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What Should You Do If You Get A Citation Or Ticket

Gov. Hogan Awarding Citation To Police Officer Who Saved Student

If you get pulled over and receive a citation or get one for parking in the wrong area at the wrong time, you want to handle it right away.

If youre dealing with an officer, you want to hand over the paperwork they ask for. This typically includes license, registration, and insurance. Even though it can be nerve-wracking, try to stay calm and answer any questions the officer has.

When you receive a citation, youll need to sign it. Its important to note that signing doesnt mean that youre admitting guilt. Rather, its stating that you will appear in court on a specific date that may be listed on your citation. For cases like speeding tickets, you may need to appear in court and also pay the required fine.

On the other hand, parking tickets dont go through the court system and outline a fine that you must pay by a specific date.

After you pay your traffic ticket, the case will be considered closed and for traffic violations, the incident will come up as a conviction on your driving record.

You may be able to avoid getting points on your record by going to traffic school, but this may be reserved for first-time offenders.

Fighting Uniform Citation Charges In Massachusetts

When fighting Uniform Citation Charges in Massachusetts, having an experienced attorney by your side is often times invaluable. Whether you have received a uniform citation for a civil infraction or criminal misdemeanor, there is no substitute for quality advice from a skilled Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyer.

Caselden Law has successfully defended hundreds of Uniform Citation Charges in District Courts throughout Massachusetts. We are well versed in the traffic laws of Massachusetts and will carefully examine each piece of evidence being offered against you in order to achieve the best outcome possible.

All Massachusetts Uniform Citations are Handled on a Flat-Fee Basis.


Our Approach

At the Cambridge, Massachusetts law firm of Caselden Law, we take the time to understand your unique case and individual needs. As a client of our firm, an experienced Boston Attorney will provide clear communication throughout the process so youre never in the dark. Plus, we always provide transparent information so you know exactly what to expect. In addition to our proven trial advocacy skills, our client-focused approach forms the cornerstone of our practice.

Contact our offices to schedule a free of charge initial consultation with an experienced Boston Attorney.

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Do You Have To Post Bail For Your Traffic Infraction

When traffic bail is not required You have the right to appear in court for arraignment to contest the alleged traffic infraction without prior deposit of bail. You must appear as instructed on the citation, even if you do not receive a courtesy notice. When you appear for an arraignment hearing, you will enter a plea. If you plead not guilty at arraignment, you may ask for a court trial on a separate date.

You may choose to contest your ticket without appearing in front of the judge for arraignment. You may do that at the traffic clerks office in the courthouse or by mail. In either case, setting the matter for a trial without appearing before a judge will require that you deposit the bail amount along with the request.

The court may require payment of bail at arraignment before trial if:

  • You do not sign a promise to appear as ordered by the court or
  • The court finds that, based on the circumstances of your particular case, you are unlikely to appear without a deposit of bail.

When traffic bail is requiredPost and forfeit bail. If you do not wish to challenge your traffic citationand there is no mandatory court appearanceyou must pay the bail for non-correctable violations, and provide proof of correction and pay the fees for any correctable violations by the due date on the citation. The court will report a conviction for any non-correctable violations to the Department of Motor Vehicles .

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Citation Vs Ticket: What’s The Difference

A citation and a ticket are the same thing and are often used interchangeably. “Ticket” is the casual way we refer to them. But for legal purposes, the slip you receive from law enforcement personnel is called a “citation.”

You may receive them in the form of a small piece of paper on your windshield. Or, these days, you may receive an e-citation instead. In this situation, you sign the slip electronically using an officer’s tablet, which then gets sent to your email.

What Happens When I Receive A Traffic Ticket

CUSTOMIZATION: Police Citation Postcard

Does it look like this?Citations issued by City police officers are filed with the Topeka Municipal Court. Other tickets written by the Kansas Highway Patrol or the Sheriffs Office are filed with the Shawnee County District Court. Drivers should check to see which court their ticket is for.

The driver should be advised there are 4 ways to take care of a city citation. A driver must do one of the following within 14 days :

  • Mail the fine to the address on the citation
  • Pay the fine in person at Municipal Court
  • Go to Municipal Court and set a court date to contest the charges or if the citation requires a mandatory appearance.

What happens once a citation has been issued?The citations are reviewed by supervisors at the Police Department to ensure they are correctly completed and that Department policies are followed. The citys Legal Department then reviews the citations to ensure they are correct and legally sufficient. The citations are then filed with the Municipal Court and entered into the computer system.

