or to obtain an acquittal. Often, it’s possible to negotiate a reduction of the charges to a less serious and less costly offense.

What are some common traffic violation charges in Maryland?

Traffic violations that may cost you a fortune if you don’t seek legal help to defend them include:

  • Driving without a driver’s license
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Driving on a revoked license
  • Driving without insurance
  • Hit-and-run
  • Illegal passing
  • Improper merging
  • Failure to render assistance after an accident

If you’re causing mayhem on the roads, you can face a lot of fines, penalties, and points. As a knowledgeable Annapolis traffic violations attorney, I defend clients in cases involving charges that may result in imprisonment, and charges that will result in expensive fines and reports to the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

Which Maryland traffic violations require me to go to court?

Driving offenses that may result in imprisonment include and do require that you appear in court:

What charges can I face if someone dies?

If you kill someone while driving, you could be charged with:

Can I face charges for using my phone while driving in Annapolis or Ellicott City?

Criminal charges? No. Big fines? Yes.

Maryland has enacted new laws to help prevent accidents that occur due to driver distraction. The Maryland Department of Transportation enacted the following cell phone laws:

  • Talking on a cell phone. Drivers cannot use a handheld phone while driving. Hands-free phones are permissible. The main concern is that if a driver takes his/her hands off the wheel, there’s a much greater danger of an accident. There are exceptions for police officers, emergency personnel, and emergency calls for help. The fines are up to $75 for a first offense, $125 for a second offense, and $175 for a third or subsequent offense. Minors who use a cell phone can lose their driver’s license privileges for 90 days – though a restricted driver’s license may be available for work or school.
  • Texting while driving. It’s illegal to read, write, or send texts while driving. There are general exceptions for 911 calls and GPS use. Texting while driving is a misdemeanor. There are fines, a point on your record, and, for drivers aged 17 or younger, a driver’s license suspension for 90 days.

According to Zero Deaths MD, the fines and points increase if you cause an accident while using a cell phone. If you cause a serious injury or death while talking or texting on a cell phone, Maryland has a law, called Jake’s Law, that can result in charges that include up to three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

What are the consequences of Maryland traffic violations?

Most traffic violation convictions will result in the following fines and penalties:

  • Substantial fines and court costs. These fines can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, in some cases.
  • Points on your driving record. Different points are assigned for different moving violations. If you start accumulating points on your license because of traffic violations, you could find yourself without a license altogether. Maryland provides the following consequences based on your point total:
    • 3 to 4 points. The MVA will send you a warning letter.
    • 5 to 7 points. You will need to enroll in and complete a Driver Improvement Program (DIP) at your own expense.
    • 8 to 11 points. The MVA will send you a license suspension notice.
    • 12 or more points. The MVA will send you a license revocation notice.
  • Increased insurance rates. Insurance companies will increase your premiums after a number of traffic violations – often for several years. The amount of the premium increase rises as you accumulate more points. For example, an insurance company may increase your premium by $100 for three years which means your ticket just cost you $3,600 plus the fines for the traffic offense.
  • Possible loss of driving privileges. Most people in Maryland need their car for work and for personal use. If you’re driving privileges are suspended, you will need to spend a fortune on public transportation or private transportation. Experienced Annapolis traffic violation lawyers explain when you might be ablet to obtain a restricted license for work, school, attending religious services, and to see your doctors.

If you are charged with a criminal offense such as a DUI, you could also be imprisoned and have a criminal record.

Should I hire a lawyer for a traffic ticket in Annapolis?

To ensure the protection of your rights, it is important to speak with a seasoned lawyer before making any statements to law enforcement. Failure to bring your traffic violation to the attention of an attorney in a timely fashion can result in serious damage to the potential success of your case.

There are two parts to your case. The first part is contesting the traffic violation. The second part is requesting an MVA hearing to contest the assessment of points and/or the suspension or revocation of your license.

Defending the traffic violation charges

The defenses to a traffic violation vary depending on the offense. However, some of the possible defenses I may assert on your behalf include:

  • Machine inaccuracies. It’s possible to challenge the validity of any machines, such as radar devices and lasers, that were used as the basis for the ticket. These devices typically need to be calibrated on a regular basis.
  • Cross-examination. I’ll question what the police saw, what the officer didn’t see, and the credibility of the officer who ticketed you.
  • The violation was legally justified. For example, you were speeding because a bee flew into your car, or you had a medical or health emergency.
  • The violation was factually excusable. For example, the traffic signals were obstructed by trees and bushes.
  • The violation was necessary to avoid harm. For example, I may argue you needed to speed to avoid being struck in the rear by another driver.

The MVA hearing

You need to request an MVA hearing in a timely manner. The MVA hearing is an administrative hearing, not a criminal hearing. At the MVA hearing, I will work to show that:

  • Some of the points on your record should be removed or expunged
  • That the assessment of points is incorrect
  • That you are entitled to drive on a restricted driver’s license
  • Other defenses apply

An experienced Annapolis criminal defense attorney will speak with law enforcement on your behalf to gather information, and determine the potential consequences you are facing. There’s often a delicate balance between trying to negotiate a dismissal or a reduction of the charges and cross-examining a police officer about what happened. This balance requires the skills of an experienced attorney.

Annapolis Criminal Defense Lawyers

Get a traffic ticket in Annapolis or Ellicott City? Keep calm and call Drew

As an experienced Annapolis criminal defense lawyer, I have a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes in traffic ticket cases. This includes getting cases dismissed from my clients’ records and negotiating the violations down to less serious charges. My fees are affordable, and I pick up the phone when you call, because you deserve a quality legal defense. If you received a traffic citation, call Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law today at 410.271.1892 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation at one of my offices in Annapolis or Ellicott City.

And remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew.