Five Common Massachusetts Traffic Ticket Myths
Laws regulating the direction of traffic were developed many years before the advent of automobiles. For as long as there have been traffic regulations, there have been myths and legends surrounding the rules of the road. Perhaps not surprisingly, most of what you've heard isn't true. Myths and stories relating to traffic tickets are abound and drivers and defendants are often mislead.
The Boston traffic lawyers at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. know that the best advice for drivers and defendants to follow is to always obey the traffic laws and understand that regulations and procedures vary with each jurisdiction. Consequently, it is not advisable to rely on urban myths when attempting to evade a traffic ticket and its associated consequences.
Call us today at 617-225-2100 if you've received a Massachusetts traffic ticket. We have successfully defended every type of defense in every court in the Commonwealth.
Our Boston traffic attorneys break down five common traffic ticket myths:
Myth 1: The officer made a mistake on my ticket (ie, misspelled my name), so my case will automatically be dismissed.
Unfortunately, not all mistakes on a ticket lead to the dismissal of a case. Most times, clerical mistakes, such as an incorrect number, go unnoticed. Conversely, material mistakes, such as an alleged offending driver's identity, vehicle identity, direction of travel, etc. are more persuasive in winning a case.
Myth 2: If the officer or police prosecutor doesn't show in court, I automatically win the case.
While this is quite often the case, there is not an automatic dismissal of your case if the police officer doesn't appear. In short, it all depends on the judge. Defendants do have a constitutional right to face their accusers, and while most judges will drop the case if the officer doesn't show up the first time, it is within the court's right to reschedule the case for a later time when the police officer can attend.
Myth 3: If I receive a traffic ticket out-of-state, my home state will never know about it.
Many states have reciprocity with others and the truth of the matter is, often times out of state violations will find their way to your home record. It is also important to keep in mind the National Driver Register, which is a database of information that contains information about drivers who have had their licenses suspended or revoked due to serious traffic violations. In short, both minor and serious out-of-state violations can and often do affect your home state license status, insurance costs, and other registry matters.
Myth 4: If I don't sign my traffic ticket, it will be dismissed.
While signing a ticket doesn't automatically admit guilt, it doesn't mean refusing to sign a ticket will result in a dismissal. When you sign the ticket, you are signing a promise to appear in court (or pay the associated fine), which eliminates the need to arrest you and hold you until the court date.
Myth 5: I can "drive with the flow" of the traffic, even if it is above the speed limit.
There have been plenty of excuses advanced in traffic court. One common one is stating that you were simply "going with the flow" of traffic. Make no mistake—there is rarely a time when the speed limit does not apply. While there are viable defenses to speeding tickets, you are responsible for your own actions, even if "everybody else is doing it."