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Questions Answered by Lissa McKinney
1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: Why would a dismissed speeding violation still appear on RMV website as money owed?

State Trooper didn't show up to either hearing and was dismissed by judge at second hearing. This was 2 years ago.

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on May 29, 2021

Most likely it was communicated wrong from the Court or someone else possibly used your name/ID and had another ticket. It is possible that you didn't pay the appeal fee as well and that is what is owed. If you defaulted on a speeding ticket your license would not be renewed until it was... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: is it legal to take a bus stop sign off the ground if there's already a replacement up in place?

they're the exact same sign in the same place, this one was just untouched on the ground for a few months & i like it because its a stop right down my street

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Apr 4, 2021

Of course it is! You stole a sign that belonged to the city that was doing replacements. Whether it was trash or not or abandoned might be e defense if you are accused or get caught. If it was lying there for months it may have been begging to be taken but it did not belong to you and you did not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: Where can I find a traffic lawyer that will not charge me an arm and a leg to help me?

I have just received a letter stating that I have to appear in court for driving with a suspended license( which I did not know was suspended) I was stopped by an officer he took my license and he was the one to inform me that my license was suspended; and I informed him that I was unaware of it. I... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Mar 6, 2021

Typically the RMV sends the suspension notice to the license address on file. If you moved and failed to change the address, that is why you may not have been notified. Three (3) speeding tix in 2 years or any 5 moving offenses result in suspension. If you are lucky you are getting a Notice for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: Traffic Reciprocity

I pled not guiilty to a speeding ticket in NY 12 years ago. Not NYC.

On the date i was assigned for court, a snow storm occurred. They never rescheduled my court date to my knowledge. I moved out of NY a few years after.

I reside in MA now. TWELVE YEARS later, they sent a court date... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Dec 28, 2020

DEAL WITH THE TICKET. No good will come of anything else. MA has reciprocity so the outcome there will impact you here. MOST of the NY courts are closed due to covid depending on the Court or the hearing date. You want a NY lawyer in that county jurisdiction or to use google and find the path.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: Are speeding violations now mailed home rather then given at the spot of violation?

Was pulled over by state police and the office

told me that i will get a ticket via mail. Is that normal

now due to the covid-19?

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Oct 31, 2020

That is not at all normal, and may work to help you. SAVE the envelope it coms in, as MA statue ch. 90c sec 2 requires them to issue it in hand at the time and place of violation and if not it can be dismissed. There are few exceptions and you don't say what you were stopped for. Save a copy... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: My Massachusetts 23 year old son received 3 out of state speeding tickets. What trouble awaits? Lawyer needed?

The question says it all. 23-Year-old goofball went on a cross country trip and got 3 speeding tickets, paid them all late. We are terrified that the punishment from Mass will be harsh. What awaits us? Do we need a lawyer?

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Oct 19, 2020

Your son will have his license suspended for 30 days once MA receives all the tickets. See https://www.mass.gov/info-details/suspensions-from-multiple-offenses#3-speeding-tickets-

There is no hardship license or ability to drive at all during that suspension. This will impact SDIP points...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for Massachusetts on
Q: At a private business can photos be taken without the consent of the employee's

At a private business in MA, a neighbor who has been harassing the employees continues to come down every weekend to take pictures of minors while they work. She says it is for going after the owner for tax reasons however, the minors have stated to her that they do not consent to being filmed. Is... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Oct 2, 2020

There are a few issues here, so the answer rather depends. IF a neighbor can see from her property or a public street and take pictures it is probably legal. If she must trespass to take pictures then it may be a criminal trespass. It also sounds like harassment that may or may not fit the law on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it illegal for someone to do something if you said that you would commit suicide if they did it?

Someone threatened to send private 18+ photos to my parents and my university. I publicly tweeted that I would commit suicide if they did that. They saw my tweets and apologized and said they will not be sending anything. Then they did send private 18+ copyrighted photos to my university two weeks... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 24, 2020

It is unclear their legal liability unless you actually did do as you promised- which you did not. Still their was a risk to lief, and many questions were left open by the Michelle Carter case a few years ago, re: encouraging suicide. the larger issue might depend on the content of the pictures,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: I’m waiting on a court hearing for a speeding ticket. Will I be able to renew my car registration before the hearing?

I got pulled over about 5 months ago for speeding and I still havnt received a date for a court hearing. My car registration just expired and I need to renew it. Will I be able to renew it while waiting for the court hearing or will the ticket prevent me from renewing the registration?

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 24, 2020

You can absolutely register the car!! The pending speeding ticket will not prevent this. Many ticket hearings are backed up due to Covid. Be sure you sent it in on time, kept a copy of the ticket, and know what court to call if you dont hear from anyone within the month. You should have heard from... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Someone in my town is stealing or damaging trump signs. Is that a criminal offense? If so what level severity is it?
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 9, 2020

That is absolutely a criminal offense.