What if it was a digital ticket?This type of ticket is electronically filed and entered into the Municipal Court System. Other agencies use the same forms the TPD is not the only local agency to use the citation form. Other agencies that use this form include:

  • City of Topeka Parking
  • City of Topeka Animal Control
  • Washburn University Police
  • Failure to comply with a citation

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How Citations Affect Your Insurance

Your driving record has a significant impact on the price you pay for car insurance. If you have one or more traffic citations, youll likely pay more than someone who doesnt have any.

However, not every type of citation has the same effect on your car insurance. States assign demerit points to different moving violations, and, typically, the more points you have, the riskier you are to insure because those points represent multiple and possibly serious citations.

The more serious the infraction, the more points youll likely get. For instance, a DUI may give you more points than not wearing a seatbelt.

If this was your first infraction in the past three years and its a minor speeding ticket, you may not see your insurance rates increase. Parking tickets and other non-moving violations may also not affect your insurance. However, if you previously had a safe driving discount, you might lose that discount after a speeding ticket.

Process How To Handle A Traffic Citation Vs Ticket

Knowing how the traffic summons process works in a specific jurisdiction works to your advantage. If you know a police officer, or an attorney who practices there, it canât hurt to ask them how things work. Even court personnel may be able to explain their particular process.

Typically, between the time of an officer issuing the traffic citation and an appearance in front of a judge, there is someone authorized to negotiate, or plea bargain your case. For practicality, busy courts have prosecutors who recommend reductions in charges and/or penalties to avoid going to trial and tying up the court. Trials take time . For charges above the level of a simple violation, most judges will insist you have an attorney represent you.

A prosecutor, while negotiating, may explain the realities of going to trial, potential outcomes and penalties. There are, however, limits on how much leeway theyâll give a defendant before saying, âtake it to trial.â Some courts and prosecutors may ask you to write to them, explaining your position in advance of an appearance to save time in the courtroom.

The prosecutor may be a townâs attorney, a district attorney, or in some jurisdictions, the actual officer who wrote you the ticket. Some municipalities skip the middle person and employ administrative law judges to whom you directly present your case.

Questions? Interested in learning more about a traffic citation vs ticket?

Get in touch with the L-Tron team.

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Does A Citation Go On Your Record

A traffic citation will go on your motor vehicle record or even criminal record depending on the type of violation. For example, a speeding ticket usually stays on your driving record for three years. Depending on the state you live in, a traffic violation will add points to your license, which can add up to a suspended or revoked license.

If you plead guilty and pay the fine to a speeding ticket or other traffic violation, it will be noted in your MVR, but not your criminal record. If you’re found guilty of a criminal traffic violation, it will not only go on your driving record but also on your criminal record . These can be considered misdemeanor or even felony crimes. Also, if you decline to pay a ticket it could appear on your criminal record. A written warning will not go on your driving record. Depending on the jurisdiction you live in, there are a few ways to keep a ticket off your record:

  • Defensive driving courses

Is A Citation The Same As A Ticket

What is a Citation?

Updated on Thursday, March 4 2021 | 0 min. read| by Lee Prindle

Citations and tickets are essentially the same thing, and getting a ticket can hurt your insurance rates.

There is no difference between a ticket and a citation. In most areas, both terms refer to documents that outline traffic violations. A citation or ticket encompasses moving violations like speeding tickets or traffic citations. It also includes non-moving violations like parking tickets.

In this article, we’ll cover:

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Citation And Ticket Definition

A citation or ticket is a summons issued by law enforcement to somebody breaking traffic laws. Tickets and citations are documents that charge you with a violation of traffic law. For example, when a police officer pulls you over for running a stop sign, they will give you a document outlining the violation. This is the citation or ticket.

A traffic ticket is a piece of paper that the officer hands you that includes your name, your license number, the officers name, the violation, and other details. A citation number is usually located on the top right of your traffic ticket and it allows you to pay your fine online.

What’s The Word On The Street

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The 4910LR DL reader is deployed in 3,000 + municipalities in all 50 states. . We thank you for your partnership with us and for your business! Below are just a few of your notable comments:

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Do Citations Show Up On Background Checks

Criminal traffic citations show up on a criminal background check as a misdemeanor or felony offense. Many violations are considered criminal offenses. Minor traffic violations, or civil violations, appear on driving record checks. Employers dont usually need to run driving checks, but they will in certain cases.

How A Ticket Affects Your Car Insurance Rate

How To Read Citations

If you receive a moving violation, it could raise your insurance costs. The magnitude of the impact, however, depends on a few factors, such as whether this is your first violation or one of multiple offenses.

