Traffic and Motor Vehicle Related

401-274-3331

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986 Hartford Avenue
Johnston, RI 02919

CAN I LOSE MY LICENSE IF I SPEED?

Yes, you can lose your license if you speed.  If this is your first offense, losing your license may not be in the cards, but if you are multiple offender, you run a serious risk of losing your license.   If this is your third offense within a 12 month period, you could lose your license for up to 60 days.  Additionally, § 31-27-24,or, the “Collin B. Foote Act”, states that if you have 4 or more moving violations in an 18 month period, you could lose your license for up to two years, as well as face other civil penalties such as fines, Driver’s Retraining and community service.

What is a moving violation?

A moving violation can be any of the following:

31-13-4.  Obedience to devices.

31-14-1.  Reasonable and prudent speeds.

31-14-2.  Prima facie limits.

31-14-3.  Conditions requiring reduced speeds.

31-15-5.  Overtaking on the right.

31-15-11.  Laned roadways.

31-15-12.  Interval between vehicles.

31-15-16.  Use of emergency break-down lane for travel.

31-17-4.  Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection.

31-20-9.  Obedience to stop signs.

31-27.1-3.  Aggressive driving.

Can I get my ticket dismissed if I have a good record?

Rhode Island has the “Good Driver Statute” which allows for the dismissal of a traffic ticket as long as the motorist has had their license for over 3 years and has not had any traffic infractions for three years prior to getting the ticket.  There are certain exceptions.  The following is a list of violations that cannot be dismissed under the Good Driver Statute.

  • A refusal to submit to a chemical test of breath, blood or urine pursuant to § 31-27-2.1;
  • Any violation involving a school bus;
  • Any violation involving an accident where there has been property damage or personal injury;
  • Any speeding violation in excess of fourteen miles per hour (14 m.p.h.) above the posted speed limit;
  • Any violation involving child restraints in motor vehicles pursuant to § 31-22-22;
  • Any motorist who currently holds a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

Do I have to go to court?

When you receive your ticket, there should be a specific fine listed that you can simply pay via mail or online.  If you choose not to fight your ticket, you may pay this amount and be done with it.  If, however, you choose to fight, you must appear on the court date listed on the ticket and request a trial date.  Most traffic ticket cases are heard at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal (RITT), but some are still heard at the respective city or town’s municipal courts.  A lawyer may appear in your place if you cannot attend.  Some tickets do not have a dollar amount; rather, it will say “Hearing” or “H”.  This means that you cannot pay your ticket without first appearing before a Judge.   Again, an attorney can appear in your place, however, you must appear at trial if you have any intention of testifying on your own behalf.

At Mesiti Law we have successfully represented countless cases in Traffic Court.  When you’re faced with the decision to pay a ticket or FIGHT, call us for your free consultation.

IF YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN A TRAFFIC TICKET, CALL MESITI LAW AT (401) 274-3331. 

TITLE 31
Motor and Other vehicles

CHAPTER 31-14
Speed Restrictions

SECTION 31-14-1

   § 31-14-1  Reasonable and prudent speeds. – No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing. In every event, speed shall be so controlled as may be necessary to avoid colliding with any person, vehicle, or other conveyance on or entering the highway in compliance with legal requirements and the duty of all persons to use due care. Violations of this section are subject to fines enumerated in § 31-41.1-4.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1950, ch. 2595, art. 25, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 31-14-1; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 109.)

TITLE 31
Motor and Other vehicles

CHAPTER 31-41.1
Adjudication of Traffic Offenses

SECTION 31-41.1-4

   § 31-41.1-4  Schedule of violations. – (a) The penalties for violations of the enumerated sections, listed in numerical order, correspond to the fines described. However, those offenses for which punishments which may vary according to the severity of the offense, or punishment which require the violator to perform a service, shall be heard and decided by the traffic tribunal or municipal court. The following violations may be handled administratively through the method prescribed in this chapter. This list is not exclusive and jurisdiction may be conferred on the traffic tribunal with regard to other violations.

  

 VIOLATIONS SCHEDULE

   SEE THE BOOK FOR THE PROPER TABLE.

       SPEEDING Fine

   SEE THE BOOK FOR THE PROPER TABLE.

   (b) In addition to any other penalties provided by law, a judge may impose the following penalties for speeding:

   (1) For speeds up to and including ten miles per hour (10 mph) over the posted speed limit on public highways, a fine as provided for in subsection (a) of this section for the first offense, ten dollars ($10.00) per mile for each mile in excess of the speed limit for the second offense if within twelve (12) months of the first offense, and fifteen dollars ($15.00) per mile for each mile in excess of the speed limit for the third and any subsequent offense if within twelve (12) months of the first offense. In addition, the license may be suspended up to thirty (30) days.

   (2) For speeds in excess of ten miles per hour (10 mph) over the posted speed limit on public highways, a mandatory fine of ten dollars ($10.00) for each mile over the speed limit for the first offense, fifteen dollars ($15.00) per mile for each mile in excess of the speed limit for the second offense if within twelve (12) months of the first offense, and twenty dollars ($20.00) per mile for each mile in excess of the speed limit for the third and subsequent offense if within twelve (12) months of the first offense. In addition, the license may be suspended up to sixty (60) days.