Some of the charges could range from larceny ( misdemeanor if $1200 or less), trespass, malicious damage to property, receiving stolen goods. Since this is also protected 1st Amendment and political speech it could implicate civil rights issues as...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: Can you get jail time for driving and unregistered ATV on the street?

The person has previous felony convictions

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Sep 7, 2020

WHether you can is very different from whether you will. That is, the maximum pubishment for many motor vehicle violations or district court cases might be 2 1/2 years. However, that is not at all what a person might be likely to get. It might depend on the record, whether the person is on... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Civil Litigation and Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: I got my very first ticket and the officer told me to appeal it. Should I bother doing it or just pay it?

I wanted dismissed if possible, but i'm not sure if it's worth it. I was at fault so what would i say in court? I was driving and passed a red light that changed just before i past it. is the officer telling me that he's not going to appear in court? i've had my license only for... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Aug 25, 2020

APPEAL THE TICKET!! There are a number of very important reassons to take the appeal. First, you are under the age of 25 and in the age bracket where there can be larger SDIP points assessed or possible surcharges on a policy. Second, if you have 3 speeding tickets or 5 overall moving violations... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law and Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can the police obtain a search warrant to conduct a drug raid of a persons home without having any controlled buys?

For example, All they have is hearsay that a certain individual is selling drugs and they (the police) have noticed a moderate amount of traffic to the individuals home. But they haven't had any arrests of anyone in possession of drugs leaving that persons home

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Aug 19, 2020

That absolutely doesnt sound like it meets the probable cause standard to get a search warrant. The search warrant gets 'returned' within 7 days after it is issued, which isnt always 7 days after the search. You would need to get a copy of the Affidavit from the Court, and that document... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: I have to appear for a pretrial for domestic violence and I'm not sure what to say or do.

My wife and I were under a lot of stress and ended up in an argument. While I was sitting on the couch she hit me in the head and so I pushed her. She ended up tripping on a dog bowl and falling down. She was so angry she called 911, told them I pushed her, then hung up refusing to answer when they... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Aug 12, 2020

YOU should not handle the pretrial hearing alone. You really need to have a lawyer and gget one if the COurt willnot give you one. Your arraignment signifies to you that the beginning of a CRIMINAL PROCESS. Neither you nor your wife control the criminal process or the result. The... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Juvenile Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My 16 year old son recently received a criminal citation in the mail, we want to fight it. Who signs the back me or him?

WPD came to my house after talking previously with my sons friends. So I went on the porch to talk when my son made a bad choice & rode down the street away from all of us. The cop began talking bad about my son to his friends & realized I was there.He then assumed that I was ok with what... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Jul 20, 2020

Your son signs the citationon that back. Be sure you read the instructions very carefully too as it involves payment of a processing fee and you will not get the hearing if it isnt paid. Then you will be notified f a clerks hearing where you can oppose the issuance of the criminal complaint. Your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is two letters in a row considered harrassment?

Someone sent me an apology letter and ended it by saying that they wouldn't contact me again. However a few weeks letter they sent another letter, adding some information to the apology, apologizing for sending a second letter, and reiterating that they wouldn't contact me again. The... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Jun 8, 2020

No- Under MA law, that would not be harassment at all. That law requires 3 or more acts that are harassing , defined as: willful and malicious/ done on purpose and was done for cruelty, hostility or revenge

Were aimed at you.Were intended to cause you fear, intimidation, abuse, or damage to...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: As tenants do we have a legal claim to use of common space? How do we address harassment by neighbors who won't share?

My husband and I moved into an apartment in an upstairs/downstairs duplex last year. The upstairs tenants had been living there for several years before we moved in. In our leases each apartment has rights to two parking spots in the shared driveway, but the neighbors have taken three, making our... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on May 23, 2020

You should send a polite email to the landlord asserting that your lease provides you 2 parking spots and they have taken one of yours. He needs to tell them they have only 2 and to move the 3rd car someplace else. He should also tell them in writing that you are entitled to half the garden and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: I have a restraining order against my husband in Massachusetts. Can I relocate to New Hampshire with our son?
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Apr 15, 2020

Maybe. If you have been to any Probate & Family Court with your child then MA has jurisdiction ( Paternity action, child support action, divorce) you can't leave the state without permission from the Probate COurt. If you do it anyway, you may be ordered to do all the riving so the other... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Massachusetts on
Q: I hit a pole while driving during a rainy night, the officers came unexpectedly and I told them my mom texted me.
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Mar 18, 2020

There isnt really a question here. However if you appeal the ticket and go to the clerk's hearing there is a decent chance they will give you a break if you havent had any driving infractions before, on the distracted driving aspect. However, there can be some complications with insurance... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Domestic Violence for Massachusetts on
Q: Will my sons father do jail time for a second time for a second offense against me in Massachusetts?
Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on Feb 15, 2020

Your question just cannot be answered as it has too little factual information. Was he on probation for the 1st when the 2d happened? are you on board with the prosecution or not planning to testify? Are there photos/medical/hospital reports? Generally the more serious any injury impacts the case... Read more »

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