Experienced Rhode Island Traffic Ticket Lawyer Ready To Serve You
Serving Drivers in Warren, Providence, Cranston, Newport, Bristol, Warwick, East Providence, Pawtucket, Barrington, and all of Rhode Island
Contact Us Today At (401) 245-5100
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- Aggressive & Insightful Representatives
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While a traffic offense may seem like a minor event, it can have frustrating and long-lasting effects on your everyday life. Penalties like license suspensions increased insurance rates, and even loss of employment due to a bad driving record are just a few of the many consequences that can result from a traffic offense. That is why it is in your best interest to retain an experienced Rhode Island Traffic Ticket Lawyer to help you fight your traffic ticket.
Read Below to Find Out More:
- Speeding Tickets in Rhode Island
- Colin’s Foote in Rhode Island
- Obedience to Traffic Control Devices in Rhode Island
- Text Messaging Violations in Rhode Island
- School Bus Tickets in Rhode Island
- Driving on a Suspended License in Rhode Island
Abilheira Law, LLC protects motorists in Rhode Island from unnecessary traffic offenses by providing the knowledge, advocacy, and support every client needs to ensure their case has a favorable result. Because traffic offenses are so prevalent, the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal is often filled with frustrated drivers from all over the State. The busy nature of the courthouse often works to move defendants in and out as quickly as possible, which leads to many motorists failing to receive an adequate opportunity to defend themselves against their tickets.
Here at Abilheira Law, LLC, our Rhode Island traffic ticket attorneys and traffic offense attorneys have the legal skill to navigate the process and pursue a favorable ruling. Call us today at (401) 245-5100!
Speeding Tickets in Rhode Island
We’ve all caught ourselves speeding at one point or another, but when the police catch us, it can result in a stiff fine, increased insurance rates, and violations on our driving records. Our law firm protects individuals from speeding ticket consequences by providing practical and informative legal counsel that serves your best interests. A suspended license is one of the more common consequences resulting from traffic violations. Since many of us rely on a vehicle to go about our daily lives, a suspended license can have a negative and lasting impact on our family and employment.
Speeding tickets in Rhode Island are generally written under one or more of the following statutes:
- § 31-14-1. Reasonable and prudent speeds.
- § 31-14-2. Prima facie limits.
- § 31-14-3. Conditions requiring reduced speed.
A speeding ticket in Rhode Island will then indicate the “actual” speed a motorist was observed going and then is broken down into “Speeding 1-10 MPH Over” or “Speeding 11+ MPH Over.” It will also indicate whether the officer used radar or clocked the motorist.
Speeding Ticket Fines & Penalties in RI
The penalties for a speeding ticket in Rhode Island vary based on the rate of speed and the number of previous speeding violations on one’s record.
- 1-10 MPH over the speed limit will bring a $95 fine
- 11 MPH + over the speed limit will include an additional $10 for every mile over the speed limit
Second Offense (Within 12 months of the first offense)
- Tickets for 1-10 MPH over the speed limit will incur a fine of $10 for every mile over the limit
- Tickets for speeds of 11+ mph over the speed limit will incur a fine of $15 for every mile over the limit.
Third Offense (Within 12 months of the first offense)
- Mandatory Court Appearance
- Tickets for 1-10 MPH over
- Fines are calculated at a rate of $15 for every mile over the speed limit
- A 30-day license suspension
- Tickets for 11+ MPH over
- Fines are calculated at $20 for every mile over the speed limit
- Up to a 60-day suspension
- Under the Colin B. Foote Act, a driver up against a fourth speeding ticket or other moving violation within 18 months can have their license revoked/suspended for up to 2 years, pay up to $1,000 in fines, be required to perform 60 hours of community service, and attend a 60-hour driver retraining course.
Fighting a Speeding Ticket with the Good Driving Statute
If you have been driving for at least three years and have not had a moving violation within the past three years, you can ask the judge to dismiss your speeding ticket under the “good driving statute.” However, if your speeding violation is in excess of 14 mph above the posted speed limit, you were involved in an accident at the time you received the speeding ticket, and/or you have a commercial driver’s license, your ticket cannot be dismissed pursuant to this statute.
It is important to note that while using the good driving statute can result in a dismissal of your ticket, you will still be responsible for paying $64.25 in court costs. However, this will save you a considerable amount of money, as the lowest possible fine for a speeding ticket is $95.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of using the good driving statute is that it will not appear on your driving record or insurance, which will save you thousands in increased insurance premiums.
