What Is the No-Fix Law in Massachusetts and How Does It Apply to My Traffic Ticket?
The No-Fix Law is a Massachusetts statute designed to avoid traffic ticket manipulation or “ticket fixing” by police. The No-Fix Law is under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90C, Section 2. With few exceptions, the No-Fix Law requires that the police must give traffic tickets to you in-hand at the time and place that you are stopped. If you are not given the ticket in-hand and none of the exceptions apply, then the traffic offense should be dismissed. The No-Fix Law is a defense to both civil motor vehicle infractions and criminal traffic offenses. At Contant Law, we have successfully defended many client cases using the No-Fix Law.
In addition to preventing manipulation of traffic tickets by the police, the No-Fix Law is also designed to ensure that you receive prompt and definite notice of the nature of your alleged offense.
Further, it does not matter that you may not have been prejudiced in some way by the delay in giving you the traffic ticket. It is enough that the police failed to follow the proper procedures.
Exceptions to the No-Fix Law:
The No-Fix Law will not strictly apply if:
- You are arrested for the criminal traffic offenses alleged;
- Certain crimes listed in the No-Fix Law, where the motor vehicle violation resulted in one or more deaths (motor vehicle homicide is one such offense);
- Where additional time was reasonably necessary to determine the nature of the violation or the identity of the alleged violator; or
- Where the court finds that a circumstance, not inconsistent with the purpose of the statute, justifies the failure.
For these last two exceptions, the police may satisfy the No-Fix Law if an exception applies to the facts of the case and they mail or deliver it to you as soon possible. For example, if you cause a serious accident and then run before the police arrive, it may take the police some time to figure out who you are. The delay it takes to investigate this would be excusable under the law, so long as the police send you the citation as soon as they learn who you are. It is always up to the police or district attorney to demonstrate to the court that one of the exceptions apply.
At Contant Law, we can determine very quickly whether the No-Fix Law defense may work for you.