In Massachusetts, if you have received a traffic ticket, don't procrastinate in deciding how you will respond. You have a maximum of 20 days from the issuance date of the ticket to file an appeal. Although it may seem obvious, if you wish to fight the ticket, be sure to check off the appeal box on the ticket and mail back in a timely fashion. If you pay any amount of the fine, the RMV will deem the payment an admission of guilt and you will no longer be entitled to a hearing.
Steps To Fight The Ticket
If you do choose to fight the ticket, before mailing in the ticket with the "appeal" box checked, take a few minutes to examine the ticket. Perhaps there are inconsistencies on the ticket or it incorrectly identifies important information like your sex, color, the location of the alleged offense, and the date/time of the alleged offense. These are all potentially important pieces of information that may be used in your defense.
Next, be sure to understand and record what exactly you're being cited for on the ticket. At this point, you should consider retaining an experienced traffic lawyer to represent you and discuss your rights and options. Traffic attorneys know the laws, the court procedures, and how to maximize your chance of success. Be sure to observe the statute under which you were cited, the method used to determine you were in violation of the statute (ie, a radar gun vs. estimated/posted for issuing a speeding ticket).
Know that in Massachusetts you essentially have "two bites at the apple." When you appeal, you are first scheduled a clerk's hearing in front of a clerk-magistrate. If the clerk can be persuaded to dismiss the ticket, you will be found not responsible and the case will be over. Sometimes, the clerk may offer to reduce the ticket, but you will still be found responsible for insurance surcharge point purposes and surchargeable events purposes. If you are found responsible, you may choose to appeal the clerk's findings in front of a judge. For the hearing in front of the judge, the officer that issued the ticket is required to appear. Nearly always, if the officer fails to appear, your citation will be dismissed by the judge. If the officer does appear, at the full hearing, where you can cross-examine the officer and offer evidence on your behalf, will be conducted.
Work With An Attorney
If you have been issued a traffic ticket that you wish to fight in Massachusetts, call the successful, experienced Boston traffic lawyers at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. at 617-225-2100. We have successfully represented clients in every court in the Commonwealth and will dedicate our full dedication and zeal to your case.