Stop your vehicle as far out of the lane of traffic as possible. Stay in your vehicle and turn on the interior light.
Relax and remain in your vehicle. Exit only after the officer permits you to do so. Leaving your vehicle without checking with the officer first creates a hazardous situation for you and for the officer.
Keep your hands in view at all times, preferably on the steering wheel. Wait for the officer to request you to produce your license and registration.
Police officers are trained to ask for identification first and provide an explanation as to why you are being stopped second.
Next, give the officer a chance to explain why you were stopped.
Having your registry documents with you will speed up 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 with, so please extend the courtesy by presenting the requested registry documents without an argument.
It makes sense, saves time, and by law you are required to do so.
If you receive a citation, do not argue with the officer at the stop. You have the right to dispute the citation in front of a Clerk-Magistrate if you believe that the citation was wrongly issued. The proper procedure is
to follow the instruction included with the citation envelope and request a hearing through the local district court.
Why did the officer sneak up along side my car?
Police officers are trained to minimize their exposure to traffic and other hazards. Every year many police officers are killed or severly injured while conducting a traffic stop, therefore, to reduce the likelihood that they will be injured they must approach in a safe manner.
Another reason that officers approach cars the way they do is that they are trained to protect themselves tactically. Again, many police officers are killed or seriously injured by drivers who may be wanted for committing serious crimes, are psychologically unbalanced, or have decided that they wish to murder a police officer that day.
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 summonsed. This is a protocol that maximizes safety for all police officers.
Why did the officer sit in the police car for so long?
What are they doing?
Granville Police cruisers are now equipped with a mobile data terminal that allows the officer to verify that your driver's license and registration status is valid. Officer's also must call your license information into a dispatcher and then enter your information into the computer to run a check through the Criminal Justice Information System. This process, although comparatively fast, still may 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. Citations may be appealed to the Westfield District Court, 224 Elm Street, Westfield, MA 01085.
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.
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 written warnings 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.
PROBABLE CAUSE SEARCHES
A police officer may be aware of certain information that legally allows a search of your vehicle without your permission.
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 slow down and stop for a solid yellow light when safe to do so.
If you were issued a citation and wish to pay the citation. The Granville Police Department has a link to Massachusetts RMV where you can pay it online. To view the process click the link below.
"Please Drive Safely"
Each year the tragedy of domestic violence threatens the health, minds and lives of tens of thousands of domestic partners, children and elders. It profoundly affects not only those who are its direct victims, but also the children who witness it in their homes. Although law enforcement and the judicial system have made great strides in improving their response to victims of family violence and and increasing the options for those seeking safety, much remains to be done.
The Supreme Judicial Court Commission to Study Racial and Ethnic Bias in the Courts found that "non-English speaking participants in the legal system are more likely than English speaking participants to have unsatisfactory results from the court process, including fewer restraining orders in domestic violence cases." The Commission also found that non-English speaking persons and recent immigrants do not utilize the court system for protection from abuse because there is very little available information about the process in their native languages.
In an effort to help address this critical need, the Office of the Attorney General has translated this informational brochure. This brochure is designed to assist victims of domestic violence in obtaining needed protection and is available in seven languages in addition to English: Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Haitian, Khmer, Vietnamese and Chinese.
It is our hope that this initiative will move us one more step towards lessening the fear and suffering that exists far too often within the homes in our communities.
Domestic Violence or family violence is the abuse of power or control . It is behavior used by one person to control another through force or threats. A batterer makes a choice to strike, hit, kick, punch or threaten the victim. Domestic violence includes physical and sexual attacks and threats. These violent acts are criminal and the batterer can be prosecuted for committing them. The acts are a means of controlling the victim's thoughts, feelings and behavior. The violence does not lessen over time. The threats and or beatings generally happen more often with time, last longer and cause greater physical injuries.
Emotional abuse and insulting words are almost always part of the abuse pattern, but are not considered criminal acts. The wounds from these injuries, however , may be more difficult to heal. Domestic violence is not caused by or provoked by the actions or inaction's of the victim.
