Everyone knows the feeling. You lean over to adjust the radio or glance at your cellphone only to look up in your rearview mirror and see flashing red and blue lights behind you. As you sit nervously on the side of the road waiting for the police officer to come to your window, you try to remember if you were speeding or if that yellow light was really red.
For most of us, a traffic ticket is little more than a nuisance. But for others, certain traffic infractions can trigger expensive fines and loss of license. Unfortunately, many Rhode Islanders are unaware of their legal options when it comes to traffic infractions.
If you are unlucky enough to have received a ticket, all of the information you will need is located on the ticket itself. The ticket, also called a summons, will list the infraction(s) along with where and when you should appear in court.
Not every ticket will require a court appearance. Often, a small box will be checked informing the ticket recipient that they do not have to appear in court and can pay the fine by mail. Although avoiding a trip to court sounds like a good deal, there may be other options.
The Rhode Island Good Driving Statute
Under Rhode Island General Law, if you have a good driving record, you can ask the court to dismiss your traffic ticket under the “good driving Statute.” The good driving statute is available only if you have not received any moving violations within the past three years. It is important to note that you will still be responsible for paying a $60 administrative fee if you use your good driving record. Also note that the infraction will remain on your driving record for three years, only to ensure that you do not use the good driving statute again before you are eligible.
While the good driving statute can help many Rhode Island drivers, there are several restrictions in place that prevent you from seeking a dismissal. For example, individuals with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) may not seek relief under the good driving statute and certain traffic offenses will preclude you from utilizing the statute.
If you have a traffic ticket you wish to fight, call the Rhode Island Traffic Ticket Lawyers at Abilheira Law today for a free confidential consultation: 401-245-5100.
On our next blog, we will discuss traffic infractions that can lead to a suspended license and the potential impacts of violating Rhode Island’s Colin Foote Act.