Don’t Ignore That Ticket!

The holidays are busy!  Shopping, baking, parties and all of your regular obligations.  A speeding ticket received between Thanksgiving and  New Years can be one more thing added to your long list of holiday obligations.  

If you do receive a ticket in Massachusetts , make sure you respond to it within 2o days.  You must either pay the ticket or request an appeal hearing. If you do not respond within the 20 day window, you could not only lose your right to appeal, but you could also face increased fines and a suspended license.  

Any time you receive a ticket, your first call should be to Broadbent & Taylor to discuss your options.  Fighting the ticket can save a lot of money in the lobby  run in insurance premiums, as well as prevent you from facing license suspensions or driver retraining classes.

Call Broadbent & Taylor today for a consultation at 508-438-1198.
#speedingticket #ticketlawyer #fightspeedingticket 

Safekeeping of Important Documents

A common question I hear from my clients is: “where should I keep my estate planning documents?” Often, the first thought people a have is to put important documents in safe deposit box. Makes sense, right? Wrong! Unless there is a co-owner on the safe deposit box, no one will be able to gain access to the box or its contents without your permission or court order, and the documents that may provide that permission are in the box! As such, I always advise my clients to not keep their documents in a safe deposit box.

So what other options do you have for safekeeping these documents?

As having the original documents is of utmost importance, it is imperative that the documents are kept in a safe place, but are also accessible. Often, my clients choose to keep the originals at my office with copies at home in a filing cabinet or desk drawer with the location of the original documents noted.

Many times clients will also consider keeping their estate planning documents in a safe, but that presents many of the same problems of keeping the documents in a safe deposit box.

Regardless of whether you choose to keep your estate planning documents at your lawyer’s office or at home, it is imperative that your family knows the location of the documents and how to access them quickly and without delay when they are needed.

 

#estateplanning #will #lawyer

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.

 

THIS BLOG WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY KELLY BROADBENT.  THIS BLOG IS NOT MEANT TO CONVEY LEGAL ADVICE.  IT DOES NOT ESTABLISH AN ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

 

#FIGHTSPEEDINGTICKET #MASSACHUSETTS #CDL #JOL #LICENSESUSPENSIONS

 

 

CWOF? Pre-Trial Probation?

If you have a criminal matter and you are thinking about a plea, you have several options, including asking for a CWOF or Pre-Trial Probation, but what is a CWOF and what is Pre-Trial probation and what is the difference between the two terms? Read on.

A CWOF stands for “Continuance without a Finding.” A CWOF is a determination by the court that there is sufficient evidence against the defendant, but the court refrains from entering the ‘guilty’ finding. The CWOF is a final adjudication, but the defendant avoids having the ‘guilty’ on his/her record. The court will continue the case for a certain amount of time, and as long as the defendant adheres to certain conditions, the criminal matter is dismissed. If the defendant violates any of the conditions, the CWOF may be revoked and a guilty finding may be entered, which may include jail time.

Pre-Trial Probation is different than a CWOF because you do not have to admit that there is sufficient evidence against you, and if you violate pre-trial probation you are not found guilty, but your case returns to the court and goes through the process once again.

If you have any questions or find yourself in a criminal conundrum please call our office!

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY JAMIE COSME. IT IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. IT IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE.

 

#cwof #pretrialprobation #criminal

CDL Drivers Keep Right

truck

On the Massachusetts Turnpike (Route 90), and other roads deemed “Metropolitan Roadways” by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a special set of regulations exist governing travel on the highways.

Massachusetts 700 CMR 7.08 specifically deals with operation on the roadways, laying out protocol and special limitations when operating on these roadways.

With CDL Drivers, our practice encounters a lot of problems dealing with travelling in the left lane.  Specifically, 700 MCR 7.08 states: “(13) Keeping to the Right. (a) In the Tunnels. The operator of a truck, bus, school bus, or slow-moving motor vehicle in the Tunnels shall drive only in the right-hand lane unless a toll collector, Massachusetts State Police officer, or sign otherwise directs. 700 CMR: MASSACHUSETTS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 7.08: continued (b) On Ways Other than the Tunnels. The operator of a motor vehicle on a way other than the Tunnels shall drive in the lane nearest the right shoulder of the roadway, when that lane is available for ordinary travel, except when overtaking another vehicle in that lane or at the direction of a Massachusetts State Police officer or sign. When the lane nearest the right shoulder of the roadway is a creeper lane or breakdown lane, an operator shall drive in the lane adjacent to the creeper lane or breakdown lane, except when overtaking another vehicle in that lane or at the direction of a Massachusetts State Police officer or a sign.”

