Should You Even Appear!

You should always appear to court on the day specified and see how the judge is going to rule. Not appearing can result in suspension of your driving privilage and a bench warrant for your arrest. The following holds true in Maryland and I have used it to my benefit many times.

After the judge gives his little speech, you can decide whether you actually want this judge to hear your case. Most of the time the judge will be fair and give you PBJ or a reduction in points. However, the whole premise of this document is so that you don't receive any points! As long as you are not one of the first people on the docket, you can sit and watch how the judge will handle other cases similar to yours. If you feel the judge is giving fair sentences and lots of PBJs, you can stand up when your name is called and have the judge hear your case.

However, what do you do if the judge feels like hanging people that day? GET UP AND LEAVE!!! Yes, that's right, just leave. Don't say a thing when your name is called and leave after a few more cases. I know what you are thinking, "But you just said that I can get arrested for not showing up!" That's true, the legal speak for this is "Failure To Appear." It takes about 30-60 days (this time may be decreased as computers help speed the process.) before you receive a letter in the mail stating you have to appear at the courthouse and pay the fine as collateral for another trial. At this same time, police have access to this information as well. To avoid this, simply go to the courthouse the next day and say that you want to reschedule a missed trial. The court will require you to pay the fine indicated on the ticket as collaterial and reschedule your date.

Now why did we do this again? The reason you reschedule the date is in the hopes that you will get a different judge the second time around. In my experience this has happened every time. This offers you a chance that the office doesn't show up. In my 30 or so speeding tickets, the officer has always appeared in district court. So don't count on this happening. The second judge will hopefully be more to your liking.

This trick only works once and the second time around, if you don't appear, the full point will appear on your driving record without your ability to appear in court.

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