Domestic violence is not directly caused by alcohol or drug abuse, depression, lack of money, lack of a job, mental illness or abuse as a child. However, existing problems often create additional stress in a relationship and may increase the risk of violence. Many abusers blame the victim or other things for their violent acts and do not take responsibility for the abusive behavior. There is never an excuse for violence.
Chapter 209A, the Massachusetts Abuse Prevention Act, defines abuse as :
· actual physical abuse, or an attempt to harm another, or
· placing another in fear of serious physical harm, or
· causing another to engage in sexual relations by force, threat of force or duress.
An Abuse Prevention Order, called a "209A Order," or a "protective order," or "restraining order," is a civil court order intended to provide protection from physical or sexual harm caused by force or threat of harm from a family or household member. You can obtain an order against:
· a spouse or former spouse
· A present or former household member
· a relative by blood or a present or former relative by marriage
· the parent of your minor child
· a person with whom you have or had a substantial dating relationship.
A 209A Order can be obtained in any District Court, Superior Court , or Probate and Family Court in Massachusetts. An emergency 209A Order can be obtained through any police department after court hours, on weekends and holidays. You do not need a lawyer to file for a 209A Order and there is no charge for filing.
Should you decide to go to a District Court for a 209A Order, you may go to the District Court in the area where you live or, if you have fled to another area to avoid abuse, you may go to the District Court in the area where you now live (see list of resources, p.14). Go to the Clerk's Office in the court and ask for a "protective order" or a "209A Order," You will receive a packet of forms to complete as an application for a protective order.
In some courts, there may be a Court Advocate from a local battered women's service agency to help you with the form. A Victim/Witness Advocate from the District Attorney's Office is also usually available for assistance and to discuss the option of filing criminal charges against your abuser. Ask someone at the Clerk's Office to direct you to the District Attorney's Victim/ Witness Office for help. You do not have to file criminal charges in order to obtain a 209A Order. However, criminal charges can be helpful in holding a batterer responsible for criminal acts committed against you . If there is a criminal violation, the Court can also require a batterer to obtain counseling or other treatment.
On the application or complaint forms for a 209A order, you need to make a sworn statement (affidavit) describing the facts of any recent or past incidents of abuse. It is important to provide as much information about the abuser as possible. You must also disclose any other existing 209A Orders from any court or any Probate Court action you are involved in, including any divorce or child custody proceedings.
You may request the judge to order that the abuser:
stop or refrain from abusing you
have no contact with you or a child in your custody
vacate or move out of the house or apartment where you live.
You may also request the judge to order that you receive support and temporary custody of your children, if the abuser has a legal duty to support or shares custody.
You may request payment for medical costs incurred due to injuries caused by the abuser and related loss of wages.
You may ask that the abuser not contact you at work or at a relative's home, and that your new address be kept confidential from the abuser for your safety.
A 209A Order from a District Court can provide you with temporary support and custody of your minor children. Only the Probate and Family Court , however, can decide child visitation rights. A 209A Order from that court may be more helpful in dealing with abuse protection that also involves divorce, long term financial support, child custody and visitation issues. You may want to speak with a private attorney for Probate Court or call one of the legal services or victim's services listed on this brochure for an attorney referral list. Pro bono (free) or reduced fee legal services may be available.
After you have completed the 209A complaint or application forms, return them to the Clerk's Office and ask when the judge will hear the applications for protective orders. The Clerk's Office will tell you the time and courtroom location for your hearing.
At your hearing, the judge will ask why you need a protective order and will review your complaint or application forms and affidavit. The judge will be deciding whether it appears there is a substantial likelihood of immediate danger of abuse. He or she will probably ask you some clarifying questions. In some court's, a "209A Briefing Session " is held before the hearing and a Court Advocate or a District Attorney's Victim / Witness Advocate will explain the hearing process and be with you in the courtroom.
The judge may grant or deny the 209A Order after speaking with you. If the judge grants the Order, you will receive a Temporary Order for up to ten days.
A court date will be scheduled within 10 court days for you to return to court for a Permanent Order, which lasts for a year and can be renewed. Keep your copy of the Order with you at all times.
The judge will also order the abuser to surrender all guns and gun permits he or she possesses. The police will deliver (serve) a copy of the Order to your abuser and will keep a copy on file at the police station.
