Maryland Traffic Lawyer Discusses “Guilty With An Explanation”

Pleading Guilty With An Explanation In Maryland Traffic Court

Once you receive a traffic citation in Maryland you then have to decide how to respond. There are three options for how to proceed: 1) request a trial; 2) go ahead and pay the fine; or 3) request a waiver hearing.

You can plead “guilty with an explanation”  at either a trial or a waiver hearing.

Pleading guilty to a Maryland traffic ticket with an explanation is the same as pleading guilty. This means that you are admitting to the citation.  However, you are also saying that there may have been a good reason for the violation or that there is some mitigating circumstances that you want the judge to know. Pleading guilty with an explanation is a way of asking the court for leniency, for example, a smaller fine or no fine at all.

As you might expect, with this approach a lot depends on which judge is presiding over your case. Before you settle on this tactic, it’s a good idea to get to court early and watch how your judge handles other cases. If the judge appears receptive to defendants in similar circumstances, then maybe a guilty plea with an explanation is a good idea. On the other hand, if you think the judge will hand down a harsh sentence regardless of your explanation, you can ask for a continuance, giving yourself time to hire an experienced Maryland traffic attorney to handle the matter.

The problem with this approach is that even if you happen to land a sympathetic judge and your fines are reduced, the offense will still go on your driving record and your insurance rates will likely rise, unless you receive a Probation Before Judgment.

It can often be better to plead not guilty and try to convince the judge of your innocence with the help of an experienced Maryland traffic lawyer.

Need help with a Maryland traffic ticket? Call me at 301-563-9575 or 1-877-566-2408 BEFORE you go to court or pay any fines.  I’m an experienced Maryland traffic ticket lawyer and I’d be happy to help. I practice traffic law throughout the entire State of Maryland.