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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1

    Default Can a Cop Give Me a Ticket for No License if I Didn't Commit a Traffic Violation

    My question involves a driver's license issued by the State of: Massachusetts

    This occured in broad daylight. I was the passenger in my boyfriends vehicle and its battery died in the middle of the mass pike. After 10 mins someone jumpstarted the car and he told us to follow him to a place to buy a new battery where it could be charged. As soon as we drove for about 30 seconds we noticed the car was dropping speed and as we were taking a ramp of the masspike [there is no breakdown lanes on the mass pike] the car completely stopped.

    This ramp is a one lane, i think, but its very wide and two cars can fit side by side comfortably, and it slopes down so cars pick up speed when going down. We did manage to get as far off to the right but since the battery was completely dead we couldnt turn on the hazards. The man who jumpstarted the car earlier pulled over in front of us.He offered to take my BF to the place where he could buy the battery. I stayed with his child and opened the trunk so cars could see that we were pulled over and not just stopped. I kept her bucked in but stayed outside because i noticed cars were coming FAST and i was hoping that they would see that we were broken down and would slow down.

    As i was leaning in talking to the child keeping her hydrated and entertained i har a loud breaking. A car was coming fast and almost hit the car. I was glad that the baby was buckled up but that worried me because he almost crashed the car and after that he didnt even stop he sped right by.

    The car behind that car stopped to see if we were ok. They were a couple with an infant and they told me that area was very dangerous. They offered to try to jumpstart the car so i could get the hazards on. When no cars were coming they got to teh side of the car but by then about 2 cars came but they didnt beep they waited patiently. I got the car to start and then a state police showed up.

    He said we couldnt block the ramp and i tried to explain that they were just helping and he cut me off. Said to move out of the way that we were holding up traffic. The people who jumpstarted me told me that about 500 feet away was a hotel parking lot that would be safer because i had the baby, and they had witnessed i was almost hit. I wasnt going to move but the police man went into his cruiser and did that beeping noise police cars use to get cars to move.

    I decided to move the car. I know how to drive. I adjusted my mirrors ensured the baby was well buckled in and followed the people in front of me. I used my blinkers and everything. Drove straight and then a right turn. And pulled into a parking. The policeman followed. The people said goodbye and then the policeman came up i was assuming to offer help or at least to know what happened but instead he came up rudely and asked me for my license.

    I looked for my permit and didnt find it in my purse. I told him i couldnt find my permit and he asked me for my SS, and D.O.B. He asked who was the owner of the car, and for the registration. I told him it was my BF and i gave him the registration and gave him his temporary license and let him know that my BF had the valid license and would give it to him as soon as he came.
    He went to his cruiser for about 30 minutes. During this wait i saw my BF on the freeway so i got out and waved him down to where we were.
    When my BF came he went straight to the cruiser. he asked for his license and my bf has the license w his debit card and money all on one clip usually. when the cop saw the $$ he said dont try to pay me or dont give me $$ something like that and my BF was like im not. He couldnt find his license but i found it in his jacket and gave it to him.

    My BF came to teh car asked me what happened. ad went to fix the battery, replace it etc. meanwhile i was in the car panicking. The officer comes about 30 mins after i originally gave him my info and gives me a ticket that says criminal offence. And i have to sign it and go to court. But it didnt say the address where i should mail it. He wrote that i didnthave a permit or ID. He never asked me for an ID. I actually did have an Id. my BF temp licence and my passport are always together, just in case. And he also cited me for driving w/out a licenced driver.

    What bothers me is that shouldnt i have broken a law, example: not stopping, in order to be asked for my information. it reminds me of the seatbelt law. unless you are pulled over for something else you cant get cited for not wearing a seat belt. I know i was lucky i wasnt arrested but technically i didnt break a visible law for him to come and inquire for my driving information.