It is important to provide the abuser's home, work, or other likely addresses so that the police can serve the Order as quickly as possible and provide the required notice of the next court date.
A violation of certain terms of a 209A Order (orders to vacate the premises, refrain from abuse and have no contact with you) requires that the police arrest your abuser.
A violation of a 209A Order, once the abuser has notice of the Order, is a criminal offense.
The Ten Day Hearing requires that you return to the court on the date given on the Order. If you do not return to court, the Order will not be in effect after that date. The hearing offers the chance for both parties, you and the abuser, to come before the judge and offer information (evidence) as to why a permanent 209A Order, which lasts for one year, should or should not be granted.
Bring any hospital records, photographs or police reports you may have for the judge to review. You may also bring a support person with you. The abuser may be present at the ten day hearing and may oppose the 209A Order .
If the abuser is not present and has been served with the Order, the judge can still grant the Order for one year period.
If a 209A Order is issued by the judge for a year, you must return to the court for an extension of the Order at the end of that year or the Order will expire.
Any changes in the Order before that date must be made with both you and the abuser appearing in the same court where the Order was first given.
A request to change or amend the Order can be made at the Clerk's Office, and a hearing will be arranged before a judge.
A minor under 18 years old can obtain a 209A Order with some restrictions.
Generally, a parent or guardian needs to be present, but the judge can decide to issue a 209A Order without a parent present if the minor appears to be in danger.
In some cases, the Department of Social Services may offer assistance in gaining help for a minor. Many high schools and colleges also offer support groups for students in violent relationships. A parent may also obtain a protective order for his or her child.
Once a 209A Order is issued, violation of certain terms of the Order is a criminal offense. Violations of orders to refrain from abuse , to have no contact, and to vacate a household, multiple family dwelling or workplace, can be prosecuted criminally under chapter 209A.
If the abuser violates the order, call the police immediately. Show the Order to the police and explain how it was violated ( a punch, slap, threat; entering your house or apartment or refusing to vacate; or, any contact with you at home or your workplace, either in person, by telephone or mail).
The police must arrest the abuser if they believe or can see that the terms of the Order were violated. If you do not call the police, you may be able to file an application for a criminal complaint on your own at the Clerk's Office in the District Court.
A Victim/Witness Advocate can assist you with that process. If you put yourself in contact with the abuser, he is vulnerable to arrest. Therefore, if you want any terms of the order to no longer apply, you should return to court and ask that the order be modified or vacated.
If the abuser is arrested, seek assistance from the Victim/ Witness Advocate in the District Attorney's Office the next morning after a nighttime arrest, or at any time during the day at the courthouse. A Victim/Witness Advocate will explain what the charges mean and what will happen next. The Advocate will also offer ongoing information, referral for services and cases updates throughout the time the case is in court.
In addition to the crime of violating a 209A Order, an abuser can be charged with a number of other crimes committed at or near the time of the violation, some of which may include:
· Assault (G.L. c. 265, Section 13A), which is an attempt or offer to do bodily injury by force or violence or attempt to batter.
· Assault and Battery ( G.L. c. 265, Section 13A), which is a harmful or unpermitted touching of another, no matter how slight, without a legal right to do so.
· Assault and Battery by Means of a Dangerous Weapon ( G.L. c. 265, Section 15), which is a battery with a dangerous weapon, such as a baseball bat, a shod foot, a knife or other object either inherently dangerous or used in a way that may cause serious injury or death to another.
· Threats (G.L. c. 27, section 4), which are verbal or written threats to do harm which a victim reasonably believes the abuser can commit.
· Trespassing ( G.L. c. 266, section 120), which is entering or remaining in a house or on land in violation of a 209A Order.
· Malicious Destruction Of Personal Property (G.L. c. 266, section 127), which is the destruction of or injury to personal property, a house or building in a manner that is willful and malicious.
· Stalking (G.L. c. 265, section, 43 (a)), which is the willful, malicious and repeated following or harassing of an individual and the making of threats with the intent to place that person in imminent fear of death or serious bodily injury. The penalties are greater for a conviction of a stalking crime committed in violation of a 209A Order.
