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Massachusetts has some of the strict rules and procedures when it comes to civil traffic violations such as speeding, yet the commonwealth issues thousands of citation each year. In Massachusetts, if a police officer sights you for driving over the limit, you only have twenty days in which to request a hearing on the ticket or risk waiving your right to appeal. If cited, by submitting a twenty-five dollar check, and following the instructions for requesting an appeal on the reverse side of the ticket, you can have the Massachusetts trial court, schedule your matter for a civil motor vehicle infraction hearing or clerk magistrate hearing as it is sometimes called.
What Happens After I Request A Hearing?
Once your hearing is scheduled by the court you will receive a letter confirming the hearing. Typically this takes 4-6 weeks from the date you submit the original request. The letter will tell you when and where your hearing is to be held, and what violations you are charged with. Remember, don’t be nervous. The hearing is your opportunity to present your side of the case.
Who Will Be At The Hearing?
Present will at the hearing with be the clerk magistrate who will adjudicate your claim, the appointed police prosecutor, yourself, counsel, and any witnesses that can provide helpful testimony on your behalf. While the hearing is somewhat informal, being held in a number of different court room settings, you will still be required to provide sworn testimony about your citation.
What Happens After I Testify?
Upon a hearing of the facts, and sometimes after a spirited discussion, the clerk magistrate will issue his or her ruling finding that you are “responsible” or “not responsible”. If you are found not-responsible that’s the end of the line. You will not receive any points or surcharges for the incident, a record will appear on your driving history but will show the charges dismissed. Sometimes, the clerk may offer instead to reduce the cost of the ticket as a half way measure. Depending on the strength of your case you may want to consider accepting the reduced ticket, but you will still incur the points. For this reason, sometime it is advantageous to appeal further.
Can I Appeal If I Don’t Like The Decision?
No matter what the disposition of the case, you have the right to appeal to a judge of the district court. The judge will hear your matter completely anew without regard to the finding of the clerk magistrate. In this sense, it’s a completely fresh bite at the appeal. On appeal to the judge, you will once again provide sworn testimony, though this time in a formal courtroom setting, and you will have the opportunity to cross examine the police officer who actually cited you, as well as present any witnesses or evidence you may have.
How Can JCO Law Firm Help?
At JCO Law Firm, we regularly represent good people accused of civil motor vehicle violations such as speeding, red light violations, driving to endanger, reckless driving, and other civil and criminal traffic violations. If you feel you were wrongly accused, or otherwise wish you fight, appeal, or challenge your speeding ticket, or other traffic violation,then contact our firm immediately for a free case evaluation. Our Massachusetts Speeding Ticket Attorneys know the law, we know the courts, we know how to get you out of trouble fast. We are successful in the fast majority of cases we take on even where the facts are not in our clients favor.