Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Traffic Tickets in Massachusetts

Traffic tickets in Massachusetts have become my nemesis. It seems more and more, I am fighting in the courts to dismiss traffic violations for clients. Is it a sign of the tough economic times? Are the local police forces attempting to balance the budget in Massachusetts? One can only wonder.

Its important to be educated as to how to fight the ticket if you want any chance at all to win. Going in to the hearing and admitting that you were speeding is not the best strategy. Its best to be on the offensive and know what you are being accused of.

The officer that stopped you can check off boxes stating what evidence he has that you were speeding. Was it clocked? Estimated? Lidar? A ticket that only has estimated checked is much easier to beat than a ticket with Lidar checked off. Approaching the ticket with a familiarity of how your speed was measured can tell help with how to defend yourself.

Also, its important to examine the ticket for other mistakes. Did the officer say you are a male and you are really a female? This could be a defense to have the ticket dismissed.

Are there witnesses? If you have a witness who was riding along and observed your speed, it may be helpful to bring them along.

In Massachusetts, you have 2 hearings. If you are found responsible at the first, you may appeal and have a second hearing in front of the judge. If the clerk magistrate reduced your ticket, you still receive the surcharge on your license. Only a finding of not responsible will prevent the surcharge on your insurance.

Remember, traffic attorneys fight tickets like yours every day. Do not hesistate to contact a traffic attorney for help with your ticket or to represent you for the hearing. An attorney may be the best asset in preventing several years of surcharges on your insurance as well as a costly fine.