Article - Election Law
(a) (1) A person who violates a provision of this title without knowing that the act is illegal shall pay a civil penalty in accordance with subsections (b) through (g) of this section.
(2) The penalty imposed under this section may not exceed $5,000.
(3) An infraction described in paragraph (1) of this subsection is a civil offense.
(4) This section does not apply to a violation of another section in which a penalty is expressly provided.
(b) (1) If the State Prosecutor or the State’s Attorney with jurisdiction determines that a person unintentionally, and without criminal intent, has violated a provision of this title, the State Prosecutor, the State’s Attorney, or both, shall issue to the person a civil citation that contains:
(i) the name and address of the person cited;
(ii) the nature, time, and place of the violation;
(iii) the manner in which the violation occurred;
(iv) the maximum penalty for the violation;
(v) the manner and time in which to pay the penalty;
(vi) where to pay the penalty; and
(vii) a statement that the person receiving the citation has a right to a trial in the District Court.
(2) The prosecuting authority who issues a citation under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall file it in the District Court.
(c) The citation shall be served in accordance with the Maryland Rules.
(d) (1) On receipt of the return of service, the District Court shall schedule the case for trial and notify the person named in the citation of the trial date.
(2) The trial in the District Court shall be conducted in the same manner as set forth for municipal infractions under §§ 6–108, 6–109, and 6–111 through 6–115 of the Local Government Article.
(3) The District Court shall distribute all late fees collected to the Fair Campaign Financing Fund established under § 15–103 of this article.
(4) An adjudication of a violation under this subsection:
(i) is not a criminal conviction; and
(ii) does not carry with it any of the civil disabilities that arise from a criminal conviction.
(e) A person who is adjudicated in violation as set forth in a citation issued under subsection (b) of this section is liable for the cost of the District Court proceedings.
(f) If a person who has been served with a citation fails to appear for trial, the court, at the request of the prosecutor, may dismiss the citation or enter a civil judgment against the person:
(1) in favor of the State Board;
(2) in accordance with the Maryland Rules; and
(3) in an amount not exceeding the maximum fine set forth in subsection (a) of this section and any late fees owed to the State Board.
(g) A civil penalty imposed under this section shall be distributed to the Fair Campaign Financing Fund established under § 15–103 of this article.