Other Avenues for Fighting a Speeding Ticket
Drivers under 21 years of age may be able to perform community service in exchange for the dismissal of a speeding ticket. Another possible avenue for getting a ticket dismissed is to make a voluntary contribution to a victim’s indemnity fund or other charity. This may also be required in addition to community service. However, many police departments no longer accept this as an option.
The judge and/or the police may also require a “Driver Retraining Course.” This avenue is usually reserved for those drivers with several traffic convictions on their driving record. This course is taught at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI).
Your speeding ticket legal practitioner can also ask the police department to “amend” the speed charged on your traffic ticket to a lower speed, which can help reduce the fine associated with a higher rate of speed.
Do Not Sign the Ticket—Fight it!
While you may think that signing off on your ticket and paying the fine closes the door on the case, but it does not completely erase it from your record. The only way to do that is to have a Rhode Island traffic ticket attorney beat the ticket for you. Abilheira Law, LLC are experienced lawyers who have fought in numerous traffic ticket cases. We are skilled litigators, prepared to fight your ticket and prevent your license from getting suspended!
Call us today at (401) 245-5100 or fill out an online case evaluation form to begin!
Colin’s Foote in Rhode Island
Moving Violations and the Colin B. Foote Act
The Colin B. Foote Act or “Colin’s Foote” (Rhode Island General Law 31-27-24) was instated after a young man, Colin Foote, was killed in a car crash. The driver who caused the crash had a lengthy and dangerous driving history. As a result, the Rhode Island legislature passed the Act to target drivers who continuously violate traffic laws and are considered hazardous to others on the road.
How Is Someone Labeled a Habitual Offender Under Colin’s Foote?
A habitual offender is categorized as someone who has accumulated four moving violations in an 18-month period.
Prior to categorizing someone a “Colin’s Foote” violator or habitual offender, a judge or magistrate must make specific findings of fact and determine that the person’s continued operation of a motor vehicle would pose a substantial traffic safety hazard.
Moving violations that trigger Colin’s Foote:
- Using the breakdown lane for travel
- Failing to halt at stop signs or red lights
- Failing to use turning signals
- Lane roadway violations
- Following too close/Distance between vehicles
- Aggressive driving
Why should I hire a Rhode Island Traffic Ticket lawyer if I am facing Colin’s Foote?
The skilled Rhode Island Traffic Ticket lawyers at Abilheira Law, LLC help individuals fight their tickets at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal and municipal courts on a daily basis and have the experience to help you. When you retain our firm we will help you avoid license suspensions, costly fines, and other enhanced penalties.
Call our firm today for a free and confidential consultation.
Obedience to Traffic Control Devices in Rhode Island
Serving all of Rhode Island with offices in Providence and Warren
What does Obedience to Devices include?
Under Rhode Island General Law § 31-13-4, all drivers are required to obey the instructions of any official traffic control device applicable to them. These traffic control devices include, but are not limited to:
- Red lights
- Stop signs
- Weight limits
- Axle limits
- Prohibition of trucks, trailers, and campers in the two left lanes of travel
Commercial Truck Drivers and Obedience to Devices in Rhode Island
Many commercial truck drivers find themselves driving through Rhode Island, only to be pulled over by the State Police and issued a traffic ticket for “obedience to traffic control devices.” Commercial truck drivers are commonly charged with this offense after traveling in the “third lane” of Route 95, where signs are posted prohibiting trucks from the two left lanes. This is confusing to truck drivers not familiar with the area, as most states only prohibit truck drivers from the left-most lane.
Not only do these traffic tickets carry heavy fines, but they can have serious repercussions on your CDL and employment. If you are facing a ticket for obedience to traffic control devices, call the experienced Rhode Island Traffic Ticket Lawyers at Abilheira Law, LLC today.
You can rest assured that our traffic defense attorneys will aggressively defend you to ensure that you do not receive penalties on your commercial driver’s license that could lead to consequences with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and/or employer. When your career is on the line, let Abilheira Law, LLC be your bridge to justice.
What do the police need to prove in “Obedience” cases?
In cases involving weight limits, axle limits, and left lane violations, the State must testify to the following to meet their burden of proof:
- The specifications of the defendant’s vehicle and whether or not it met the requirements of the traffic device
- The language of the particular sign and how the defendant disobeyed the language
- That the motorist drove by the sign
Note that the State does not need to prove that the driver actually saw the applicable sign to sustain the violation.
