Law enforcement agents may issue traffic citations in Massachusetts as a result of both civil and criminal violations of state laws. Motorists must settle their case by either fighting traffic tickets in MA or paying driving fines, regardless of whether they were charged with a major offense or a less serious infraction. While civil traffic violations in MA do not generally require a court appearance (unless drivers request a hearing), criminal infractions must be resolved in court. Learn how to dispute traffic tickets or submit an MA ticket violation payment in the following sections:
- Fighting a Massachusetts ticket.
- Paying a Massachusetts ticket.
- Lost tickets in Massachusetts.
- Massachusetts fines and penalties.
- Points in Massachusetts.
- How tickets affect a Massachusetts drivers license.
- Massachusetts car insurance fines and violations.
Fighting a Massachusetts Ticket
The procedure of contesting a traffic ticket in Massachusetts mainly depends on whether motorists were cited for a civil or criminal infraction. In case of a civil traffic fine, you must request a hearing within 20 days of the date of the citation. If you decide to fight traffic tickets in MA, you must check the appropriate box on the back of the form and send the traffic citation along with a check or money order of $25 to the address displayed on the ticket. Once your inquiry is processed, you will receive a written notice including the details of your hearing. In case of a criminal traffic violation, you may request a show cause hearing by submitting your ticket with the appropriate box checked to the court clerk-magistrate's office within four days of the date of the citation. This option is not available if you were arrested for a more serious offense. Drivers who do not wish to dispute traffic tickets in MA of a criminal nature must await the issuance of a court summons. In order to prove your innocence, you must be prepared to present credible evidence that supports your position and argue the law. A successful Massachusetts traffic ticket defense may result in ticket dismissal and a clean driving record.
Paying a Massachusetts Ticket
Licensees who decide to pay driving tickets in MA will have several options at their disposal, depending on the type of traffic citation they received. Since civil Massachusetts traffic violations do not always require motorists to appear in court, they can submit their payment via mail to the RMV, or pay traffic fines online or by phone. Criminal MA traffic violations impose a mandatory court appearance, indicating that you cannot simply arrange payment and settle your case. Visit the "How to Pay Traffic Tickets" page and learn more about the payment procedure.
Lost Tickets in Massachusetts
The details listed on Massachusetts traffic citations, such as the citation number, due date or amount are necessary for both paying and challenging speeding tickets or other types of violations. Therefore, if you lose your traffic ticket in MA, you will need to obtain the aforementioned information and avoid any inconvenience. To inquire about traffic citation data, contact the court handling your case timely and properly.
Massachusetts Fines and Penalties
By paying traffic tickets online or via other methods, drivers plead guilty to the committed violation. MA traffic fines generally differ based on the type of the offense for which motorists have been charged. In addition to the base amount of a ticket violation payment in MA, certain additional mandatory surcharges may apply in specific cases. For instance, speeding traffic violations require a base fine which is currently set at $50, plus a $50 surcharge and an additional $10 fee for each mile per hour in excess of 10 mph over the set limit. The amount due is usually written on the issued citation. Motorists are required to provide payment in due time in order to avoid penalties, such as paying late and release fees.
Points in Massachusetts
In general, if you are found guilty of a traffic citation, negative points will be added to your driving record. Traffic tickets in Massachusetts are also referred to as surchargeable events. Accumulation of several traffic violations on your driving transcript within a specific period of time may lead to harsh penalties. For instance, if you are convicted of three traffic violations within two years, you may incur a driving license suspension. Per state laws, out-of-state violations will also be included in the calculation. Depending on the type of the offense, you may be required to complete a defensive driving course too avoid being penalized.
How Tickets Affect a Massachusetts Drivers License
Massachusetts traffic citations can have a serious impact on your behind-the-wheel status. Drivers who fail to notify the corresponding MA traffic violation court of their intention to either challenge their ticket or pay the set fines in due time will be subject to late and release fees. Failure to pay the total traffic ticket fee along with the penalty fines within 30 days of the notice will result in a license suspension. In addition to this, the accumulation of several traffic violations in MA may lead to a suspension of your credential. Motorists who amass three speeding tickets within 12 months, for instance, may lose their privilege to drive for 30 days. Habitual offenders of motor vehicle laws will incur even harsher penalties and larger fines.
Massachusetts Car Insurance Fines and Violations
MA traffic tickets are generally recorded on driving transcripts, and they can have an adverse effect on auto insurance premiums. Insurance companies have the option to either review your driving record under the Safe Driver Insurance Plan (SDIP) or use their own merit rating plan when determining coverage rates. In the instance of multiple surchargeable traffic violations on your report, you are more likely to have your insurance premiums raised. If your record does not show any traffic tickets, you will be considered a safe driver, and you may earn an insurance discount.