    My BF got a ticket for letting me drive, HE DIDNT. Actually he was mad that i did but i only did it because the cop was pressuring me off the ramp. I know he can fight his ticket and get it dismissed because he didnt authorize my driving but my charges are criminal and i am worried.

    I dont think he acted accordingly. Am i right?


    -Rachel in Boston

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: MA. Can a Cop Give Me a Ticket for No License if I Didnt Break a Traffic Violatio

    I don't think you have anything to worry about, except your story reminds me of the TV Sitcom variation where each person sees the same event but with themselves as the hero. I'd like to hear the cops side.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    242

    Default Re: Can a Cop Give Me a Ticket for No License if I Didn't Break a Traffic Violation

    Why drive without a license is the question I have???????????

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    9,085

    Default Re: Can a Cop Give Me a Ticket for No License if I Didn't Break a Traffic Violation

    Are you saying that a police officer shouldn't figure out what is going on when you are blocking an onramp to do auto repair?

    When you told the police officer you weren't legally allowed to drive an automobile, what did he say?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    75,466

    Default Re: Can a Cop Give Me a Ticket for No License if I Didn't Break a Traffic Violation

    You should have told the police that you were not licensed and couldn't lawfully move the car. They could have ticketed you anyway, given that when they arrived you were behind the wheel operating the car, even if not yet in the act of moving it. You then topped it off by lying to the police and claiming you couldn't find your license after you had driven to the safe location.

    Given your situation when they arrived and your choice not to tell them that you were unlicensed, although your lawyer may want to give it a try anyway, I'm not picturing a court accepting that you only drove without a license because the police told you that the car was unsafe in that particular location.

    Having come across you under the circumstances, with you behind the wheel of your boyfriend's broken down car blocking an exit ramp and posing a hazard to other motorists, it's perfectly reasonable for them to ask to see your license.
    Quote Quoting MGL Chapter 90: Section 10. Operation of motor vehicle without license; members of armed forces; nonresidents; suspension or revocation of license
    No person under sixteen years of age shall operate a motor vehicle upon any way. No other person shall so operate unless licensed by the registrar unless he possesses a receipt issued under section eight for persons licensed in another state or country or unless he possesses a valid learner’s permit issued under section eight B, except as is otherwise herein provided or unless he is the spouse of a member of the armed forces of the United States who is accompanying such member on military or naval assignment to this commonwealth and who has a valid operator’s license issued by another state, or unless he is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States and has in his possession a license to operate motor vehicles issued by the state where he is domiciled, or unless he is a member of the armed forces of the United States returning from active duty outside the United States, and has in his possession a license to operate motor vehicles issued by said armed forces in a foreign country, but in such case for a period of not more than forty-five days after his return. The motor vehicle of a nonresident may be operated on the ways of the commonwealth in accordance with section three by its owner or by any nonresident operator without a license from the registrar if the nonresident operator is duly licensed under the laws of the state or country where such vehicle is registered and has such license on his person or in the vehicle in some easily accessible place. Subject to the provisions of section three, a nonresident who holds a license under the laws of the state or country in which he resides may operate any motor vehicle of a type which he is licensed to operate under said license, duly registered in this commonwealth or in any state or country; provided, that he has the license on his person or in the vehicle in some easily accessible place, and that, as finally determined by the registrar, his state or country grants substantially similar privileges to residents of this commonwealth and prescribes and enforces standards of fitness for operations of motor vehicles substantially as high as those prescribed and enforced by this commonwealth

    Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions, no person shall operate on the ways of the commonwealth any motor vehicle, whether registered in this commonwealth or elsewhere, if the registrar shall have suspended or revoked any license to operate motor vehicles issued to him under this chapter, or shall have suspended his right to operate such vehicles, and such license or right has not been restored or a new license to operate motor vehicles has not been issued to him. Operation of a motor vehicle in violation of this paragraph shall be subject to the same penalties as provided in section twenty-three for operation after suspension or revocation and before restoration or issuance of a new license or the restoration of the right to operate

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