Once a criminal complaint has been issued or an arrest made, the abuser will be charged with the crime or crimes at an arraignment proceeding in the District Court. A bail hearing will be held to determine whether the defendant/abuser will be released from custody, the court must make a reasonable effort to notify you of the release, even if you are not present in court.
It is important to provide information to the Assistant District Attorney before the arraignment and bail hearing regarding the history of the abuse and a description of the most recent abuse, including any pictures or hospital records of injuries. You should also mention the location of any guns or other weapons that you believe the abuser has in his or her possession.
The Assistant District Attorney will bring this information to the attention of the judge, along with your safety concerns and fears at this time. The judge may also consider whether the defendant/ abuser should be jailed until trial; or, if the defendant/ abuser is to be released, what the bail and conditions of bail will be.
The Assistant District Attorney represents the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in prosecuting the case , and works with the Victim/Witness Advocate to address your interests and assist you during trial.
Interviews will be held with you before the trial, to gather information and evidence for prosecution. Every effort will be made to consider your needs and safety in going forward with the case. The safety of your children will also be priority .
Prosecution may provide the means to gain batterer's intervention services for the defendant/abuser as part of a sentence recommendation. Very few batterer's seek or stay with these services on their own, without court orders and probation supervision.
An Assistant District will speak with you about different sentences that can be imposed if the defendant /abuser is found guilty by a judge or jury or pleads guilty. The sentence asked for may include drug or alcohol counseling, required attendance at a batterer's intervention program, supervised probation and /or jail time.
Certified batterer's intervention programs provide services in very strict group settings to try to help batterer's learn to accept responsibility for their violence, as well as understand and change their controlling and abusive behavior. The groups are led by certified batterer's intervention counselor's trained in dealing with domestic violence offenders. The programs work with the courts and victim services to help make sure that partners of batterer's remain safe.
The programs may involve weekly sessions of 1 to 2 hours in length. The batterer must participate in the program for a minimum of 80 hours. Group leaders feel your safety is a priority concern and will keep ongoing contact with you.
There are no guarantees that the violence will stop because the abuser attends a certified batterer's intervention program. Many abusers drop out of programs or do not comply with the requirements, or only reduce their abuse temporarily. If the judge requires attendance as part of a sentence, dropping out may mean the defendant/ abuser may have to serve jail time. The abuser must want to change the abusive behavior and work hard at making those changes. Promises to change, flowers and apologies are not enough. You deserve to be safe and free from abuse.
Statistically, the most dangerous time for victim is when leaving the batterer. The abuser may feel he is losing control and become dangerously angry. Take steps to protect yourself from abuse or punishment from your abuser. Please trust your instincts. If you are afraid that something may happen, take your feelings seriously and protect yourself. You know your situation better than anyone else.
Develop a safety plan that includes an escape plan for you and your children should a violent incident occur. During an incident, try to move away from an area or room where access to weapons might increase your risk, such as the kitchen, or where you can be trapped or easily injured.
Call the police or leave the house as soon as possible after an abusive incident. The police will respond and stay with you until you are safe or in a safe place.
The police will also help you seek medical treatment, if needed. If you feel you may be in danger, dial the police number and hang up before it rings, so that the redial button will automatically call the police if you need them quickly.
Be alert when leaving the courthouse. If you have any reason to believe your abuser may be waiting for you, please ask someone in the District Attorney's Office or Court Advocate to help.
A police officer or a court officer may be able to escort you to your car. Guns or weapons will be ordered turned over to the police by the judge, along with any license to carry the guns and firearms identification card.
Inform the police of any guns/weapons the abuser may keep in the house. Consider changing the locks on your home. The judge can order the abuser to turn over the keys to your home and/or your car. Keep an extra set of keys in a safe place.
Inform your neighbors if a 209A order is in place. Encourage them to call the police if they see or suspect that something is wrong. Make copies of important papers and keep them in a safe place.
Make a list of the things you need to take with you (birth/medical records, marriage license, check/ bank books, credit cards, medications). Keep emergency money and extra clothes for yourself and your children in a safe place or with someone you trust. Include a few toys and favorite things for the children.