A ticket is one of the many variables that go into rating someone for their insurance, and it certainly impacts the amount of their premium, says Charlie Wendland, head of claims at Branch Insurance. We also factor in how long ago the incident took place, and whether it was a serious or minor violation.

Getting a ticket can also add points to your drivers license, which can lead to additional consequences. Drivers license points are given out for certain traffic violations and can stay on your driving record for several years. Accumulating too many of them can have legal consequences like having your license suspended and financial consequences through fines and an increase to insurance premiums.

The exact regulations surrounding drivers license points, including the point values for specific offenses and the point threshold for consequences, vary by state. Similarly, its hard to tell the exact effect of points on your insurance rates since each insurance provider calculates premiums differently, but getting too many points usually results in a jump in rates.

We think the tech is in its infancy, but it is maturing rapidly because there is a demand in the market for usage-based insurance, says Wendland.

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Is A Citation A Charge

Traffic citations are petty charges, not criminal charges. They do impose a burden, usually a financial one, upon the person receiving the citation. But its not the same as receiving a misdemeanor charge, which almost always includes an arrest. A misdemeanor charge is assessed to minor criminal activity, which is less serious than a felony charge.

Can I Negotiate A Speeding Ticket

There are multiple ways you can contest a speeding ticket:

  • When you get pulled over: If you are calm and courteous, you can plead your case and explain why you feel the ticket is not warranted. Try to do so before the officer writes the ticket.
  • Before court: You might be able to request a mitigation negotiation before your court date, where you admit to the violation and give the judge reasons why you should be given leniency. You may still have to pay the ticket, but it might not affect your motor vehicle record, or you may be asked to take an online or in-person driving course instead of paying the ticket. In other cases, you can get a reduction of the fine.
  • In court: You can contest the ticket, stating why you believe you are not guilty, or you can apologize to the judge, plead your case and explain why you believe the ticket was written in error and ask for a reduction in drivers license points or a reduced fine.

Hiring an attorney to help you with the process of rectifying a traffic citation may be a wise decision. An attorney that specializes in traffic court will likely better understand the process and can help you decide on the best course of action.

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You Have Received A Citation

Criminal Charges require an appearance in person on the date and time listed on your citation or release agreement. Failure to appear will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.

Violations If you have received a citation for a traffic or ordinance violation, one of the first things to do is check the court date and time on the citation. You can appear in court on that date and time or do any of the following options listed prior to the court date and time. Failure to appear can result in additional fines, fees, suspension of your driving privileges and being sent to collections.

If you were cited for Careless Driving with and accident and injury, Minor in Possession of Marijuana or Alcohol all are mandatory appearances, which can result in a suspension of your driving privileges.

Citation Process:Option 1 provides that you enter a plea of no contest and pay the amount of the presumptive fine stated on your citation. As such, you would no longer need to personally appear on the date given on the citation.

Option 2 Enter a plea of no contest and send/drop off a letter of explanation with the presumptive fine amount enclosed to the court prior to your court date for the Judge to read and make a ruling based on the information you have provided. You will be notified by mail of the Judge’s ruling.

Option 4 Trial by affidavit is not an option in this court.

Should You Hire An Attorney To Contest A Traffic Violation

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It is always a good idea to hire a local attorney to represent you in courtespecially if you plan to fight the ticket or are looking for certain arrangements, such as the option to attend traffic school instead of paying the fine.

Additionally, there may be circumstances in which you must appear in court . For example, you will likely have to appear in court if your violation is considered reckless driving . You may also be required to appear if your citation involves any allegation of serious bodily injury. In cases like these, there are many advantages to hiring an attorney, who not only knows the geographical area, but also has the legal expertise to best navigate the court system on your behalf.

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Handwritten Vs Electronic Citations

Hear from three officers as they talk to the benefits of electronic citations with a 4910LR DL Reader compared to manually handwriting traffic citations.

The most frustrating thing would be after you wrote out a charge and you realized you didnt write the right subsection and then there was a lot of crossing out and initialing.Its gonna probably be dismissed on the charge, you feel like youve made a mistake and justice wasnt done properly. NY Officer

Is A Citation Worse Than A Ticket

The two are the same thing: a citation or a ticket is a document explaining that you committed some traffic offense type, like a civil infraction for speeding. A citation is more serious than a ticket in some places. However, a citation requires you to appear in a court of law while a ticket can be paid.

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