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What do the points from a ticket mean for Maryland drivers?

On Behalf of | May 23, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

You have to meet numerous requirements to obtain and retain a driver’s license in Maryland. You need to complete a driver’s education course and pass a state test that looks at not just your academic understanding of the law but also your performance at the wheel.

You also need to maintain a good driving record. When a police officer believes you caused a car crash or pulls you over for a traffic infraction, they will issue a ticket. The ticket or citation that they hand you comes with a fine that you must pay. It also adds points to your license. Those points, rather than the fine, could be a very compelling reason to try to fight a recent traffic ticket in court.

The basics of the Maryland point system

When traffic infractions add eight points to your license in two years or less, the state will suspend your license. If you end up with more than 12 new points in two years, the state will revoke your driver’s license. Even just five points on your driving record will result in a requirement to attend a Driver Improvement Program.

A handful of traffic offenses, like leaving a dog unattended in your vehicle, will not add any points to your license. Disobeying an officer’s instructions, failing to yield right-of-way and texting while driving are all one-point offenses. Driving too closely to another vehicle, exceeding the speed limit by 10-19 miles per hour and failing to stop for a red light are all two-point offenses.

Driving with a suspended license and failing to stop for a school bus could add three points to your license, while failing to report a crash, going 30 mph or more over the speed limit and drag racing will all add five points. Reckless driving is a six-point offense, and drunk driving is 12-point violation.

You have the right to protect your license

The loss of your license could be a major hardship that affects not just your personal life but also your career trajectory and the rest of your family. Deciding to fight against the traffic ticket could keep your record clean and ensure that you will retain your driving privileges. It can also help you avoid the increase in insurance rates commonly associated with traffic tickets.

Fighting back against traffic ticket will benefit you in numerous ways, not the least of which is keeping points off of your driving record.