Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

What Should I Do if I Get Stopped by the Police for a Traffic or Moving Violation in Massachusetts?

If you see the blue lights in your rear view mirror there are certain things that you should do and certain things you should not do. Firstly, it is very important to remain calm. Do not drive erratically, do not immediately pull over and do not take too long to pull over. Secondly, do not get out of the vehicle. Thirdly, in a calm manner roll down your window and have your license and registration at the ready. If you do the above, you will already be in good stead with the officer or trooper.

If the officer or trooper asks why you think he pulled you over, it is my opinion, that you should not admit any guilt, nor make any excuses (i.e. I am sorry I was speeding, but I am late to pick up my son from soccer practice.)

Be very courteous and professional with the officer or trooper. You do not necessarily need to be robotic, however, and if you feel you can use your personality to garner favor, I would not advise against that.

If despite acting in accordance with the above advice you are still issued a citation, there are still many avenues available to you to reach a favorable outcome. At this point, you should call an attorney. Most attorneys, including those at Altman & Altman, LLP will offer you a free consultation. These attorneys will give you clear options to help you to determine what your ticket entails, including whether there are criminal charges, potential loss of license, points on your license and insurance ramifications.

On many traffic citations, there are one or more criminal offenses listed on the citation. If this is the case, you typically only have 4 days in which to send the ticket to the court listed on the lower right portion of the citation. Do not make the typical mistake of sending a citation with criminal offenses listed to the PO Box on the envelope or on the back of the ticket.

If, however, all charges listed on the ticket are civil, you have 20 days in which you can send the ticket to the PO Box.

On many occasions if you are late sending the ticket to the court in the case of a criminal citation or to the PO Box in the case of a purely civil citation, we are often still able to resurrect the case for you.

Although it is of the utmost importance to appeal tickets in which you feel you are not responsible, it is also important to consider appealing citations in which you feel that you are responsible. On many occasions, an attorney can find legal or factual reasons why you should not be found responsible even if you believe that you are responsible for the charges lodged.

We have handled these types of cases for over 20 years and would be pleased to take as much time as you need to go over all of your rights and options to obtain the most favorable outcome possible in your particular situation.

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