Our blog has posted on traffic violations in the past. Indeed, in a prior blog, we analyzed the two types of traffic violations: minor and major. And, for major traffic violations, getting an attorney may seem more obvious, but even minor traffic violations could also warrant getting an attorney, depending on the situation.
First, do not wait until the trial date to ask the court for an attorney or for leave to find an attorney. You should research getting an attorney as soon as possible after receiving the traffic violation.
Benefits of an attorney
Without an attorney, your defense is on you. Understanding the law, possible defenses, how to present that evidence, etc., is all on you. Doing this research may be possible on your own, and you may be successful. However, getting an attorney alleviates this need.
The attorney will prepare a defense, gather evidence and do an investigation, as needed. During the trial, they can make objections to ensure appeals are possible, present legally allowable evidence, make pretrial motions, understand the alternative dispositions available (and as for them, when appropriate) and even negotiate a plea deal.
An appointed attorney
If the traffic violation has a jail term as a possible consequence of conviction, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, you simply need to apply for an attorney with the Maryland Office of the Public Defender. They appoint attorneys for those who cannot afford one, but the application must be submitted well before the trial date.
Do not forget your points
The severity of the Annapolis, Maryland, traffic violation consequences will often be pegged to the number of points you already have, along with the number of points the conviction will add. Your points are valid for 2 years from the violation date. At 3 points, you receive a warning letter from the state, and then at 5, you are called in for an in-person conference. At 8 points, your license is suspended for at least 15 days, but up to 90 days. Finally, at 12 points, your license is revoked. These points can stack up rather fast as even littering qualifies for 2 points, excessive speeding, following too closing, etc.