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What is the Penalty Structure for Traffic Offenses in Maryland?


In the aftermath of a car or truck accident in Maryland, the authorities will begin an immediate investigation to determine whether a traffic offense occurred. If the driver who caused the accident violated any traffic regulations under Maryland law, then there is a definite possibility of criminal or civil penalties, including monetary fines and driver’s license suspension or revocation. In the case of more serious traffic offenses, such as driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs, there is even the possibility of prison time.

Penalties for Traffic Offenses in General

Maryland Code of Transportation Section 27-101 provides the general penalties that a driver could face for violating state traffic laws. In most cases, a traffic violation is a misdemeanor offense under Maryland law. If the driver is convicted, they will normally be subject to a maximum fine of $500.

That being said, there are two major exceptions to Section 27-101. It is not a misdemeanor offense if the violation in question is:

  • Classified as felony crime under Maryland law; or
  • Punishable by a civil penalty under Maryland law.

Penalties for Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License

Maryland Code of Transportation Section 27-102 outlines the penalties for driving on a suspended or revoked license. Generally speaking, this type of violation is a misdemeanor offense. Though the penalty changes based on the circumstances and will be the most severe of:

  • The misdemeanor penalties outlined above under Section 27-101;
  • The penalties detailed under Maryland Code of Transportation Section 16-113; or
  • Any other penalty or restriction imposed by a valid statute or regulation.

Penalties for Failing to Pay Traffic Fines

Maryland Code of Transportation Section 27-103 details the penalties for failing to pay traffic fines. If a driver fails to pay a required fine for a federal or state traffic violation, then the state courts will file a report with the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).

Upon receipt of such a report, the MVA will provide the driver in question with 10 days to pay the required fines. If the offender does not take action within the 10-day timeline, the MVA may suspend that person’s driver’s license. Once that person pays the required fines, then they can regain their driving privileges.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence

Maryland Code of Transportation Section 21–902 breaks down the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A driver who violates Section 21-902 and commits DUI in Maryland is subject to the following penalties:

  • First Conviction — A prison sentence ranging from two to 24 months and criminal fines between $500 and $2,000;
  • Second Conviction — A prison sentence ranging from one to three years and criminal fines between $500 and $3,000; and
  • Third or Subsequent Conviction — A prison sentence ranging from three to four years and criminal fines between $3,000 and $4,000.

Let Us Help You Today

If have legal questions about criminal penalties stemming from a traffic offense, car accident, or truck accident in Maryland, it can be extraordinarily helpful to seek counsel from a skilled criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Iamele & Iamele, LLP in Baltimore, Maryland, have specific experience in the field of criminal defense, including penalties resulting from traffic offenses as well as car and truck accidents. If you need legal help, contact us today for a free initial consultation.



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