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 (such as leaving the scene of an accident or operating with a suspended license), you must return the ticket to the court that has jurisdiction within four days with the appropriate fee.
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:
As a habitual traffic offender, an operator is eligible to apply for a hardship license. The granting of a hardship license is at the “reasonable” discretion of the Registry of Motor Vehicles. To qualify for a hardship license, an operator will need to show:
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 the penalties for these suspensions, challenging each citation is important to ensure both your present and future right to drive are not affected!
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 represent you in an 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.
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.
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.
I was terrified when I was arrested for the first (and last) time, a couple of years ago. (It was a driving-related infracture). Paul King was a professional and matter-of-fact as a lawyer; but also there at any time to answer any questions and concerns throughout the process. My calls were never ignored or left unanswered. He was a true confidante, and thanks to him, i recieved a fair deal for my first (and last) ever incident. He was tough and honest, but also made me feal that I was not alone.
Avvo Review 5 Stars – anonymous