About Statutes

This page accesses the Code of Maryland (Statutes) and the Maryland Municipal Charters and Resolutions as compiled and maintained by the Department of Legislative Services.

The Code is arranged by and organized into “Articles” (e.g. Transportation Article), which are further subdivided into “titles”, “subtitles”, “sections”, “subsections”, “paragraphs”, subparagraphs”, etc.

Note that the “official” compilation of the laws (Chapters) enacted at each session of the General Assembly is published by the State as the “Laws of Maryland”, commonly referred to as the “Session Laws”. The Session Laws for each session are compiled chronologically by chapter number and serve as the source law from which the statutes accessed here are derived.

While the “Laws of Maryland” (Session Laws) constitute the official laws of the State, this Code and the annotated versions noted below are accepted as “evidence” of the law in all State courts and by all public offices and officials (See § 10-201 of the Courts & Judicial Proceedings Article). However, in the event of a conflict between the Code and the Session Laws, the Session Laws prevail.

Note: Annotated versions of the Code, published by LexisNexis and West, are available in book and online formats. These Annotated Codes include references to case law, related citations, and explanatory notations.

The Municipal Charters are updated each year by incorporating all charter resolutions received by the Department through May 31 of that year. Individual Municipal Resolutions are published to the General Assembly website as they are received by the Department.



