Q: Got a slew of tickets in 2005 ,no DUI's all moving violations..The fines totaled $1000.00...Can these be removed?
I want to reinstate my drivers license that has been suspended since 2005-06 due to these tickets....Do the fines in Maryland still need to be paid from that long ago?
A: You can either pay the fines - which will lift the suspensions but result in the highest point assessment for any single violation to appear on your driving record - or request in writing that the court recall the suspensions and set the violations in for trial. Given the age of the violations, a court may not grant your request unless all of the fines are paid in advance, as "collateral." However, once a trial is set, there is no way to know whether the Officer(s) who issued the citation(s) are still employed, will appear in court, and/or have any records to refer back to for purposes of proving the violations. If that were to occur, and you were found not guilty of one or more of the violations, the State would refund the "collateral" for those citations that could not be proven. It is also possible, based on my past experience with this type of scenario, that a court would grant a request to reset the violations but only for purposes of a "waiver hearing," rather than a trial. A waiver hearing results in a trial date at which the Officer is excused from appearing to offer testimony/evidence and the defendant is only given the right to plead guilty with an explanation. I've had a Judge do that to me in the past and while I did not contest the Court's action in that particular circumstance, there is some question whether the Court exceeded its authority in depriving my client the right to confront his accusers.
A: You need to go to the district court criminal/traffic clerk, have them print out the payment sheets for each unpaid ticket, then take them to the cashier and pay them all. You can simultaneously file a motion asking the court to reschedule the tickets for trial, and provide your reasons why you failed to pay when they were due. I would be surprised if a court rescheduled these 14 year old tickets for trial, but you never know and what have you got to lose? Once the money is paid, the "FTA" suspension imposed for nonpayment will be lifted. You can wait for the system to catch up (a few days) or you can take the payment receipts directly to a full-service MVA and the suspension will be cleared. You will then have to reapply for your license which you can do on the spot. If the court grants your motion and sets the tickets in for trial, then you will not be assessed any points on your driving record and the violations will not even appear. The only violations that appear are those you are ultimately convicted of, and so that will be decided at the trial. If you simply pay the tickets and don't request a trial date, or if your request is denied, then all the violations will appear as convictions on your driving record. You will be assessed the highest point ticket (they do not add up individual points on multiple tickets received on the same violation date, just the highest point ticket); therefore, if all the tickets carry one point each, you'd only get one point total, or if one has 8 points, and all the others fewer than 8, you get 8 points. None of the points will show as "current" points--meaning, your current license will show "zero" points. This is because points are assessed from the date of violation and expire after 2 years. Your points expired in 2007. The date of conviction is irrelevant. However, if the assessed points back in 2005 on these tickets add up alone or together with other then-existing points to 8 or more total, or during any 2 year period encompassing those points, then the MVA will send you a notice of suspension (8-11 points) or of revocation (12 or more points), with an option to request a hearing. Request that hearing! You will still have a valid MD license issued initially, but will now have to deal with the consequences of all those points. The MVA Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) can take into consideration the long suspension period already endured, the age of the violations, your coming forward to finally pay and resolve these issues, your need for a license for work, school, etc., and significantly reduce or modify the length of suspension, and decline to revoke. You can hire a lawyer to represent you in either the request for a trial on the tickets, or at the MVA suspension hearing later on, or both. Generally, your results will improve with a lawyer, but this is the process. BTW, if these tickets are not Maryland tickets, then you should consult with a lawyer in the state where those unpaid tickets are from as to potential consequences and procedures. Maryland does not impose points on your MD driving record for out-of-state convictions, but will honor any suspension that another state imposes on your privilege.
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