Smithsburg official denied probation

June 06, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

A judge refused Tuesday to grant probation before judgment to a Smithsburg Town Council member who pleaded guilty to one count of driving an uninsured vehicle.

In denying the request, Washington County District Judge Noel Spence said Michael Todd Rohrer had been given enough breaks.

Probation before judgment prevents a defendant from having a record unless he or she gets into trouble with the law during the probation period.

Rohrer had been charged with concocting a phony vehicle validation sticker with his home computer and driving without insurance since 1995.

"He'll get his 12 points that he deserves," Spence said during Rohrer's court appearance Tuesday morning.

Rohrer also was fined $500 and ordered to pay court costs.

In exchange for Rohrer's guilty plea to one count of driving an uninsured vehicle, five other charges were dropped.

Rohrer, 33, of 23 S. Main St., Smithsburg, had been charged with concocting a phony vehicle validation sticker with his home computer and driving without insurance since 1995.


Citing a 1992 driving under the influence charge that was placed on the inactive docket and eventually dropped, Spence said Rohrer was not entitled to probation before judgment. He said Rohrer refused to take a chemical test in 1992.

Rohrer spoke only to answer his attorney with a quick "yes" or "no" and to say he didn't want to make a statement to the judge.

Asked after his court appearance if he had any comment or would appeal, Rohrer did not respond.

Rohrer also had been charged with another count of driving an uninsured vehicle, displaying expired registration plates, fraudulently falsifying a validation tab and two counts of operating an unregistered motor vehicle, according to court records.

Rohrer was charged Feb. 21 after Smithsburg Police Officer Michael Neuland noticed a 1988 Mercury Sable with a false validation sticker parked behind Smithsburg's Town Hall. The plate had expired in 1996 and there were four insurance violations.

Rohrer told Neuland he made the sticker with his home computer because he couldn't afford to insure the car, police said.

Neuland also charged Rohrer in connection with a maroon and tan 1993 GMC pickup truck with registration that expired in August 1997 and had four compulsory insurance violations starting in August 1995.

A hearing will be held to determine whether Rohrer's license will be suspended or revoked.

Drivers are subject to suspension/revocation hearings when they get five points during a three-year period or have at least eight points at any given time, according to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.

Rohrer owes approximately $1,000 of $4,559 in back insurance, said Rohrer's Hagerstown attorney, Terry Myers.

Myers said both vehicles are now registered and insured.

The Herald-Mail Articles