Fight Traffic Ticket in MassachusettsPage Overview
After being ticketed for a civil infraction you must enter your plea by checking one of two boxes on the front of your citation:
- Box 1 to pay the ticket (a guilty plea)
- Box 2 to appeal the ticket (a not guilty plea)
Regardless of plea, you must enter it within 20 days of receiving the traffic ticket.
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)
- Pay the fine
- Option to plea bargain penalties
- Incur points on your driving record (could lead to license suspension/revocation)
- Possibly incur increase on auto insurance rates
Learn more about
Paying your Traffic Ticket »
(Plead Not Guilty)
- Contest traffic ticket via trial
- Choose to represent yourself or hire an attorney
- No penalties if found not guilty, but must pay court/attorney fees
- Be found guilty, pay fine and court/attorney fees and incur penalties
Learn more by reading below
Challenging your Massachusetts traffic ticket means:
- Appearing before a judge and either representing yourself or hiring a traffic ticket attorney.
- After hearing your defense, the judge may find you not guilty and dismiss all charges, sparing you of penalties and fines. You will still be required to pay court and, if applicable, legal fees.
- After hearing your defense, the judge may find you guilty. You'll be required to pay all fines, court and, if applicable, legal fees. In addition, your driving record will be assessed penalties, which could cause a suspended driver's license and increased auto insurance rates.
Pleading guilty (Checking Box 1 on your citation) waives your right to a court hearing. This means you have agreed to pay your traffic ticket fine and accept all resulting penalties.
Enter Plea on Time
The RMV will assess a late fee if you fail to respond to your ticket within 20 days. If you ignore paying the late fee and the citation fine, your MA license will be suspended.
Check Box 2 on the front of your citation to submit your not guilty plea. Be sure to sign and date the back of the citation before mailing it to the RMV in the provided pre-addressed envelope. The RMV will then send you a letter confirming your hearing request, along with payment instructions for a filing fee. Be sure to pay the filing fee before the date specified in the instructions.
After receiving your payment fee, the presiding court―from where you were ticketed― will send you a hearing date and time by mail.
If you're unsure on how to proceed, hire a traffic ticket attorney. Legal counsel will increase your chances for reduced charges or dismissal, which, depending on your situation, could spare you from a suspended or revoked driver's license and keep your auto insurance rates in check.
If you opt against hiring a traffic ticket lawyer, you'll need to prepare your own defense. This will require gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses and, possibly presenting your driving record to the court.
After hearing your defense, the presiding judge will issue a verdict. If found guilty, you will be instructed on how to pay all resulting fines, and be informed of all associated penalties. You do have the right to appeal the decision.
Regardless of verdict, be sure to check your driving record. You'll want to closely examine it for accuracy, making sure there are no unsubstantiated suchargeable events. Because an accumulation of violations could lead to a suspended driver's license or increased auto insurance rates, be sure the state's record is accurate.
Should a ticket violation cause an increase in your car insurance rates, consider shopping online for auto insurance. Compare car insurance rates from a variety of auto insurance companies to get the best deal.Other Topics in This Section