Q: Can a cancelled court date by the state for a speeding ticket be reinstated a month later by the state?
I am from PA. I got a ticket for 80 in a 55 in MD. I requested a court date to plead my special circumstances( My fiancee is type 1 diabetic and was having a sugar low and getting really sick. We were trying to get somewhere for help). I got a court date. After several continuances by me for health reasons I got a letter from MD court that the case was cancelled. About a month later I got another letter with a new court date. Is that legal? Can I fight that?
A: The District Court schedules all trial dates based on officer and court availability. Courts were closed by emergency order of the Court of Appeals for several months during the COVID-19 pandemic, and all trials canceled and rescheduled to dates after the court is reopened. Phase 1 of the reopening schedule for the courts has begun. All of this is "legal". If the date is inconvenient for some good cause reason, you can file a motion explaining and supporting your reasons why you cannot be present for the currently scheduled date, and then the judge can rule on the motion. The ticket you describe is a 2-point offense in MD, and if you want, you can hire a lawyer to appear for you so you do not have to appear, and the lawyer can try to get the ticket dismissed, or convince the judge not to impose the conviction or points by granting a PBJ (this will prevent it from appearing on your PA license as well), or get the speed reduced to 0-9 mph over the limit which will drop this to a one point offense. You will need to determine from a PA lawyer what effect a conviction on this ticket in MD will mean to your PA license. Some states impose their own points and penalties on their licensed residents who get out-of-state convictions. With speeding tickets, the penalty generally depends on how many miles over the posted limit you are convicted of, and I cannot advise you on what that is in PA. Maryland does not impose points on their residents who get speeding tickets in other states, but the conviction appears on their driving record. Therefore, if PA imposes points for an out-of-state conviction, then you will need to know what that will be if you are convicted in MD,and whether getting the speed reduced will help or not.
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