Receiving a speeding ticket in Massachusetts is a costly proposition. If you do get a citation for speeding in the Commonwealth, there are a few things that you should know.
First of all, many people do not realize that if you get a speeding ticket here, you actually can lose your driver’s license under some conditions. A citation for speeding in Massachusetts can cause you significant legal, practical and financial problems. Almost everyone thinks they should just pay the fine when they get the ticket. But in fact, you should strongly consider fighting it with an experienced traffic ticket attorney.
Using a good traffic ticket attorney in Massachusetts can save you in the long run.
Speeding Ticket Cost
Just the cost of a speeding ticket is enough to make you consider fighting it. A speeding ticket in Massachusetts is $100 for any speed up to 10 MPH above the posted limit. The fine goes up by $10 for every additional mile per hour after 10. So, if you are stopped for driving 16 MPH over the limit, your fine is $160. If you are stopped for speeding in a work zone or school zone, the fine will be doubled.
Civil Motor Vehicle Infraction
When you receive your speeding ticket in MA, the event is known as a Civil Motor Vehicle Infraction, or CMVI. Generally, if you have been charged for speeding and were going at a speed that does not subject you to arrest, your infraction will be termed a CMVI.
Car Insurance Rates Increase
The more surchargable points that are on your license, the more your rates on your auto insurance will increase. While your first speeding ticket does not incur any points, after that, each ticket puts two points on your driving record.
The car insurance rate schedule depends upon what the period of time is in which you are accumulated points, and how long you have been driving. If you have a clean driving record after you accumulate points, the points will be removed over time. If you have three or fewer surchargable violations on your record in a five year period, one point is taken off your record for every three years of safe driving.
Speeding and License Revocation
You may think, again, that a CMVI is not a big deal, and you should just pay the fine. However, you should know that there are more than 90 reasons in the state for why they can revoke your driver’s license. Every violation adds surcharges onto your driving record, and if you get enough of these surcharges, you can end up not just paying much more for insurance, but you can lose your license.
- If you accumulate three ‘surchargable events’ in any two year period, or five of them within any three year period, you must take a driver retraining class at your expense.
- If you get too many speeding tickets in a given timeframe, you can lose your license. If you get three speeding tickets in any one year period, your license is suspended for 30 days once you are found guilty for the third violation.
- If you are a commercial driver who is cited for driving 15 MPH over the speed limit, you lose your license for 60 days for the second offense. This suspension is 120 days after a third offense.
- Minors who possess their Junior Operating License will have it suspended for 90 days after their first speeding violation. Any violation after that results in a one year suspension.
This will cause you big problems in terms of getting to work and to earn your paycheck. If you do end up losing your license for speeding, a good attorney can help you secure a hardship license. This ‘Cinderella’ license, as it is nicknamed, is valid for 12 hours per day and will allow you to only drive to and from work.
Why Fight The Speeding Ticket?
Why bother? Why pay much more than the price of the ticket to secure the services of a good traffic attorney? Because the cost of the ticket is much, much more to you in Massachusetts than just the actual fine.
You need a good attorney because fighting a speeding ticket in court is difficult and takes experience. Any good lawyer is going to spend several hours on your case and will prepare a number of pleas and will be doing a good amount of paperwork. This makes his or her services not inexpensive.
But, spending the money on a good lawyer is a wise idea, because one speeding ticket can cost you $1,000 in insurance surcharges each year. This refers to the auto insurance surcharge system in the Commonwealth. This system rewards good drivers, and punishes bad. High risk drivers pay more in insurance costs, and this stays on your record for six years. Three tickets in one year can get your license totally suspended.
A Massachusetts Speeding Ticket Attorney Knows the Courts
An experienced attorney in Massachusetts speeding tickets knows what goes on in traffic court in this state, and this can be used to help you.
Your defense attorney cannot plea bargain in traffic court for you, but there is still a lot of negotiations that can transpire. The department that wrote the ticket for you sends one police officer to litigate all of the tickets issued by that department for the month.
Your attorney can conference on your case with the officer and magistrate. We can show your previous driving history, discuss the case informally, and the circumstances of the stop. Sometimes, we can convince the court and the officer to make your ticket a warning.
If this does not work, we can go to trial. The arresting officer is likely not there, so the ticket itself is very important. If there are any discrepancies, errors or omissions, the case can be dismissed.
Again, you should strongly consider fighting your speeding ticket with a highly experienced attorney, who can save you thousands of dollars over several years.