Articles Posted in police

IMG_1832x-286x300In Maine, your income makes no difference in how much your ticket will cost. The fine scale is predetermined and applies evenly to everyone, which seems reasonable. But is it really fair? That all depends on who you are and how much money you make. For some, a speeding ticket could be devastating and for others, it could be nothing more than a slight annoyance.

Lets say that you are driving on the interstate with a speed limit of 60MPH and you get a ticket for going 75MPH. The cost for this tickets will likely be around $200. According to datausa.io, the median household income in Maine is around $55,000 a year. That means that this ticket would be 4.36% of your household income for the month. This would perhaps be a difficult hit, but at the end of the day, would not be the end of the world. It would probably be a good incentive to be more careful and to drive slower in the future. This is exactly the hope of the law makers who set the fee scale for the ticket.

But now lets say that the NFL commissioner gets the same $200 ticket while he is at vacation house in Maine. His income, according to USA Today, is around $40,000,000 a year. That would mean the same ticket would be 0.006% of his monthly income. That type of punishment would be the equivalent of the person making $55,000 a year getting a ticket for around 28 Cents. Is there really any incentive there to follow the speed limit? There are other penalties such as possible license suspension that come with enough points on your license. But if your income is high enough, paying a driver a full time salary would be a realistic option. That is obviously not an alternative for the average Mainer.

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There is no easy answer here. It depends on your situation and why you got the ticket. When we talk about tickets in this blog, we mean civil traffic violations such as failure to signal, speeding (under 30MPH over the speed limit), failure to stop at a stop sign, and other minor traffic infractions. We are not referring to more serious criminal driving charges like Operating Under the Influence, Criminal Speeding (over 30MPH over the speed limit), or Illegally Passing a School Bus. For any criminal charge, you should always have an attorney.

If you have a Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL), drive for a living, or have any concern that the ticket could cause you to lose your license, you should absolutely speak with an attorney. Any person whose driving record shows an accumulation of 12 demerit points for convictions or adjudications within a one year period may have his or her license, permit or privilege to operate suspended for a period of up to 15 days.

Here is a short list of examples of some of the demerit point values for common traffic tickets:

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The quick answer is: It depends.

There is no easy answer here. It depends on your situation and why you got the ticket. When we talk about tickets in this blog, we mean civil traffic violations such as failure to signal, speeding (under 30MPH over the speed limit), failure to stop at a stop sign, and other minor traffic infractions. We are not referring to more serious criminal driving charges like Operating Under the Influence, Criminal Speeding (over 30MPH over the speed limit), or Illegally Passing a School Bus. For any criminal charge, you should always have an attorney.

If you have a Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL), drive for a living, or have any concern that the ticket could cause you to lose your license, you should absolutely speak with an attorney. Any person whose driving record shows an accumulation of 12 demerit points for convictions or adjudications within a one year period may have his or her license, permit or privilege to operate suspended for a period of up to 15 days.

dui_seminar-300x225When will I get the report?

Many people put in requests for their police reports and expect them within a few days of their arrest. Even though they are YOUR reports, it is unrealistic for the officer and the PD to get them out to you that quickly. You will most likely not get any reports until your first court date when you have your arraignment. Unfortunately, this is often several weeks and sometimes up to two months after your arrest.

How should I read the report?

IMG_1832x-286x300By: Attorney Vincent S. LoConte

What is the question?

Often in a traffic stop when an officer suspects impairment, they will ask the question “on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being sober and 10 being pass out drunk, how would you rate yourself”. Seems like a straight forward question, but is it really fair, and is there a right and wrong answer?

For a law enforcement officer to stop you, they must have a “reasonable articulable suspicion” that criminal activity is underway.  One issue that gives rise to being stopped is a little known requirement that motorists move over when they see emergency flashing lights on or adjacent to the highway.

You’re driving on the highway and see flashing lights what do you do? Well, it’s what you don’t do that could cost you.

In 2001, a law requiring motorists on Maine’s roadways to slow down and/or pull over for an emergency vehicle was implemented. Title 29-A §2054-9 the “Move Over” law requires the operator of a vehicle who is passing a stopped emergency vehicle using an emergency light, to use due regard to the safety and traffic conditions, requiring that the driver:

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