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Must appear versus payable traffic violation

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | CRIMINAL LAW - Criminal Defense

When a Maryland police officer makes a traffic stop, a driver has no way of knowing what will happen next. The officer might merely issue a warning, then let the motorist leave. In certain circumstances, a patrol officer might ask a person to exit a vehicle or might issue a citation for a traffic violation.

It is a mistake to think that a traffic violation is no big deal. In fact, depending on whether the officer has marked the citation as a “payable” offense or “must appear,” the severity of the issue can go from bad to worse. It is helpful to understand the difference between these two categories to know how serious a specific offense is and what the possible repercussions might be.

Payable offenses are for minor traffic violations

If a police officer issues a ticket that is payable, it could be because you failed to come to a full stop at a stop sign or the officer tracked you traveling more than a posted speed limit or some other offense. On the other hand, if police take you into custody for DUI or accuse you of a hit-and-run or driving without a license, your citation will no doubt include the phrase “must appear” on it, meaning that you are required to appear in court.

Either way, whether a traffic violation is payable or is labeled as an offense where you must appear, penalties might range from getting points against your license to being sentenced to jail time after a conviction, as well as incurring substantial fines. Bodley Defense, in Maryland, provides experienced guidance and support to full-time residents, as well as vacationers who have been issued citations for traffic violations while traveling in this state. You can request a meeting by using the contact form located on our website.