Aside from DUI, overspeeding, and distracted driving, drivers on a suspended license pose serious accident risks to other motorists. That’s why many states like Maryland mandate drivers to have their valid permits as they drive. A driver’s permit shows that you know how to ride a vehicle and are qualified to do so.
The state issues the driver’s license. However, they retain the right to suspend or revoke it as they deem fit. While a suspended license is invalid for a period, license renovation is permanent. Since driving on a suspended license is a crime in Maryland, the state prescribes offenders’ penalties.
The punishments range from fines, revocation, and jail time. If you have gotten a ticket for driving on a suspended license, you should adequately prepare for the court proceedings. You should also understand what your options are. We’d let you in on what to expect in this article.
Consequences of Driving With a Suspended Licence in Maryland
In Maryland, driving without a license or a suspended or revoked permit is a grave matter. You may face charges and get punished once found guilty. These penalties, according to Maryland’s Transportation Article § 27-101 and § 16-303(h), are:
You will almost always pay a fine if you get a driving ticket for not having a valid permit. For a first offense, you may pay a $500 fine. Second offenses can carry penalties of up to $ 1,000. For the third and subsequent offenses, Maryland may require you to pay fines up to $2,000.
Points on Your Driving Record
Maryland uses the traffic violation point system. This system allots varying numbers of points to defaulting drivers. Accumulating points to a certain number attracts steep punishments.
The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) is responsible for assigning and recording accumulated points. MVA can also reduce your points if you’ve been in the good books for a while. The points system aims to punish repeat offenders without burdening the legal system.
Commonly, license suspension is one of the ultimate punishments for reaching the threshold. However, you can still get points for driving on a suspended license. In many cases, driving while suspended in Maryland attracts a point value of 12.
Driving without a valid license in Maryland is a criminal misdemeanor and not a felony. However, it can carry a jail term depending on the case’s specifics. For example, driving without a valid license accompanied by DUI makes you more at risk of a jail term.
Even first offenders can be jailed depending on the circumstances. Typically, a first offense can carry a jail term of 60 days. A second offense has a one-year sentence. Third and subsequent offenses carry stricter punishments up to two years in prison.
What Happens in Court?
If you get charged to court for driving on a suspended license, you’ll face severe penalties if you’re found guilty. The prosecution will try to convince the court that you’re guilty and deserve conviction. On the other hand, your defense attorney will try to prove your innocence.
There are some cases where your defense attorney will advise you to plead guilty. It’s when there is overwhelming evidence against you. In that case, your lawyer will focus on convincing the court that you deserve the least punishment possible.
During the trial, both parties provide evidence and arguments to support their positions. If the court finds you innocent of the charges, you will go free. However, if you’re guilty, you’ll be convicted, and the judge will decide on the appropriate punishment.
The judge will usually consider some factors before determining your penalties. These factors may include previous violations and convictions.
What Should I Do If I Caused an Accident While Driving on a Suspended License?
Causing an accident already puts you in a difficult situation. Doing so while driving on a suspended license makes the case more complicated. But no matter how overwhelming the problem is, you should not say anything till you contact your lawyer.
Your car accident attorney will assess the situation and advise you on the best actions to take. If you get charged to court, your lawyer can help you secure a PBJ (Probation before Judgement). A PBJ will prevent you from going to jail or having a criminal record.
Pinder Plotkin LLC Can Help You!
At Pinder Plotkin LLC, our car accident lawyers have handled even the most challenging car accident cases. Whether your car accident case is laced with a traffic violation or not, we can help you out of it. Consult with us immediately to get started on your defense.