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Traffic violations can become far more serious offenses

If you have the misfortune of receiving a traffic citation, then you're likely aware that you can receive either a moving or nonmoving violation here in Maryland. If the police gave you one of these citations, then you might wonder what types of behaviors fall into the different categories and the penalties for each of them.

There's one main difference between a moving and a nonmoving violation. Police might only cite you with the former if your car was in motion at the time of your alleged offense.

A few different offenses that fall under the umbrella of a nonmoving violation include equipment or parking-related behaviors. If you stop in a no-parking or handicap zone, your muffler makes too much noise or your meter expires, then the police may cite you with a nonmoving violation.

In contrast, law enforcement officers may charge you with a moving violation if you run a red light or stop sign, drive under the influence (DUI) or speed.

Maryland law requires individuals to either pay their citation or request a court hearing within 30 days of having received it. The law enforcement agency that issued the ticket will notify the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration of any unpaid citations once 30 days pass. They may then suspend your driver's license. You could face additional penalties for your failure to pay as well.

There are some traffic violations, such as driving on a suspended license or DUI charges, in which defendants can't merely accept guilt, pay a fine and go on their way. Cases like these almost always are "must appear" cases or require that the defendant comes before a judge.

Many individuals think that traffic violations are relatively minor since they are generally resolvable out of court and punishable with only a small fine. While that's the case with nonmoving violations, you should realize that there are stiff penalties if you don't pay what you owe.

There are even more severe repercussions for not participating in the legal process after receiving a moving offense citation. A criminal defense attorney can advise you how motor vehicle violations can affect not only your driving record but also lead to a deprival of your freedom here in Prince George's County.

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Clinton Office
8808 Old Branch Avenue
P.O. Box 219
Clinton, MD 20735

Phone: 301-856-3030
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Dunkirk, MD 20754

Phone: 301-855-3100
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