Why should I appeal my traffic citation?

Many clients contact me to determine why they should appeal a Massachusetts traffic citation.  There are several factors to consider when making this choice.

 

  1. How much is the ticket?  The ticket may only be for $50.  Many people see a low ticket, and just go ahead and pay it because of the low amount on its face.  A low amount on the citation is NOT a good reason to pay the ticket.
  2. How many different offenses were you cited for?  Many officers will stop you, then write the ticket not just for speeding, but marked lanes violation, failure to signal, or many other minor violations.  It is important to be aware that EACH OF THESE VIOLATIONS counts seperately for insurance purposes and towards suspensions.  I have seen clients who have had 4 or more seperate offenses listed against them.  In Massachusetts, payment of this type of ticket will result in a suspension or a mandatory driving retraining course.
  3. Will it cause my insurance to rise?  If it is a first ticket, it may not cause it to rise, since insurance companies will often forgive a first ticket.  Not appealing for this reason is a big mistake.  A first mistake is forgiven, which the courts will often forgive as well.  The courts are not so forgiving when it comes to a second ticket.  Appeal the first to keep it off of your driving record.  You may need that insurance break somewhere down the line, and it is harder to argue that you have a great driving record when you paid a ticket 6 months earlier for the same offense. Also, you may lose a good driver discount, costing you even more than a surcharge.
  4. Could it trigger a suspension?  Most people are not familiar with the suspension laws in Massachusetts.  They are very strict.  A JOL operator loses his license on a FIRST speeding ticket.  An adult driver could be suspended for many different combinations of surchargeable events.  The surchargeable events include at fault accidents, so even if it is your first TICKET, you still may be at risk of a suspension.

Appealing the citations is worth the time and the expense to keep your driving record clean, to prevent a rise in your insurance premiums and to prevent suspensions against your driver’s license.  Our office fights Massachusetts citations across the state.  Contact us today for a free consultation.

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