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Did you get a speeding ticket in Massachusetts? If so, you’re not alone. Every day, drivers are ticketed for speeding. It’s a common occurrence, but that doesn’t mean you should take it lightly. It might seem like paying the ticket and moving on is the most efficient way to handle it. Most people don’t want to deal with going to court and fighting their ticket. However, when you consider the long-term costs of a speeding ticket, fighting your ticket begins to look like a good idea. Paying your ticket means you’re pleading guilty, which will expose you to increased insurance rates, points against your license, and, in the state of Massachusetts, even more fines and penalties.
Insurance rates can go up as much as 18 percent, sometimes even more, after a single ticket for a moving violation. Those rate increases will hang around, too, sometimes up to three years or more after the initial rate increase. If you opt for traffic school to get points removed from your license, you’ll have to pay for it out of your own pocket. If you need a car loan, you may have to pay more for it than you would if you had a clean driving record.
Given that the long-term costs of getting a ticket are far more expensive than the initial ticket fee, it makes sense to fight your ticket. In order to fight your Massachusetts speeding ticket, you’ll need some basic information about the speeding laws in Massachusetts, and you’ll need to hire a qualified Massachusetts traffic law attorney. The following information can help you with both.
Massachusetts doesn’t have a typical point system. Instead of demerit points, or points that count against you, every single motor vehicle violation in the state, including all at-fault accidents, are called ‘surchargeable events. If you’re convicted of a surchargeable event, it will go on your driving record, and if you have too many of these events in a given time frame, you could have your license suspended or revoked. What’s more, you’ll have to pay a $50 surcharge in addition to the initial cost of your speeding ticket. This fee is added to every speeding ticket and goes to benefit the Head Injury Treatment Services Trust Fund.
In the state of Massachusetts, the points system is a little different that in most states. Rather than accruing points that count against your license, you’ll accrue events that are called ‘surchargeable events.’ In other words, it’s not about how many points you have, it’s about how many time you were in an at-fault accident of moving violation.
If you receive three tickets or speeding violations within a year, your license is automatically suspended for 30 days. If you have three surchargeable events added to your license within two years, you have to enroll in a mandatory Driver Retraining Course. If you don’t complete the course within three months (90 days) of being told you have to take the course, your driver’s license will be suspended. Finally, if there are seven surchargeable events against your license within three years, you’ll face and automatic suspension of 60 days.
That’s not the end of it, though. Let’s say you have three major violations (reckless driving, driving under the influence) within four years. That makes you a ‘habitual offender,’ as does accruing 12 violations within five years. Also, if your license was suspended or revoked in a state of than Massachusetts, you’ll be subject to an out-of-state suspension for an undetermined amount of time, meaning you can’t drive within Massachusetts, either. If you’re deemed a threat to drivers (Immediate Threat), are found not to be operating your vehicle properly (Improper Operation), or repeatedly drive under the influence, you’ll face any number of suspensions, revocations, and fines.
Also, the state of Massachusetts cracks down hard on OUIs, or operating under the influence, essentially a DUI or DWI. The first time you get an OUI your license will be automatically suspended for 180 days. That’s six months. The second time? Two years. And if you get a third OUI, you will have your license automatically suspended for eight years.
It’s pretty obvious that you should always consider fighting your ticket. Given that each event counts against your license, rather than a certain number of points, it’s even more critical to fight a ticket in the state of Massachusetts than it might be in other states.
Yes, you can, and, as indicated above, you should. Fighting your ticket allows you to present your side of the story, show any evidence you have, and let witnesses take the stand in your defense. You could walk away with your ticket being overturned, which could free you from insurance rate hikes, surcharges, and other consequences. Finding a qualified traffic attorney in Massachusetts is critical.
Ticket Void has been working with Massachusetts drivers just like you for years. We help you find a great attorney match, which alleviates the stress of finding a lawyer. By providing just a few pieces of basic information, we can email you the information for an attorney that’s just right for your particular case. Your initial consultation is free, so what do you have to lose? Get started today, and exercise your right to fight.