Most people never consider hiring an attorney to represent them in Traffic Violations, but considering the high cost of insurance it will cost you a lot more to not hire an experienced attorney to represent you. Unlike most other states which consider Traffic Violations a form of Criminal law, Massachusetts strictly considers Traffic Violations as a civil matter. This means that in Massachusetts you do not have all the rights that a criminal defendant has, which you would have in other states. The main differences between a traffic violation or speeding ticket that you receive in Massachusetts than one you receive from out-of-state is as follows:
- Your case will be heard in front of a magistrate, not a judge.
- In a magistrate hearing, the state or police have a much lower level of proof that they need before you are found guilty, a preponderance of the evidence and not beyond reasonable doubt is the evidence required for a guilty finding in Massachusetts.
- The police officer or state trooper that gave you the ticket in Massachusetts, does not even have to be at the hearing and thus you cannot cross-examine them.
- As the defendant in a traffic violation or speeding ticket in Massachusetts you can be compelled to testify and do not have a right to remain silent.
- There is no plea bargaining in the Massachusetts traffic violation in speeding system.
- If you are found guilty, you have the right to a regular trial, before a judge and the police officer that wrote the ticket must appear and you are able to cross-examine them.
The attorneys at the Botelho Law Group are experienced in defending against all types of moving violations and represent most of the common charges that Massachusetts motorist must face including but not limited to:
M.G.L. § 89:7C: Failure to “move over” for emergency vehicle
M.G.L. § 89.4: Failure to keep right
M.G.L. § 89.4: Unsafe Lane Change
M.G.L. § 89:8: Failure to yield right of way / prohibited right turn on red
M.G.L. § 89:11 Failure to yield to a pedestrian
M.G.L. § 89:9: Failure to obey traffic control signs and devices
M.G.L. § 89:9: Passing steady red light
M.G.L. § 89:10: Wrong way on a 1 way street
M.G.L. § 90:14: Passing stopped school bus
M.G.L. § 90:10: Operating outside of license class
M.G.L. § 90:8: Operating in violation of a license restriction
M.G.L. § 90:14: Turning from incorrect lane / general turning violations
M.G.L. § 90:24: Hit and run (Personal Injury and property damage only)
M.G.L. § 90:17: Speeding
M.G.L. § 90:24I: Possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle
M.G.L. § 90:7AA: Unrestrained minor
M.G.L. § 90:14B: Failure to signal turn
M.G.L. § 90:13B: Texting while driving
M.G.L. § 90:23: Operating under suspension of driving privileges
720 CMR 9.06(7): Following too closely
M.G.L. § 90:24: Reckless driving
730 CMR 7.08(15): Following too closely
730 CMR 7.08(5)(a): Negligent operation
The Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your MA driving privileges upon the accumulation of convictions as follows:
- Getting three speeding tickets within a 12 month period (not a calendar year) – mandatory 30 day suspension.
- Three surchargeable events, triggered upon accumulation of a combination of three moving violations and/or surchargeable events within a 24 month period. Out of state convictions are included in the calculation. The suspension can be avoided if a course is taken prior to the suspension effective date, and if the course is not taken it remains in effect indefinitely until a course is successfully completed.
- Five surchargeable events, triggered upon any combination of moving violations and/or surchargeable events within a three year period. Out of state convictions are included in the calculation. The suspension can be avoided if a course is taken prior to the suspension effective date, and if the course is not taken it remains in effect indefinitely until a course is successfully completed.
- Seven surchargeable events, triggered by an accumulation of any combination of moving violations and/or surchargeable events within a three year period. Out of state convictions are included in the calculation. This causes an unavoidable 60 day suspension.
- Habitual Traffic Offender (HTO), triggered upon 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. Out of state events are also included. The law mandates a four year revocation. Upon completion the motorist is required to take a full driver’s license exam and pay a $500 reinstatement fee.
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