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Speeding ticket on Rt 2 west.

I am new here. I could use some advice on a speeding ticket I received 2 days ago.

On Monday 2/15/10 myself and two other friends left my home in Worcester to head up to VT to go skiing for the day. Between 6:20 and 6:30 I was pulled over by an officer from the MA State Police while I was on Rt 2 west. It was right where Rt 2 drops from two lanes in each direction to one(Out near Orange MA I believe).

Anyhow as I was approaching the point where the lanes merge, a state cruiser traveling in the right lane in front of me turned on its lights and pulled into the breakdown lane, slowing down. I too slowed way down, and pulled off to the break down lane as well. I wasn't sure at first why the Officer had pulled over, but in situations like this I always pull to the side to be safe. Turns out I was getting pulled over.

The officer came to the passenger side window, asked for my license/registration, and then informed me I had been clocked going 66 mph entering "one of the most dangerous sections of roan in MA" when the speed limit was 55 mph. He then walked away without saying anything else. I think I only had time to say "ok" to him and he was gone. A few minutes later he returned with my license and registration, handed me a ticket and told me the directions were on the back and walked away. He had his mind made up before he even turned on his lights to pull me over.

Now here is what I have trouble with. Yes I was going 66 mph. I had set my cruise control to 65, but I am not going to argue that. I was however well within the flow of traffic, and I have two witnesses from my car who can verify that. Most of the other cars on the road around us were going the same speed as me. Also the officer was traveling about the same speed as me as I wasn't passing or gaining on him. In fact I had been passed by quite a few cars that morning on that road and after the event I was passed by quite a few cars, none of which were pulled over. I am not very familiar with this road, as it is only maybe the second or third time I have driven that far west on Rt 2.

Here is the other part that gets me. Between 6:30 and 7:00 am, we saw 6 more cruisers. It was like they were out on the prowl. The part that really gets me. Where I was pulled over was still a two lane highway. After entering "one of the most dangerous roads in MA" I had another cruiser come up on my tail. At this point I had my cruise control set to 55mp, exactly the speed limit. The officer stayed behind me for some time until we came to a large hill. At that point the officer proceeded to move into the climbing lane (the one for 18 wheelers and slow traffic)and pass me, going at least 65 mph. He did this with no lights, no sirens, no horn, nothing and this is the part of Rt2 that is only divided by the double yellow line.

As far as I am aware, the State Police have to follow the laws they enforce.

Anyhow, I am not one cry conspiracy, or hold a grudge against the police. I have and always have had great respect for Police Officers and what they do. But I do feel like there is some serious BS going on here, and like I got a bit of a bum deal.

I am a 28 years old, working as an engineer. I have been driving since I was 17 and have only had two speeding tickets, and only one on my record now. I know some people have better records than me, but I make a point to be a responsible driver. I am currently buried under college loans and trying to buy a home, so it is important to me to keep my insurance rates down. Currently I pay $135/month for insurance.

If anyone can give me any advice on this, that would be great. I don't plan to mention the part about the officer speeding past me in court, as I don't feel it will help. Just going to say I was keeping with the flow of traffic.

Is this worth getting a lawyer for?

Thanks in advance


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Submitted Thu, 02/18/2010 - 08:59

It sounds like the State Police were conducting some sort of campaign cracking down on that area of road. When you appeal to the magistrate I always think it is best to tell the truth and not contradict the police "Yes, I was going 66, but it was with the flow of traffic and the speed of the cruiser in front of me. I am buried with student loans and I am trying to buy a home." Remember the police see the magistrate every day and this is your only time before him or her. Every court and every magistrate is different, but remember the magistrate has tremendous discretion as to what to do with the ticket. Hiring a lawyer can only increase your chance of success, but 98% of the people go without a lawyer. Remember the law changed in July of last year, now requiring you to pay $25 for a magistrate hearing and $50 for a judge's appeal. Good luck.

Kevin Gaughen Jr. | Traffic Ticket Defense | Gaughen, Gaughen, Lane & Hernando

I have argued rediculous tickets before and I usually do exactly what you said. Don't argue with the officer, stick to the truth. Usually though I have a compelling arguement. This time I am not sure if my arguement will matter or not.

How much does a lawyer cost for this sort of thing?

Assuming your court date has not passed; I have some advice.Not to boast but I have won every single traffic ticket I have ever contested; 4 out of 4 times. So I have some advice which may help you.
First off unless you can prove with 100 percent accuracy you were going 65 instead of 66 miles an hour do not contest it, secondly going with the speed of traffic is not a legal defense nor will it persuade the judge to be merciful for your situation UNLESS you can provide a compelling argument that traffic was heavily congested and driving below 65 miles an hour would have presented a danger to you and your passengers. In this argument you were acting in the pursuit of safety only for the amount time it was necessary. However if this is untrue or unconvincing do not use this line of argument.
Secondly Do not bring up the cruisers speeding; because for one it makes it look as if you are speaking ill of the police and most importantly you probably do not have any proof, besides your other passengers and bring up this line of argument does not excuse you from violating the law and will only annoy the magistrate.
I have not used this defense before but you could do several things; one ensure the speed limit was actually 55 by looking at state highway records and obtain radar maintenance records from the police station and the officer's personal radar log record. These records should show if the radar was properly maintain(therefore ensuring accuracy), if any errors, inconsistencies or discrepancies exist you can use it to cast a reasonable doubt-
The final option is mitigate the charges. One you could meet with the police officer in question at his police station or the office representing the "prosecution"(in the magistrate court for traffic violations, there are no prosecutors only a single police officer who represents all the cases being presented that day) and tell him blah blah blah and ask that the charge be kicked down to a non-moving violation and you'll agree to pay the fine. Secondly you can explain to the judge the basic facts of the case; you were pulled over blah blah blah and that in your 11 years of driving you have been a very careful and prudent driver and your record reflects this. Then explain that what happened to you as the record shows is unusual, you made a mistake and ask the magistrate for mercy.

Well like I said I have had alot success in defending traffic tickets and I hope this helps you or anyone else who may read this.

If there is any question at all and you do not agree with the ticket appeal. You sign the back of the ticket and mail the citation to the court listed on it. Be careful though because if the ticket is for a civil violation you have only 30 days to appeal it and Criminal it's 10 days. So send it in timely. Also they have imposed a fee for appealing the ticket of $25 so don't be surprised when they ask you to pay at the court date. No matter what happens at your hearing you can also pay and appeal that decision to a judge who will review your case at a later court date that you will be notified of. It sounds like a process but in the end if you are found Not Responsible it is worth it! Good Luck.


Submitted Fri, 11/12/2010 - 12:30

This information is incorrect. You have 20 days to request a clerk-magistrate hearing on a civil motor vehicle infraction citation and you only have four (4) days to request a hearing if citation contains criminal automobile law violations.

View these posts for more information:

You basically admit to exceeding the posted speed limit, you were speeding. I agree with the comment of one of these people that you can't use the I was following the flow of traffic defense.
If you were traveling 2 or three miles an hour slower or admit to driving 2 or three miles an hour slower you may have an argument that you could submit that the device that the officer used to track your speed may be inaccurate up to 10 mph. In which case I would say you were going up or down an incline and you were adjusting your speed and also argue that both devices can very as much as 5 mph and the case would be dismissed especially if you have had no prior moving violations.
Remember you do have the right to face your accusers and often times the officer does not show and the case is dismissed.

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