Don’t fight your obedience to Traffic Tribunal Device ticket alone in Rhode Island. Let our traffic ticket lawyers fight your ticket today! Call us now at 401-245-5100.
Text Messaging Violations in Rhode Island
With the increase in cell phone-related auto accidents, state and local police departments in Rhode Island have started cracking down on text messaging while driving. If you have been issued a traffic ticket for texting while driving, call the experienced Rhode Island Traffic Ticket attorneys at Abilheira Law, LLC today. Our aggressive lawyers have the skills to fight your ticket.
What constitutes texting while driving in Rhode Island?
Under Rhode Island General Law § 31-22-30, it is illegal to write, read or send a text message while driving a motor vehicle in Rhode Island.
Text Messaging not only includes traditional text messages, but also includes reading, writing, or sending instant messages, electronic messages, and e-mails.
How is driving defined in the text messaging statute?
Driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle on any street or highway in Rhode Island.
Drivers can also be cited for this violation not only for texting while “driving” but also for texting while they are temporarily stopped because of traffic, a traffic light, or stop sign.
However, the law does not prohibit individuals from text messaging while their vehicle is pulled over to the side of, or off, an active roadway and has stopped in a location where it can safely remain stationary.
Does using a GPS constitute as text messaging while driving?
In the past, Traffic Tribunal judges in Rhode Island interpreted the text messaging statute to preclude motorists from using GPS devices while driving. However, in 2017, legislatures closed this gap by amending the law to specifically state that “activating, viewing, or deactivating a global positioning or navigation device or a global positioning or navigation application” is not prohibited under the law.
What are the penalties for texting while driving?
Any person convicted of text messaging while driving in Rhode Island shall the following penalties:
- 1st offense: $100.00 fine and/or a license suspension of up to thirty (30) days
- 2nd offense: $150.00 fine and/or a license suspension of up to three (3) months
- 3rd or subsequent offense: $250.00 fine and/or a license suspension for up to six (6) months
Traffic tribunal judges also have the authority to add court costs to the above fines and to order a motorist to complete a driver retraining course for a text messaging violation.
Can I pay for my text messaging ticket by mail-in Rhode Island?
No, text messaging violations are not eligible to be paid by mail in Rhode Island. Instead, you must appear in court for a mandatory court appearance.
Why did I receive a court summons for a text messaging violation?
In Rhode Island, all text messaging violations carry a mandatory court appearance at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal. This is because of the nature of the offense and penalties, including a possible license suspension, even on a first offense.
Will I have to appear in court for a text messaging violation?
Yes, as stated above, these violations require a mandatory court appearance. Therefore, you will need to appear in court or hire a Rhode Island traffic ticket attorney to appear on your behalf. If you fail to appear, you will be defaulted or found guilty in absentia. Normally, judges will impose stricter penalties on those who fail to appear in court.
Can I use the Rhode Island Good Driving Statute to dismiss my text messaging violation?
Some judges at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal will allow motorists to dismiss their text messaging violations under the good driving statute, while others will not. If your ticket is dismissed under the good driving statute, you will pay mandatory court costs of $63.25 rather than the fines listed above.
How long will a text messaging violation be on my driving record in Rhode Island?
In Rhode Island, a conviction for text messaging while driving will appear on a motorist’s driving record for a period of three (3) years. The three (3) year period is calculated from the date of conviction and not the date of the offense.
Should I hire a Rhode Island traffic ticket attorney to fight my text messaging violation in Rhode Island?
Yes! The attorneys at Abilheira Law, LLC defend motorists against traffic tickets on a daily basis and have the knowledge and experience to successfully resolve these cases. Our traffic ticket lawyers pride themselves on consistent and clear communication with clients, keeping them informed at all stages of the court process.
Contact the Rhode Island traffic ticket lawyers at Abilheira Law, LLC today if you have been charged with text messaging while driving. Our legal team will provide a free and confidential consultation and will fight to beat your texting violation!
School Bus Tickets in Rhode Island
Serving Drivers throughout Rhode Island including Warren and Providence
With students going back to school, school buses are out on the roads and Rhode Island drivers need to be aware of the laws on stopping for buses. Violations of school bus laws can lead to heavy fines and licenses suspensions. If you have received a school bus violation ticket, call the skilled Rhode Island traffic violation attorneys at Abilheira Law, LLC today, and read below for the answers to many frequently asked questions.
When is stopping for school buses required?
In Rhode Island, drivers must stop before reaching a school bus when the bus is activating flashing red lights.
