Why fight it?

Traffic Enforcement


In Massachusetts, a speeding ticket is a civil offense.  Unlike criminal offenses, it is not mandatory to appear in court.  You have the choice to either accept responsibility and pay the ticket, or appeal the ticket and fight it.

With civil motor vehicle citations, the consequences can vary.  It is important to base your decision to fight it on whether the offense will generate any consequenses to your license, your insurance, or both.

  1. Is the ticket surchargeable?  In Massachusetts, violations are either surchargeable or not surchargeable.  It is important to determine whether the infraction is surchargeable.  If the infraction is not surchargable  (for example, a seat belt violation) it will not have consequenses on your license or insurance, and is merely a fine.  If the infraction is surchargeable, paying the fine could result in increased insurance costs, losing safe driver discounts, and license suspensions.
  2. How does your insurance handle this type of ticket?  it is a good idea to speak with your insurance company to see what consequence if any it will have on  your policy. Some companies offer a freebie where they will not surcharge the first ticket in 6 years.  Some surcharge for a first ticket.  Some revoke the safe driver discount on a first ticket but do not add in a surcharge.  It is important to know how your insurance company  handles the ticket.
  3. How long will it cause your insurance to go up?  Not all tickets are weighted the same.  It is good to ask your insurance whether it is something that may cause an increase in your policy for 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, or even 6 years.
  4. Will this ticket trigger a license supension? In Massachusetts, if you are convicted of 3 speeding tickets in 1 year, 3 moving violations in 2 years, or 7 surchargeable events in 3 years, you could be facing a license suspension. Appealling the ticket can push back the finding date usedto determine if you qualify for the suspension. Winning the ticket can keep it from counting towards these suspensions.
  5. Are you a Junior Operator? In Massachusetts, if you are a junior operator and convicted of a speeding ticket or texting ticket, there is an automatic suspension of your license, a hefty reinstatement fee, and a required driver retraining class you are required to take.  Further, for the speeding ticket, you must retake the driver’s test to get your license back.  A junior operator should ALWAYS contest the ticket.

If you were cited in Massachusetts and are considering fighting the ticket, contact Broadbent & Taylor at 508-438-1198 to discuss representation.  We offer free consultations for all traffic matters.








A Warrant? Am I Going To Jail?


If you do not attend a criminal proceeding, Massachusetts Courts will issue a warrant for your arrest.

Most envision a person with a warrant on the run from the law, hiding out, keeping a low profile.  Sometimes, this is actually the case, where a criminal defendant purposely fled after the arraignment to avoid facing a likely punishment.

A different scenario occurs when someone mixes up a court date, and is not present on a scheduled date.

A third scenerio occurs in situations where a summons for a show cause or arraignment was sent out, however the defendant never received the summons.  This occurs frequently in criminal motor vehicle cases where the address was incorrect with the registry or the person moving between receiving a criminal citation and the date for the hearing getting mailed out.

If a warrant issues, typically, the Registry of Motor Vehicles will suspend your license.  You will usually receive a notice from the RMV and be prompted to clear the warrant.  If an out of state driver receives the warrant, it may not initially suspend a license but eventually, the home state will discover the warrant and prevent the driver from renewing the license. 

A large number of warrants that we deal with at Broadbent & Taylor involve criminal motor vehicle summonses from 15-20 years ago that never reached the defendant.  The defendant learns of the outstanding criminal charges when they are told they are not able to renew their driver’s license.

If you discover that you have an outstanding warrant (or if you know you have one and want to clear it up), it is smart to first consult an attorney.  A court will allow you to walk in to clear up the warrant, but depending on the charge and the circumstances behind the missed date, the court may revoke bail, or order bail to let you go free.  An attorney is key to trying to resolve the old charges in the most favorable manner.

If you have an outstanding warrant in Massachusetts that you are looking to clear up, contact Broadbent & Taylor at (508)438-1198 to discuss the options.