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What to do if you are stopped ....

Stop your vehicle as far out of the lane of traffic as 

possible.  Stay in your vehicle and turn on the

interior light.  Good lighting assists in good  

communication. Relax and remain in your vehicle.

If you leave the vehicle you subject yourself and the

officer to danger.


Keep your hands in view at all times, preferably on the

steering wheel. Wait for the officer to request your license 

and registration.


Police officers are trained to ask for identification first and

provide an explanation second.  Next, give the officer a

chance to explain why you were stopped.  Providing your

documentation will speed the process.  Remember, in most

cases the officer is in uniform, displaying a badge and name

tag.  You have the advantage of knowing with whom you

are dealing, extend the courtesy by presenting the requested

paperwork without an argument.  It makes sense and it is the law.


Do not argue the citation with the officer.  If you think that

the citation was wrongly issued the proper procedure is

to request a hearing through the district court.


 Why did the officer ...

   Why did the officer sneak up along side my car?


Police officers are trained to minimize their exposure to traffic and, therefore, reduce the likelihood that they will be injured.  The second reason is that they are trained to protect themselves tactically.  Many police officers have been killed by drivers who are wanted for various crimes or have reason to believe they may be suspected of a crime.


    If it's only a minor offense, why did two or three other officers show up?


Officers in the vicinity frequently back each other up without being summoned.  This is a protocol that maximizes safety for the officers.


  Why did the officer sit in the police car for so long?  What are they doing?


Most Ashland Police Department cruisers are equipped with a mobile computer that allows the officer to verify that your driver's license status is valid.  This process, although comparatively fast, could take a few minutes.


  What if I don't agree with the ticket?


All citizens have the right to an appeal before a Clerk Magistrate.  Follow the directions on the back of the citation.  Criminal citations may be appealed to the Framingham District Court, 600 Concord Street, Framingham, MA  01702.


  What if I don't like the officer's demeanor?


An officer's demeanor is a difficult characteristic to measure relative to how it is delivered and received.  Our police department is committed to positive citizen contact and proper conduct.  If you feel that the officer's demeanor was improper, our department has an internal affairs system to investigate such claims.


  How will the citation affect my insurance?


This is determined by the Merit Rating Board.  Contact your insurance company for further information.


Why did you stop me?

    Moving violations are the most common reason that vehicles are stopped for.  Some examples include speeding offenses, failure to stop at a stop sign or stop light, failure to use a signal or failure to drive within the marked lines.

    License, registration or equipment violations are other reasons a vehicle may be stopped by an officer.  It is not uncommon for a driver to be in violation of the law without knowing it.  Massachusetts motor vehicle laws are long and complex.  Depending on the circumstances, officers may arrest an operator, issue criminal or non-criminal citations or give a warning for these violations.


    Investigations often involve searching for a car in association with a crime.  In today's mobile society criminals use cars to facilitate crimes.  Your vehicle may match the description of a suspects vehicle.


    Courtesy or safety concerns are other reasons an officer might stop your car.  For instance, your trunk may be open, something may be hanging under your vehicle or you may have left something on your roof.


Vehicle Searches


If an officer asks your permission to search your vehicle, you have the right to refuse.   



A police officer may be aware of certain information that legally allows a search of your vehicle without you permission.

Did you Know

When driving a motor vehicle you must have a valid driver's license and registration in your possession?

Without these you could be issued a citation.


It is the driver's (not the owner's) responsibility to make sure all of the lights and safety equipment are functioning?                  


As the driver, it is your responsibility to ensure that children are wearing their seatbelts or in their child safety seats?


You must signal your intent to pass or turn before performing the action?


Following too closely to the vehicle in front of your vehicle is a moving violation. You should be at least three car lengths away.


Children under 12 and pets are prohibited from riding in the rear of open pick-up trucks?


Thickly settled zones have a 30 mile per hour speed limit?

You are required to stop for a solid yellow light when safe to do so?



"Please Drive Safely"

This information does not constitute legal advice.