Statute Text

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Article - Criminal Law
§10–119.  
(a)    (1)   A person who violates §§ 10–113 through 10–115 or § 10–118 of this part shall be issued a citation under this section.
(2)   A minor who violates § 10–116 or § 10–117(a) of this part shall be issued a citation under this section.
(b)    (1)   A citation for a violation of §§ 10–113 through 10–115 or a violation of § 10–118 of this part may be issued by:
(i)   a police officer authorized to make arrests;
(ii)   in State forestry reservations, State parks, historic monuments, and recreation areas, a forest or park warden under § 5–206(a) or (b) of the Natural Resources Article; and
(iii)   subject to paragraphs (2) and (3) of this subsection, in Anne Arundel County, Frederick County, Harford County, Kent County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Talbot County, and only in the inspector’s jurisdiction, an alcoholic beverages inspector who investigates license violations under the Alcoholic Beverages Article.
(2)   In Anne Arundel County, Frederick County, Harford County, Kent County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Talbot County, the inspector shall successfully complete an appropriate program of training in the proper use of arrest authority and pertinent police procedures as required by the board of license commissioners.
(3)   In Anne Arundel County, Harford County, Kent County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and Talbot County, the inspector may not carry a firearm in the performance of the inspector’s duties.
(c)   A person authorized under this section to issue a citation shall issue it if the person has probable cause to believe that the person charged is committing or has committed a Code violation.
(d)    (1)   Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, the form of citation issued to an adult shall be as prescribed by the District Court and shall be uniform throughout the State.
(2)   The citation issued to an adult shall contain:
(i)   the name and address of the person charged;
(ii)   the statute allegedly violated;
(iii)   the location, date, and time that the violation occurred;
(iv)   the fine that may be imposed;
(v)   a notice stating that prepayment of the fine is not allowed;
(vi)   a notice that the District Court shall promptly send the person charged a summons to appear for trial;
(vii)   the signature of the person issuing the citation; and
(viii)   a space for the person charged to sign the citation.
(3)   The form of citation issued to a minor shall:
(i)   be prescribed by the State Court Administrator;
(ii)   be uniform throughout the State; and
(iii)   contain the information listed in § 3–8A–33(b) of the Courts Article.
(e)    (1)   Except for a citation subject to the jurisdiction of a circuit court, the issuing jurisdiction shall forward a copy of the citation and a request for trial to the District Court in the district having venue.
(2)    (i)   The District Court shall promptly schedule the case for trial and summon the defendant to appear.
(ii)   Willful failure of the defendant to respond to the summons is contempt of court.
(f)    (1)   For purposes of this section, a violation of §§ 10–113 through 10–115 or a violation of § 10–118 of this part is a Code violation and is a civil offense.
(2)   A person charged who is under the age of 18 years shall be subject to the procedures and dispositions provided in Title 3, Subtitle 8A of the Courts Article.
(3)   A person charged who is at least 18 years old shall be subject to the provisions of this section.
(4)   Adjudication of a Code violation is not a criminal conviction for any purpose, and it does not impose any of the civil disabilities ordinarily imposed by a criminal conviction.
(g)   In any proceeding for a Code violation:
(1)   the State has the burden to prove the guilt of the defendant to the same extent as is required by law in the trial of criminal causes, and in any such proceeding, the court shall apply the evidentiary standards as prescribed by law or rule for the trial of criminal causes;
(2)   the court shall ensure that the defendant has received a copy of the charges against the defendant and that the defendant understands those charges;
(3)   the defendant is entitled to cross–examine all witnesses who appear against the defendant, to produce evidence or witnesses on behalf of the defendant, or to testify on the defendant’s own behalf, if the defendant chooses to do so;
(4)   the defendant is entitled to be represented by counsel of the defendant’s choice and at the expense of the defendant;
(5)   the defendant may enter a plea of guilty or not guilty, and the verdict of the court in the case shall be:
(i)   guilty of a Code violation; or
(ii)   not guilty of a Code violation; and
(6)   before rendering judgment, the court may place the defendant on probation in the same manner and to the same extent as is allowed by law in the trial of a criminal case.
(h)    (1)   Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, if the District Court finds that a person has committed a Code violation, the court shall require the person to pay:
(i)   a fine not exceeding $500; or
(ii)   if the violation is a subsequent violation, a fine not exceeding $1,000.
(2)   If the District Court finds that a person has committed a Code violation under § 10–117 of this subtitle, the court shall require the person to pay:
(i)   a fine not exceeding $2,500; or
(ii)   if the violation is a subsequent violation, a fine not exceeding $5,000.
(3)   The Chief Judge of the District Court may not establish a schedule for the prepayment of fines for a Code violation under this part.
(i)   When a defendant has been found guilty of a Code violation and a fine has been imposed by the court:
(1)   the court may direct that the payment of the fine be suspended or deferred under conditions that the court may establish; and
(2)   if the defendant willfully fails to pay the fine imposed by the court, that willful failure may be treated as a criminal contempt of court, for which the defendant may be punished by the court as provided by law.
(j)    (1)   The defendant is liable for the costs of the proceedings in the District Court and for payment to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Fund.
(2)   The court costs in a Code violation case in which costs are imposed are $5.
(k)    (1)   In this subsection, “driver’s license” means a license or permit to drive a motor vehicle that is issued under the laws of this State or any other jurisdiction.
(2)   This subsection applies only to:
(i)   a person who is at least 18 but under 21 years of age; or
(ii)   a minor if the minor is subject to the jurisdiction of the court.
(3)   If a person is found guilty of a Code violation under § 10–113 of this part that involved the use of a driver’s license or a document purporting to be a driver’s license, the court shall notify the Motor Vehicle Administration of the violation.
(4)   The Chief Judge of the District Court, in conjunction with the Motor Vehicle Administrator, shall establish uniform procedures for reporting Code violations described in this subsection.
(l)    (1)   A defendant who has been found guilty of a Code violation has the right to appeal or to file a motion for a new trial or a motion for a revision of a judgment provided by law in the trial of a criminal case.
(2)   A motion shall be made in the same manner as provided in the trial of criminal cases, and the court, in ruling on the motion has the same authority provided in the trial of criminal cases.
(m)    (1)   The State’s Attorney for any county may prosecute a Code violation in the same manner as prosecution of a violation of the criminal laws of this State.
(2)   In a Code violation case the State’s Attorney may:
(i)   enter a nolle prosequi in or place the case on the stet docket; and
(ii)   exercise authority in the same manner as prescribed by law for violation of the criminal laws of this State.