Motor Vehicle and Traffic Offenses
If you are facing a Traffic Offense or Traffic Ticket, call Springfield Traffic Offense lawyer Dan Daly at Daly Law, P.C. to assist you. Attorney Daly is able to handle virtually any moving violation or traffic offense in all courthouses west of Worcester including the Berkshires. If you have been given a citation or ticket charging you with a traffic offense, make sure you hire an attorney that specializes in that area of law. Below are some of the more common motor vehicle and traffic offenses we defend against.Operating a Motor Vehicle Without a License - M.G.L. Ch. 90 Section 10
This is a “fine only” offense meaning a conviction under this statute carries no risk of a jail sentence, however, it is still a criminal offense, and as such, should not be taken lightly. The elements of this charge require the Government to prove that a person was operating a motor vehicle on a public way without a license. Once a prima facie showing has been outlined by the Government, the burden is actually on the defense at trial to show that the operator did in fact have a license (if that is the case). While these types of cases are normally difficult to defend on the facts, a skilled attorney is often able to negotiate a resolution short of a conviction. Additionally, a seasoned attorney is also trained to spot any identification issues regarding the operator of the vehicle at issue or any “public way” defenses that could be raised at trial. A person convicted of this offense is subject to a fine not to exceed $500.Operating a Motor Vehicle After Suspension or Revocation - M.G.L. Ch. 90, Section 23
The elements of these offenses require the Government to prove that a person operated a motor vehicle on a public way after their right to operate has been either suspended or revoked. Unlike a straight “No License” charge under section 10, these offenses require the Government to show “notice” that a person’s privilege was either suspended or revoked prior to the operation. As such, the Government is required to produce documentation from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (often referred to as a “RMV Cert”) at trial to satisfy their burden of proof. While identify and public way can sometimes be raised as defenses for these charges, more often than not, the defense will involve some deficiency with the RMV Cert thereby serving as insufficient notice to the accused regarding the suspension or renovation. A person convicted of Operating after Suspension or Revocation is subject to up to 10 days in jail and/or a fine no less than $500 but not to exceed $1,000. Penalties significantly increase for a second or subsequent offender with a minimum jail sentence of 60 days up to 1 year. In addition to the criminal penalties a person is exposed to, the RMV will also suspend a person’s right to operate if convicted for an additional 60 days (added to the original suspension end date).Negligent Operation or Operating to Endanger - M.G.L. Ch. 90, Section 24(2)(a)
In order to sustain a conviction for this offense, the Government must prove that a person operated a motor vehicle on a public way and did so in a manner that the safety or lives of the public were endangered. The language of this statute is very broad - encompassing a large variety of driving activity - and as such, prosecutors and police departments often over-charge this offense. As a result, a savvy Springfield traffic offense attorney can sometimes negotiate this charge away in exchange for a civil assessment to a non-criminal citation (i.e. a Marked Lanes violation). If a person elects to go to trial on this charge, a well-versed traffic attorney will know what facts to highlight at the trial to undercut the Government’s theory that there was bad driving behavior and/or a real danger to public safety. A person convicted of this offense is subject to a fine ranging from $20 to $200 and/or a minimum jail sentence of 60 days up to 2 years. In addition to these criminal penalties, there is a loss of license for a minimum of 60 days up to 1 year upon conviction.Leaving the Scene of Property Damage - M.G.L. Ch. 90, Section 24 (2)(a)
To prove this offense, the Government must show that a person left the scene of an accident after knowingly colliding with another vehicle or causing injury or damage to any vehicle or property without first stopping and making known their name, residence, and the registration number of their vehicle. While the language of this statute is very wordy, the benefit of the statute is it also gives many different angles to formulate a defense. First and foremost, defenses to this charge can be centered around showing that a person never “left the scene” and/or that the person never “knew” they were in an accident or caused any property damage. Identification of the operator is almost always at issue come trial so it is absolutely imperative that if you are suspected of this offense that you do not talk to any law enforcement. Immediately contact a seasoned Springfield traffic offense lawyer to invoke you right to remain silent. If convicted of this offense, a person is subject to a fine ranging from $20 to $200 and/or a minimum jail sentence of 2 weeks up to 2 years.Leaving the Scene of Personal Injury - M.G.L. Ch. 90, Section 24 (a1/2)(1)
To prove this offense, the Government must show that a person left the scene of an accident after knowingly colliding with or otherwise causing injury to a person without first stopping and making known their name, residence, and the registration number of their vehicle. Many of the same defenses that apply to Leaving the Scene of Property Damage apply to this offense. Additionally, litigation can be focused on the lack of any “injury.” If convicted of this offense, a person is subject to a minimum mandatory jail sentence of 6 months up to 2 years or a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000. In addition, a conviction carries a 1 year loss of license (2 years for a subsequent offense).
No matter what traffic ticket you are facing, contact Springfield Traffic Offense Attorney Dan Daly today for a free no-obligation case evaluation today.