It depends! If a charge doesn’t carry the possibility of jail time, you aren’t entitled to a Public Defender in Maryland. This means if you want legal representation for the vast majority of traffic tickets, you’ll need to hire a private attorney.
An attorney will know all the possible legal defenses to your ticket. In Maryland, an attorney can appear on your behalf in traffic court; saving you the hassle and lost day’s time (for more serious traffic cases and criminal cases, you’ll have to appear in court whether you’re represented or not). An attorney will negotiate on your behalf with the arresting officer and is usually going to be more successful than trying to negotiate on your own. An attorney will know which charges carry more serious points. If you were wrongly charged, an attorney will present the best trial possible.
Some jurisdictions offer diversionary programs such as traffic school or other classes, but those programs aren’t always explained well to people. The proper diversionary program will result in your ticket being dismissed. There are circumstances where the consequences of a traffic ticket can be catastrophic (such as a provisional license or a commercial driver’s license (CDL)). Even if you’re planning on representing yourself in traffic court, we offer low-cost legal strategy sessions to walk you through exactly what you should do in court.