I have always wondered, why when I’m in court, there seem to be more people appealing tickets from certain towns. Is it because some towns give out more tickets? Or is it because tickets appeals are scheduled by town for certain days? Ticket appeals before a clerk are definitely organized by town – because there is no requirement that the police officer who issued you the citation appear before the Clerk Magistrate. All that is required is that a representative from the Police Department represent the Police Department at the hearing. However, when there are ticket appeals before a Judge some towns are more represented than others. Police Officers are required to appear for appeals to a Judge.
Recently, The Boston Globe, did a study on warnings versus tickets for towns around Boston. The study found, that in fact, some towns do hand out warnings more readily than others. For example, if you are stopped while traveling through Duxbury, Mattapoisett or Quincy, you are much more likely to get a warning than if you are stopped in Avon, Freetown, Hull, Marshfield or Milton. How does your town compare? See the graph published by The Boston Globe depicting where you are most likely to get a ticket versus a warning.
Of course, the Globe Reporters who wrote the article, followed up with some of the police chiefs in local towns. There answers as to why some towns gave out more tickets than warnings and vice versa varied. Marshfield’s Police Chief, William Sullivan, stated that the records might not reflect actual traffic stops by his officers, and that the data may be incomplete, because they may give drivers verbal warnings. Duxbury Police Chief, Mark DeLuca stated that the purpose of traffic stops is to educate drivers, and if the officers believe that the driver got the message, they are more likely to get a written warning. For more information see Getting a Speeding Ticket, in this Sunday’s Boston Globe. Manny Veiga and Matt Carroll did a great job exploring the ‘speeding ticket’ culture around Boston.
If you were not lucky enough to get a warning, and instead got a speeding ticket, you should consider hiring a lawyer to fight the ticket for you. The surcharge on your insurance will end up costing you a lot more than hiring an attorney. The new license laws are tough, especially for junior operators.
One speeding ticket and a junior operator’s license will be suspended.
If you would like more information please feel free to email me or call my office at 866-981-7888 to set up a consultation.