Essentially, if the road is a 2 lane road, the CDL vehicle should only be in the left lane when overtaking a vehicle or when instructed by an offier or a sign.  When dealing with the 3 lane road ways, the truck should travel in the right lane and only move into the middle lane for passing purposes.  The Left lane is a restricted lane and should not be used for passing purposes by CDL vehicles.  If you are caught in the left lane, Massachusetts State Troopers will issue a vioaltion under 700 CMR 7.08 for a Left Lane Restriction.

A big difference with Massachusetts, as opposed to other states, is that this restriction is NOT POSTED on the roadway.  CDL drivers that use Massachusetts roadways are expected to be aware of this difference and to compley with this restriction.

If you are issued a citation under 700 CMR 7.08, contact Broadbent & Taylor at (508) 438-1198 for representation on the citation.  Protect your license and your livelihood by contesting these tickets.

THIS BLOG WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY KELLY BROADBENT.  THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVISE AND DOES NOT FORM AN ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVILEGE.

#trafficlawyer, #cdlviolation #massachusetts #speedingticketlawyer

 

 

 

But the light was Yellow!!

 

light

In my practice, I run into a lot of tickets written for red light violation.  When I speak with the operator, most are adamant that the light was not red when they passed through the intersection.  I hear over and over again “The light was yellow!”

In driver’s ed, many are taught to “stop if it is safe to do so”.  Most drivers interpret this to mean that  it is not necessary to stop if the light is not a solid red.

The application of the law is very different from the public understanding.  Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 89 Section 9 : “The driver of a motor vehicle shall not cross or enter an intersection, which it is unable to proceed through, without stopping and thereby blocking vehicles from travelling in a free direction. A green light is no defense to blocking the intersection. The driver must wait another cycle of the signal light, if necessary.”

The courts interpret this statute to mean that you cannot cross into an intersection unless you are fully able to clear the intersection without the light turning.  According to the language in this statute, even if the light is green, you are not to pass into the intersection if there is traffic that would prevent you from clearing the entire intersection.  If the light is turning yellow, the language encourages a driver to stop and wait another cycle of the light so that there is no danger of blocking the intersection or being caught in the path of other traffic who may be waiting for the green signal.

As the statute states, having a green light is not a defense if you have entered the intersection and are unable to clear through before the light changes to red.

This is a surchargeable event in Massachusetts that counts towards insurance increases and towards license suspensions.  If you have received a citation for a red light violation, contact Broadbent & Taylor at (508) 438-1198 to discuss fighting the ticket.

THIS BLOG WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY KELLY BROADBENT.  IT IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE.  IT DOES NOT FORM AN ATTORNEY CLIENT  RELATIONSHIP.

www. kbctlaw.com

#redlightviolation #fightspeedingticket #trafficlawyer #massachusetts

 

 

 

 

What Happens to My Social Media Accounts When I Die?

With so much of our lives taking place in the cloud, it is important to think about protecting our digital assets post-mortem. A few online services have a policy regarding what happens to your account, or allow you to select what happens.  For example, Google allows you to “Plan your digital afterlife with inactive Account Manager” which allows you to have your Google data deleted after a selected period of time of inactivity or selected trusted contacts to retrieve your data.  Facebook allows you to designate a “legacy contact” who is able to pin a final post on your timeline after your death. This person cannot log in as you or read private messages, but can respond to new friend requests and update profile and cover photos.

But what about our digital assets, such as our iTunes libraries, e-books, and video games? Are these able to be passed as though they were a vinyl record, leather-bound book, or board game? The answer to that is not so clear. Many companies, such as Apple and Amazon, state in the End User License Agreement when you purchase a digital item that you are simply purchasing the license to use said product, but that you do not actually own that product and do not have the authority to transfer that license to anyone without the express permission of Apple or Amazon. This remains a grey area in the law that is likely to be tested by creative estate planning techniques, such as having the digital assets purchased by a Trust with you and your children as the named beneficiaries, for example.

Many popular social media sites, however, do not have a specific policy like Google or Facebook. Many Social Media providers will only allow the personal representative (formerly known as the executor) to deactivate the deceased person’s account, but will not allow access to private content. The account is owned by the deceased person. As digital assets are a relatively new component to the estate planning puzzle, it remains unclear what these sites will permit if a personal representative is given specific power to access the accounts.

If your social media accounts are not set up to address what happens when you die, your will may leave specific instructions as to your wishes. Instructions may also be left in a trust or power of attorney. I also advise my clients to leave a list with their estate planing documents of their online accounts, usernames and passwords. This eases the difficulty of addressing the digital estate.

Have more questions about protecting your digital assets? Contact Broadbent & Taylor for a free consultation!

THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY ATTORNEY CATHERINE TAYLOR AND IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. THIS DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE OR CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP OF ANY SORT.

 

#estateplan #will #digitalassets #lawyer