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Traffic Tickets and Violations in Maryland
Citations or traffic tickets are issued in the State of Maryland for various violations of traffic law. Citations generally indicate the statute or code number of the violation, and explain how and when to pay the fine or respond to the ticket. You must respond to a citation, usually by paying a fine or appearing in court, or else a warrant may be issued for your arrest and your driving license may be suspended.
TYPES OF VIOLATIONS
Most traffic tickets in Maryland are issued for either "payable" or "must appear" offenses.
Examples of payable offenses are:
- Running a stop sign or a red light
- Improper turning
- Failure to yield
- Driving under the influence
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Hit and run
- Driving with a suspended license
MOVING VS. NON-MOVING VIOLATIONSViolations are also classified by whether or not the vehicle was in motion at the type of the incident, and traffic tickets may therefore be for either moving or non-moving violations. Examples of moving violations include:
- Speeding or driving below the minimum speed
- Running a stop sign or red light
- Driving without a seat belt
- Drunk driving (DUI and DWI)
- Parking in a handicapped zone or other illegal parking
- Driving with an invalid vehicle registration
- Having expired or missing license plates
- Leaving a vehicle unattended and running
YOUR OPTIONS WHEN YOU RECEIVE A CITATIONMany citations do not require a court appearance, and you may admit guilt by paying the ticket directly. The citation will indicate how and by what date to pay the fine. The following options are available for payment:
- Online payment. A fee will be charged for this.
- In person - visit the district court. You can pay by credit card as well.
- By phone - call (800) 492-2656 and follow the Interactive Voice Response System. Keep your credit card handy.
- By mail - send a copy of the ticket along with the check or money order, to the address given below:
District Court Traffic Processing Centre P.O. Box 6676 Annapolis, MD 21401
THE IMPLICATIONS OF BEING FOUND GUILTYWhen you pay a ticket directly, you are essentially pleading guilty to a traffic offense, which carries the same consequences as being found guilty of the violation in court. Motorists who either plead guilty directly or are found guilty of an offense should be aware of the following possible consequences:
- Certain traffic offenses, including speeding and other moving violations, are automatically reported to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. Maryland routinely provides information concerning traffic ticket convictions to other states.
- The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration follows a point system to track violations and their corresponding penalties. Points are added to your driving record which could result in your license being suspended. For more information, see our Point System section.
- Maryland drivers that accumulate points on their driving record are often subject to higher car insurance premiums.