Traffic Tickets

Traffic Ticket Lawyer

Providing representation to clients in Lowell, Tewksbury, Middlesex County, Essex County & Beyond

Client’s often ask “I was pulled over and received a ticket, what should I do?”

The answer is usually “Appeal the ticket immediately!”

Every state has a different process and time deadlines that must be followed. In Massachusetts, if you wish to appeal a civil citation, you must request a hearing and pay a hearing fee within twenty days. For a criminal infraction (e.g. leaving the scene of property damage, operating with a suspended license), you must return the ticket to the court that has jurisdiction within four days with the appropriate fee.

Why is it Important to Appeal?

Depending on the number of civil and criminal infractions that you have either been found guilty or responsible for, you could lose your license for a short to long period of time.

In Massachusetts, the following suspensions apply in these situations:

  • Three Speeding Tickets: If you are found responsible for three speeding tickets within twelve months, you lose your license for thirty days.  An operator facing this suspension is currently not entitled to apply for a hardship license during their suspension.
  • Three Surchargeable Events: If you are found responsible or guilty of three surchargeable events within twenty four (24) months, you will be required to complete a Driver Retraining Course within ninety (90) days of receiving a notification from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. If you fail to take this course, you will lose your license indefinitely.  A “surchargable event” includes both traffic citations (both civil and criminal) and accidents in which you are deemed to be at fault.   An operator with a suspension/revocation for three surchargable events is NOT eligible for a hardship license.
  • Five Surchargeable Events: This suspension is triggered by accumulating any combination of moving violations and/or surchargeable events within a three year period. If you meet this qualification, you will be required to take an in person Driver Retraining Program within ninety (90) days or your license will be indefinitely suspended. An operator with a suspension/revocation for five surchargeable events is NOT eligible for a hardship license
  • Seven Surchargeable Events: This suspension is triggered by an accumulation of any combination of moving violations and/or surchargeable events within a three year period. If you meet this qualification, you will receive a sixty (60) day loss of license. An operator with a suspension/revocation for seven surchargeable events is NOT eligible for a hardship license

Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO): This suspension is triggered by an accumulation of a total of three major moving violations or any combination of 12 major or minor moving violations within a five-year period. If another state reports an event, it will be included in the calculation. Surchargeable accidents are not part of HTO calculations. Being deemed a habitual traffic offender results in a significant four (4) year loss of license.

It is important to appeal any and all citations to avoid accumulating offenses that could result in up to a four-year loss of license and insurance surcharges.  These suspensions and the terms related thereto are subject to change.  A good resource to review the current regulations for suspensions can be found on your State’s Registry of Motor Vehicles website.  In Massachusetts, this website can be found at: http://www.massrmv.com/SuspensionsandHearings/CitationsSurcharges/AccumulationofOffensesSuspensions.aspx 

Given the sometimes evolving nature of these suspensions, challenging each citation is important to ensure both your present and future right to drive are not affected!

What should I do?

Send in the appeal! Once you send in the appeal, obtain your complete driving record to determine if you may be at risk of having your license suspended. Once you do this, call me to find out how I can help you.

What happens at the appeal?

During the initial appeal, you will have to appear before a clerk magistrate. The officer who cited you will not necessarily be present, but a police prosecutor from that police department will be present. Generally, a clerk magistrate will ask the police prosecutor to recite the facts that gave rise to the ticket, and then give you a chance to respond about why you  feel you should not have been cited or should be found not responsible.

What happens if I Lose the Appeal:

If you lose the appeal before the clerk magistrate, you have the opportunity to appeal and be heard in front of a judge. This does require an additional filing fee. At this hearing before a judge, the actual police officer who gave you the ticket must be present at court to provide evidence and testimony against you. During this hearing, you will have an opportunity to cross-examine the police officer and present evidence in your defense.

How I Can Help

I have appealed many tickets on behalf of  clients with an overwhelming success rate.  While I cannot guaranty a positive outcome, I can help you review your driving record and present the best defense on your behalf.

How Can I Help?