Who needs to stop for a school bus?
On a two-lane road, vehicles on either side of the road must stop. On a multi-lane road, vehicles in all lanes on both sides must stop.
How are school bus tickets prosecuted?
In Rhode Island, many school departments have armed their buses with video monitoring systems that record violations. These summonses will include the court date for the owner’s appearance at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal.
Included with the summons will be photographs and/or videos of the alleged violation and statements from the officer who viewed the evidence and found probable cause to issue the summons.
What if the owner of the vehicle was not the operator at the time of the violation?
In Rhode Island, there is a presumption that the registered owner of the vehicle is the operator photographed passing the school bus. Therefore, the owner is primarily responsible for all violations. Owners must either accept responsibility for the violation by paying the fine or they must provide the issuing police department the name and address of the operator at the time of the violation.
What are the penalties for passing a school bus?
Upon conviction of a violation of Rhode Island General Law § 31-51-2.2, a driver will face a civil fine between $250 and $500 and/or suspension of his or her driving license for up to 30 days.
Can a good driving record be used to dismiss a school bus violation?
Rhode Island law prohibits drivers from using their good driving record to dismiss school bus violations.
Will a school bus ticket impact my driving record and/or insurance?
In Rhode Island, video school bus violations are not considered moving violations and are not reported on your driving record or your insurance company.
Are there any defenses available to fight school bus violations?
Yes, a skilled Rhode Island traffic ticket attorney can successfully defend against a school bus violation. There are several defenses that can be raised in court to fight the ticket. If you have received a school bus violation, call the Rhode Island traffic ticket lawyers at Abilheira Law, LLC today for a consultation and evaluation of your case, 401-245-5100.
Driving on a Suspended License in Rhode Island
Serving Drivers in Warren, Providence, and all of Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, operating a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right. Like any other privilege, it can be taken away. Many Rhode Islanders find themselves with a suspended driver’s license as a result of simple traffic tickets, a DUI, or a breathalyzer refusal conviction, while others end up with a suspended license under the Colin B. Foote Act or as a result of failure to pay old traffic tickets and/or child support.
Anyone with a suspended license knows that it can have a significant impact on your employment and family life. Due to how inconvenient a suspended license is, many drivers are willing to take a risk and drive, despite the possible penalties. Unfortunately, this decision can only make things worse.
If you find yourself charged with driving on a suspended license, call the experienced Rhode Island traffic violation lawyers at Abilheira Law, LLC today.
What Charges & Penalties Am I Facing?
Under Rhode Island General Law § 31-11-18, you may be charged with driving on a suspended license if you:
- Drive a motor vehicle despite never having applied for a license
- Drive after your application for a license has been refused
- Drive after your license has expired
- Drive without a license
- Drive while your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled
Driving on a suspended license can result in an increased license suspension, large fines, and imprisonment. The penalties vary depending on the number of convictions you have accumulated throughout your driving history.
Penalties for a first offense:
- Civil Violation
- $250 to $500 civil fine
Penalties for a second offense:
- Civil Violation
- $350 to $500 civil fine
Penalties for a third or subsequent offense:
- Misdemeanor/criminal offense
- Jail for up to 90 days
- License suspension for up to 90 days
- $500 to $1,000 fine
Harsher Penalties for Certain Violations
Under Rhode Island General Law § 31-11-18.1, if your license is suspended due to a guilty finding for one or more of the following offenses, and you are found driving with a suspended license, you could face harsh penalties that might include mandatory jail time.
These offenses include:
- Refusal to submit to a chemical test
- Reckless driving
- Manslaughter from the operation of a motor vehicle
- Operating so as to endanger resulting in death
- Multiple moving violations within a one-year period (Colin B. Foote Act)
A first offense alone can result in a misdemeanor charge, carrying a minimum of 10 days behind bars, $500 in fines, and an additional 3-month license suspension.
A second offense can carry 6 months to a year in jail, a $500 fine, and an additional 6+ month license suspension.
Any subsequent convictions after a second one will lead to a felony charge and a minimum of one-year imprisonment.
Take Action—Contact Our Firm Today!
Driving on a suspended license has serious consequences and can result in several timely and costly trips to District Court and the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles. If you find yourself charged with driving after denial, suspension, or revocation of license, contact the Rhode Island suspended license defense attorneys.
Our experienced defense team can review your case in a free evaluation today! We have offices located in both Providence and Warren, servicing all of Rhode Island.