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Fight Traffic Ticket in Maryland

Stuck with a traffic ticket you didn't deserve? The citation doesn't have to be the end-all be-all. You can plead “not guilty" and fight for your rights in court.

Read below to find out more about how to initiate the process and what you can expect after pleading not guilty to your Maryland traffic ticket.

Pleading Not Guilty in Maryland

To plead not guilty and challenge your MD traffic ticket, you will need to respond to the citation within 30 days after receiving it.

To do so, you'll need to:

  • Check the Request a Trial box on your traffic citation.
  • Sign and date your ticket.
  • Mail the ticket to:
    • District Court Traffic Processing Center
    • P.O. Box 6676
    • Annapolis, MD 21401

The proper court will then mail you information on the location, time and date of your court hearing.

Your initial court date will be your arraignment, where you will get the chance to officially plead "not guilty." The court will then schedule your trial, which may be held on the same day.

If you don't respond to your ticket within the time frame, you could have your license suspended, so make sure to reply whether you choose to fight your traffic ticket or pay your fine in the end.

*NOTE: Remember that pleading "not guilty" means you feel you did not violate the law. It's highly recommended to have some evidence to prove it. Expect court officials to question you on your stance.

Fighting Your MD Traffic Ticket

Once your official plea is rendered, you'll be issued a trial date, which may or may not be held on the same day of your arraignment. Plan ahead for the possibility of several trips to court.

You will also not be offered a court-appointed lawyer for your traffic ticket case, so consider hiring a Maryland traffic ticket attorney. Otherwise, you'll have to represent yourself at trial.

Whenever you do go to trial, you or your lawyer will then get the chance to:

  • Argue the law.
  • Call witnesses.
  • Present other evidence.
  • Question the officer who wrote you up.

Once all sides are heard from, your case will be considered and decided on by a judicial officer.

Potential Costs

There are a number of financial factors you should consider before deciding whether to fight your Maryland traffic ticket.

You could expect to pay for any or all of the following costs:

  • Additional court fines.
  • Lawyer fees.
  • Higher car insurance.
  • Time off work to attend court.
DMV.ORG TIP: Tickets Can Lead to Higher Insurance Rates

If you lose your case, you could see a much higher car insurance rate. Find out how to avoid that fate with our guide to a ticket's impact on car insurance.

Consequences of Fighting Your Ticket

After both sides present their case, the judiciary official in charge will make a ruling on your MD traffic ticket.

If you are found not guilty, you will NOT:

  • Have the violation on your driving record.
  • Need to pay the traffic ticket fine.

However, if you lose and are found guilty, you could have to:

  • Pay additional court fees.
  • Pay the original fine.
  • Have the citation added to your driving record.

Depending on how severe the infraction was, if you lose, you could also be looking at:

Ask the judiciary official or your traffic ticket attorney about finalizing all paperwork and any other potential consequences of losing your case.

DMV.ORG TIP: Review Your Driving Record!

This court case could alter the course of your driving record! After fighting your ticket, make sure the document is accurate by ordering a copy of your driving record for review.

Missing Your Court Date

Missing your court date could lead to heavy penalties, including:

  • Points added to your license.
  • License suspension.
  • A warrant issued for your arrest.
  • The violation going on your record.
  • Additional fines and fees.

If you realize your court date won't work for you, it's strongly recommended to call the proper Maryland court and ask to reschedule as soon as possible.

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