   (c) Any person charged with a violation who pays the fine administratively pursuant to chapter 8.2 of title 8 shall not be subject to any additional costs or assessments, including, but not limited to, the hearing fee established in § 8-18-4 or assessment for substance abuse prevention.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1999, ch. 218, art. 3, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 98, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 109, § 70; P.L. 2000, ch. 223, § 2; P.L. 2000, ch. 280, § 2; P.L. 2000, ch. 318, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 86, § 87; P.L. 2001, ch. 132, § 2; P.L. 2002, ch. 65, art. 13, § 26; P.L. 2002, ch. 134, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 292, § 57; P.L. 2004, ch. 6, § 3; P.L. 2005, ch. 64, § 8; P.L. 2005, ch. 67, § 8; P.L. 2005, ch. 117, art. 25, § 4; P.L. 2006, ch. 557, § 3; P.L. 2007, ch. 73, art. 26, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 307, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 340, § 4; P.L. 2007, ch. 414, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 485, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 9, art. 19, § 2; P.L. 2008, ch. 100, art. 12, § 2; P.L. 2008, ch. 241, § 1; P.L. 2008, ch. 249, § 3; P.L. 2008, ch. 311, § 3; P.L. 2009, ch. 310, § 11; P.L. 2010, ch. 92, § 2; P.L. 2010, ch. 132, § 2.)

TITLE 31
Motor and Other vehicles

CHAPTER 31-27
Motor Vehicle Offenses

SECTION 31-27-24

   § 31-27-24  Multiple moving offenses. – (a) Every person convicted of moving violations on four (4) separate and distinct occasions within an eighteen (18) month period may be fined up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), and shall be ordered to attend sixty (60) hours of driver retraining, shall be ordered to perform sixty (60) hours of public community service, and the person's operator license in this state may be suspended up to one year or revoked by the court for a period of up to two (2) years. Prior to the suspension or revocation of a person's license to operate within the state, the court shall make specific findings of fact and determine if the person's continued operation of a motor vehicle would pose a substantial traffic safety hazard.

   (b) At the expiration of the time of revocation as set by the court pursuant to subsection (a) above, the person may petition that court for restoration of his or her privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this state. The license privilege shall not thereafter be reinstated until evidence satisfactory to the court, following a hearing, establishes that no grounds exist which would authorize refusal to issue a license and until the person gives proof of financial responsibility pursuant to chapter 32 of this title.

   (c) For the purposes of this section only, the term "moving violations" shall mean any violation of the following sections of the general laws:

   (1) 31-13-4. Obedience to devices.

   (2) 31-14-1. Reasonable and prudent speeds.

   (3) 31-14-2. Prima facie limits.

   (4) 31-14-3. Conditions requiring reduced speeds.

   (5) 31-15-5. Overtaking on the right.

   (6) 31-15-11. Laned roadways.

   (7) 31-15-12. Interval between vehicles.

   (8) 31-15-16. Use of emergency break-down lane for travel.

   (9) 31-17-4. Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection.

   (10) 31-20-9. Obedience to stop signs.

   (11) 31-27.1-3. "Aggressive driving" defined.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2010, ch. 242, § 2; P.L. 2010, ch. 253, § 2.)

TITLE 31
Motor and Other vehicles

CHAPTER 31-41.1
Adjudication of Traffic Offenses

SECTION 31-41.1-7



   § 31-41.1-7  Application for dismissal based on good driving record. –(a) Any person who has had a motor vehicle operator's license for more than three (3) years, and who has been issued traffic violations which are his or her first violations within the preceding three (3) years, may request a hearing seeking a dismissal of the violations based upon the operator's good driving record.

   (b) Upon submission of proper proof that the operator has not been issued any other traffic violation within the past three (3) years, the charge shall, except for good cause shown or as otherwise provided by law, be dismissed based upon a good driving record; provided, that the operator pay a thirty-five dollar ($35.00) administrative fee for court costs associated with the dismissal.

   (c) The traffic tribunal may not dismiss a charge pursuant to this section after six (6) months from the date of disposition. For purposes of this section, a parking ticket shall not constitute a prior violation.

   (d) The following violations shall not be dismissed pursuant to this statute:

   (1) Any violation within the original jurisdiction of superior or district court;

   (2) A refusal to submit to a chemical test of breath, blood or urine pursuant to § 31-27-2.1;

   (3) Any violation involving a school bus;

   (4) Any violation involving an accident where there has been property damage or personal injury;

   (5) Any speeding violation in excess of fourteen miles per hour (14 m.p.h.) above the posted speed limit;

   (6) Any violation involving child restraints in motor vehicles pursuant to § 31-22-22;

   (7) Any violation committed by a holder of a commercial license as defined in § 31-10.3-3 or any violation committed in a commercial motor vehicle as defined in § 31-10.3-3 by an operator who does not hold a commercial license.

   (e) If the charge is dismissed pursuant to this section, records of the dismissal shall be maintained for a period of three (3) years.

   (f) The judge or magistrate shall have the discretion to waive court costs and fees when dismissing a violation pursuant to this section, with the exception of the mandatory thirty-five dollars ($35.00) administrative fee provided for in § 31-41.1-7(b).

History of Section.
(P.L. 1999, ch. 218, art. 3, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 67, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 58, § 10; P.L. 2003, ch. 134, § 1; P.L. 2003, ch. 160, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 77, § 8; P.L. 2005, ch. 82, § 8; P.L. 2007, ch. 73, art. 35, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 386, § 1; P.L. 2008

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