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Fight Traffic Ticket in Maryland

SUMMARY: How to Fight a Maryland Traffic Ticket

If you plan to fight your MD traffic ticket, you'll need to submit a request for a court hearing and plead "not guilty" by mail. Check your traffic ticket for detailed instructions or contact the appropriate district court.

Fighting Your Traffic Ticket in Maryland

In Maryland, you have several plea options for traffic ticket cases:

  • Guilty.
  • Guilty with an explanation.
  • Not guilty.

You must enter your plea within 30 days of receiving the traffic citation. If you cannot locate the due date on your Maryland traffic ticket, visit our section on Lost Traffic Tickets.

NOTE: Failure to respond by the due date could result in a driver's license suspension.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)

  • Pay the fine.
  • Option to plea bargain penalties.
  • Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation).
  • Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates.

Learn more about
paying your traffic ticket »

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty)

  • Plead guilty with an explanation.
  • Challenge traffic ticket via trial, and possibly hire an attorney.
  • Possibly lose option to plea bargain for lesser penalties.
  • Win trial, pay only court and legal fees.
  • Lose trial and pay fine court and attorney fees.

What It Means to Fight Your MD Traffic Ticket

Fighting your Maryland citation could mean any of the following:

  • You may plead "guilty with an explanation," which may possibly prompt the court to reduce your charges (see below for more information).
  • Possibly reaching a plea agreement before your court appearance for a reduced charge.
  • The judge hears your case and dismisses all charges. You would still be responsible for paying all court and, if applicable, legal fees.
  • The judge hears your case and finds you "guilty." You would be required to pay all related fines, court and, if applicable, legal fees. You may also incur related penalties in the form of points on your MD driving record, possible loss of driving privileges and even increased auto insurance rates.

If you opt to challenge your Maryland traffic ticket, you must make a court appearance and state your case before a judge. The court will inform you of the procedures, giving you plenty of time to prepare your defense. Keep in mind that pleading "guilty," in most situations, will forfeit your chance to plea bargain.

Avoid a Suspended MD Driver's License

Be sure to notify the Maryland court of your plea within 30 days of receiving your traffic ticket. Failure to respond within this time frame could lead to the suspension of your MD driver's license.

Pleading Guilty

Pleading "guilty" means you agree to waive your right to a trial. Submitting your fine payment within 30 days of receiving your MD citation is an admission of guilt. For more information, read our page on Paying Your Traffic Ticket.

Pleading Guilty With an Explanation

This type of plea allows you to appear before a judge and explain why you committed the offense. You can request a dismissal or reduction in your fine, or ask for probation rather than conviction.

Notify the Maryland Court

You can submit your plea by mail. Simply check the "Request a Trial" box on the "Return to Court" copy of your traffic citation (you will be given this when ticketed) and mail to:

District Court Traffic Processing Center
P.O. Box 6676
Annapolis, MD 21401

The court will alert you of a trial schedule within several weeks. If you do not hear back, contact the district court in the Maryland county where you were ticketed.

Hire a MD Traffic Ticket Attorney

Hiring a traffic ticket lawyer can increase your chances of a favorable decision, resulting in the charges being dismissed or reduced. This, in turn, may spare your MD driving record from incurring points, save you from a suspended driver's license, and prevent a spike in your current car insurance rates.

Prepare Your Traffic Ticket Case

Whether you plead " not guilty" or "guilty with an explanation," consider consulting a traffic ticket attorney to help you prepare your case. If you opt to represent yourself, you'll need to gather information, obtain your MD driving record, and contact and/or subpoena witnesses. See below to find out how to obtain a copy of your driving record.

Plead Your Case Before a Judge or Jury

At your trial, the MD officer who issued your citation will testify, and then you'll be given the opportunity to state your defense. The judge will then issue a verdict, which will include a full explanation on how to proceed with fines and penalties (if the traffic ticket was not fully dismissed).

Check Your Maryland Driving Record

After the verdict has been handed down, check your MD driving record for inaccuracies. Make sure there are no points unaccounted for. Additional points could could increase your auto insurance rates, or even contribute to having your MD driver's license suspended or revoked.

Shop for Better Auto insurance Rates

If you're found guilty of a traffic violation, your car insurance rates are likely to increase. Remember, you always have the option to shop around for a different car insurance company by comparing auto insurance rates online from a variety of providers.

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