You have been pulled over by the police and you have been issued a citation, or multiple citations. The officer may have handed you a piece of paper called a "Maryland Uniform Complaint/Citation/Summons" (click link to see example provided by the Maryland Judiciary's website). On that piece of paper is a lot of information. What does it all mean? How long do you have to make a decision on what is best for you? How many points will go on my driving record? Will your insurance rates go up? Will your license be suspended?
Every person's situation is unique, and the best thing to do is call me at 202-540-0525 or set up a free confidential consultation through this website. For answers to some of the more common questions, see the general information below as a guide.
What does this piece of paper tell me?
The Maryland Uniform Complaint/Citation Summons has a lot of information on it. Below your identifying information should be the charge(s) you face and the maximum fine you face if found guilty of the charge. For traffic offenses that carry the possibility of jail time, it should say "Must Appear" in the section where fines appear.
How long do I have to make a decision on whether to pay the fine or request a trial date?
The Uniform Citation states that you have three options: 1) Pay the Fine, 2) Request a Waiver Hearing, or 3) Request a Trial. No matter which option you choose, you must make a decision and inform the court within 30 days. Although you have 30 days to inform the court of your decision, you should consider discussing your case with an attorney who can inform you of the process and your options.
What if I am charged with offenses that say "Must Appear"?
Will my insurance rates go up?
This is a good question. In addition to what a court could fine you, if your car insurance company finds out about the citation they may raise your insurance rates. Depending on the charge, the rate increase may last several years. Insurance.com offers a "Uh-Oh! Calculator" to show how some common traffic offenses could impact your insurance rates.
Will my license be suspended?
If you do nothing and ignore the citation, your privilege to drive will be suspended. If you allow this to happen, your driving related problems will continue to pile up. Avoid having your license suspended, and contact Andrew Hoverman for a free consultation today.