Fight Traffic Ticket in MarylandPage Overview
In Maryland you have three plea options for traffic ticket cases: guilty, guilty with an explanation and not guilty. You must enter one of three pleas within 30 days of receiving the citation. If you cannot locate on your traffic ticket, visit our section on Lost Traffic Tickets.
(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 »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Plead guilty with an explanation
- Challenge traffic ticket via trial, and possible 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
Challenging your ticket means:
- 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 driving record, possible loss of driving privileges and even increased auto insurance rates.
If you opt to challenge your Maryland 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.
Pleading guilty means you have decided 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, check out our page on Paying Your Traffic Ticket.
Pleading Guilty With an Explanation
This plea allows you to appear before a judge and explain why you committed the offense and request that your fine be dismissed or reduced or that you be granted probation rather than conviction.
Avoid Suspended Driver's License
Be sure to notify the Maryland court of your plea within 30 days of the citation. Failure to respond within this time frame could lead to the suspension of your MD driver's license.
Submit your plea by mail by checking the "Request a Trial" box on the Return to Court copy of your citation (you will be given this when ticketed) and mail to:
- District Court Traffic Processing Center
- P.O. Box 6676
- Annapolis, MD 21401
You should then be alerted of a trial schedule within several weeks. If you do not hear from the court, contact the district court in the county which you were ticketed.
Hiring a traffic lawyer can increase your chances of a favorable decision, resulting in the charges being dismissed or reduced. This in turn may spare your driving record from incurring points, save you from a suspended driver's license and prevent a spike in your current car insurance rates.
Whether you plead not guilty or guilty with an explanation, consider consulting a traffic ticket attorney for preparing your case. If you opt to represent yourself, you'll need to gather information, possibly need to obtain your driver record and contact and/or subpoena witnesses.
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, if the ticket was not fully dismissed, a full explanation on how to proceed with fines and penalties.
After the verdict has been handed down, check your driving record for inaccuracies. Make sure there are no unaccounted points. Additional points could could increase your auto insurance rates, or even contribute to having your MD driver's license suspended or revoked.
A Maryland traffic ticket could add points to your driving record, possibly causing a jump in your car insurance rates. If you find this happening to you, keep in mind that you always have the option to shop around for a different car insurance company. You can do this from the convenience of home by comparing auto insurance rates online from a variety of auto insurance providers.Other Topics in This Section