Keep the victim's service agency number handy for emergency shelter and for support groups.; You do not have to leave the abuser or have a 209A Order to attend the support groups. Information and support in making decisions are important. Get Medical attention as you may be injured much more seriously than you realize. Go to a hospital emergency room or your private doctor as soon as possible for treatment.
Ask for a copy of the treatment record. Have pictures taken of your injuries and bruises at the hospital, police department, shelter or District Attorney's Office.
MASSACHUSETTS OFFICE FOR VICTIM ASSISTANCE (617) 727-5200
MASSACHUSETTS COALITION OF BATTERED WOMEN (617) 248-0922
SERVICE GROUPS OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL VICTIM COMPENSATION AND ASSISTANCE DIVISION (617) 727-2200
DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES (617)727-3171 X 551 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT WHEN PERSONS UNDER AGE 18 ARE INVOLVED
CHILD AT RISK HOTLINE - (800)792-5200
DISABLED PERSONS PROTECTION COMMISSION WHEN DISABLED PERSONS BETWEEN THE AGES OF 18 AND 59 ARE INVOLVED 24 HOUR- HOTLINE (800)426-9009
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH- DIVISION OF HEALTH CARE QUALITY WHEN RESIDENTS OF NURSING HOMES OR OTHER LONG TERM CARE FACILITIES ARE INVOLVED 24 HOUR HOTLINE (800)462-5540
DEPARTMENT OF ELDER AFFAIRS WHEN PERSONS 60 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER ARE INVOLVED ELDER ABUSE - HOTLINE (800)922-2275
CHILD WITNESS TO VIOLENCE PROJECT BOSTON MEDICAL CENTER (617) 534-5000 A PROJECT OF CASA MYRNA VASQUEZ 24-HOUR HOTLINE 1-800-992-2600
ASIAN SHELTER AND ADVOCACY PROJECT 24 HOUR HOTLINE (617) 338-2355 RESOURCES IN DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE BARNSTABLE, DUKE AND NANTUCKET COUNTIES
VICTIM WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (508) 362-8103 BARNSTABLE COUNTY
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROSECUTION UNIT (508) 362-8103 BERKSHIRE COUNTY VICTIM
WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (413)443-3500
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT (413)443-3500
BRISTOL COUNTY VICTIM WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (508) 997-0711 DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT (508) 997-0711
ESSEX COUNTY VICTIM WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (508)745-6610
LAWRENCE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT (508)688-1147
LYNN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT (617)599-8094
HAMPDEN COUNTY VICTIM WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (413) 747-1000
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROSECUTION UNIT DISTRICT COUNTY (413) 747-4826
MIDDLESEX COUNTY VICTIM WITNESS SERVICE BUREAU (617) 494-4604
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT (617) 629-0222
NORFOLK COUNTY VICTIM WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (617) 329-5440
DEDHAM DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT (617) 329-5440
QUINCY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (617) 472-0613
NORTHWESTERN DISTRICT VICTIM WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (413) 586-5780
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT (413) 586-5780
PLYMOUTH COUNTY VICTIM WITNESS PROGRAM (508) 584-8120
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT (508) 584-8120
SUFFOLK COUNTY VICTIM WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (617) 725-8653
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT (617)725-8760
WORCESTER COUNTY VICTIM WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (508) 792-0214
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE UNIT (508)797-4334
NATIONAL HOTLINE 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) 1-800-787-3224 TDD
The basic purpose of the junior operator law is provide a supervised opportunity to gain safe driving skills without the possibilities of distractions from your peers.
The junior operator laws are as follows:
A violation of the above law shall be subject to a license suspension of up to 90 days. The six month passenger restriction period stated above will cease at the time of the suspension and the remainder will begin again when the 90 suspension is completed.
You may not operate any motor vehicle between the hours of 12:00 am and 5:00 am unless accompanied by your parent or legal guardian.
You may not operate any motor vehicle requiring a commercial drivers license.
Your junior operator license will be suspended for a substantial period of time if you are under the age of eighteen at the time of motor vehicle offense that involve drugs or alcohol is committed.
You face a license suspension for a second or subsequent offense for speeding or drag racing.
For more information on the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles click the icon below.