Rockville, MD asked in Traffic Tickets for Maryland

Q: My license was suspended on January 7th (Non-Resident Violators Compact Suspension). I received a citation in NC.

I never received any documents via mail for my citation or suspension notice. Is it worth appealing this or should I just pay the fine to reinstate ? **more details per my last questions response. The citation was because I didn't come to a complete stop at the stop sign. My only concern really was how this affects my car insurance in the future. Not so much - or pretty hard. If so, I'll definitely appeal, but if this will be a soft hit. I will just pay the fine and take this one on the chin.

Related Topics:
2 Lawyer Answers
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: It is a minor moving violation, and although I do not know NC penalties for this offense, in Maryland that would be a 1 point infraction, so a very minor non-significant impact on your driving record and no effect on your driving privileges. Again, you need a NC lawyer to explain the consequences in NC. As far as auto insurance premiums, every auto insurer who underwrites insurance in MD must file with the Maryland Insurance Commission their rate plan, and they must apply it to all drivers equally. Most rate plans have threshholds for premium increases based on conviction of moving violations and at-fault accidents. These may apply to a look-back period of years, such as 2-5 years. In Maryland, insurance companies can only access your driving record going back 3 years, so an out of state moving violation will be visible for three years. So, if the premium increase imposed extends beyond 3 years, you could switch insurers after 3 years (and getting no new violations), and the new insurer would see a clean record. Whether your insurance company's rate plan triggers a premium increase for a single moving violation, and how much and for how long, is of course unknown to anyone answering your question. Some require 2 violations or at-fault accidents to trigger an increase, some only one. Some take into consideration how long you have been insured with them with no violations. It will be factored into any premium calculation. The increase, if any, is for whatever period of time the insurance company uses it to calculate premiums. Some may only impose an increase based on a conviction or at-fault accident during the past two years, but they may also decline to grant "good driving" discounts they offer that would otherwise apply until you have no violations or at-fault accidents for a longer period (5 years, e.g.). Thus, you could face both a premium increase and a loss of a discount for having no violations or at-fault accidents for 5 years. One way to look at this is, even if a lone moving violation does not trigger a premium increase, it may cost you a good-driver discount, and it will also reduce your room for error going forward in the event you were to get another violation or at-fault accident. If there is an option to avoid the conviction and point(s) in NC, it is usually reserved for the first such violation. Once you get the second violation, it is unlikely you would qualify for such relief; therefore, the time to take advantage of such relief to avoid the conviction is on the first offense, not the second. Whether it is worth the money to hire a NC lawyer for this is a calculation you will need to make.

Scott Scherr
Scott Scherr
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Towson, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: I agree with Mr. Oakley. You need to get the matter straightened out in North Carolina before your suspension will be lifted. You should speak with an attorney to see if there are any consequences there if you pay it in North Carolina.

Paying the ticket will result in a conviction on your Maryland record and no points will be assessed. If you get another ticket in the future, the judge may be less likely to give you a break. If you have a Maryland license, a North Carolina ticket should not affect your insurance rates. However, you should speak with your insurance company to be sure.

Do not drive until you get this straightened out.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.