Drivers accumulate demerit points in Maryland for a wide range of traffic offenses. More serious offenses result in a higher amount of penalty points than minor offenses. Also, under the rules of the MD point system, motorists who accrue a certain amount of driving points within a specific time period will also be penalized with a license suspension or revocation. Learn more about the state demerit point system and how to avoid traffic violation penalties in Maryland in the sections below:
- Moving violations and points in Maryland
- Penalties in Maryland
- How to fix a driving record in Maryland
- Disputing a moving violation charge in Maryland
Moving Violations and Points in Maryland
The amount of Maryland moving violation points reported on a driver's record after a traffic violation conviction generally varies based on the severity of the offense. For example, you will accumulate 12 DUI points for driving under the influence of alcohol, which is the maximum number of infraction points you can accrue. Note that the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) does not assign driver violation points for every type of offense. The following list outlines several violations punishable by demerit points for speeding or other types of points within the state:
- Driving a vehicle in a careless manner: 1 point
- Exceeding the posted speed limit by 10 to 19 mph: 2 speeding ticket points
- Operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license: 3 points
- Knowingly permitting a minor younger than 15 years of age to drive on a highway: 5 points
- Reckless driving with disregard for the safety of individuals: 6 reckless driving points
Note: The number of MD car accident points or other types of points will increase if you have contributed to an accident that resulted in a fatal injury.
Depending on the total amount of demerit points you have accumulated within a two-year period, the MVA will take a different type of action. If you accrue three to four points, for instance, the administration will send you a warning letter. Drivers who collect eight to 11 traffic violation points, on the other hand, will receive a notice of suspension. Accumulating 12 or more points leads to a revocation of your driving privileges.
Penalties in Maryland
The Maryland traffic violation penalties issued as a result of a conviction of a traffic offense generally vary based on the severity of the infraction. Also, in addition to the traffic ticket penalty administered by the MVA, drivers will be subject to certain court-imposed penalties.
The DUI penalties issued to drivers who violate the MD impaired driving laws, for example, may also include a jail sentence in addition to the steep traffic ticket fines. Note that motorists who are subjected to the state impaired driving penalties for the first time will not be treated as harshly as repeat offenders. The MD drunk driving penalties administered for a second DUI offense include a $2,000 fine and a jail sentence of up to two years. First-time offenders, on the other hand, generally incur a fine of up to $1,000 and a one-year jail sentence. Repeat offenders will also be required to participate in an alcohol rehabilitation program, as well as the state ignition interlock program.
Another type of offense that results in harsh traffic violation penalties in Maryland is operating a vehicle in a reckless manner. The reckless driving penalties issued within the state may include a fine of up to $1,000 and the accumulation of six demerit points on your driver's transcript.
How to Fix a Driving Record in Maryland
Completing a defensive driving course in Maryland for purposes of reducing your total point count is an option that is not currently available within the state. However, even if drivers are currently unable to reduce license points by completing an approved traffic school program, they can still enroll in one to improve their safe driving practices. Also, participation in an MD driver improvement course is mandatory if you:
- Have accumulated five, six or seven points on your record.
- Were referred to participate by the court that processed your ticket.
- Were mandated to enroll in one by the BMV Office of Administrative Hearings.
Regardless of the reason for participation, completing a driving safety course in MD will still help you avoid the accumulation of further penalty points. Certain courts may also offer the option of ticket dismissal to drivers who complete a traffic school online or in person within the state.
Disputing a Moving Violation Charge in Maryland
Drivers wondering how to fight a traffic ticket in Maryland can easily initiate the procedure by filling out their traffic tickets and mailing them to the state District Court Traffic Processing Center. After receiving your decision to fight a traffic ticket, the corresponding court will schedule your official trial. In order to ensure you successfully dispute a speeding ticket in MD or another type of citation, you can start preparing your defense in the time period leading up to your trial. Drivers can also increase their chances of winning the case by hiring a traffic ticket lawyer. You will avoid the MD traffic violation penalties if the judge renders a verdict of "not guilty". In such cases, your driving record will remain unaffected as well.