F.A.Q. and Other Info
( If you have a question that does not appear, please E-Mail us and we will respond either by posting it here or by e-mail )
What rights do I have if I am arrested?
When a person is arrested he/she has a right to know the reason for the arrest, i.e., the charges; the right to use the telephone to contact family, friends or attorney and to arrange for bail; and the right to be brought before a magistrate to be availed to bail.
Must an officer always read the Miranda rights to me when I am stopped?
No. An officer should read the Miranda rights to you if you are in custody and the officer interrogates you. Custody is defined as a situation where the officer places you under arrest or otherwise prevents you from leaving the scene.
Are police officers required to wear nametags on their uniforms?
No. It depends on the policy of the police department. Any community which accepts the provision of M.G.L. Chapter 41, Section 98 provides, "no police officer shall be required to wear a name tag on his uniform. In lieu of a nametag, officers are required to wear a badge with an identifying number attached.
I have a License to Carry Firearms and a FID Card. What are my responsibilities when I move to a different address?
Within 30 days, you are required to notify the licensing authority who issued the license or FID Card, the licensing authority in the community where you move to and the Commissioner of Public Safety of your address change. Your License to Carry Firearms can be suspended or revoked, depending on the policy of the licensing authority who issued the license. The policy of the Groveland Police Department is to suspend your license for a period three months for the first offense.
The person operating the vehicle or, in the case where the operator is hospitalized and unable to submit the report, the owner if not the operator must submit the report within 5 days after the accident, M.G.L. Chp. 90, Sec. 26. The accident report form may be obtained at the Groveland police station or other local police department.
Can I obtain a copy of my driving record from the police department?
No. An individual's driving record can only be obtained from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. We are not permitted to use our Teletype terminal for any other purpose except law enforcement. The Teletype cannot be use as a service to the public.
Can I come to the police station and obtain a copy of my criminal record for employment purposes?
No. The Criminal Offense Record Information (CORI) statute permits police officers only to use a person's criminal history information for the purposes of establishing a suspect identity, to aid in criminal investigations, and for applicants who seek employment with the police department. To obtain a copy of your criminal history you can come to the police station and ask for a copy of the personal criminal history request form. The form must be mailed or hand carried by the person requesting the information to the Criminal History System Board.
Can a homeowner perform construction or other heavy work on his/her property on Sundays?
It depends. A homeowner is allowed to work, i.e., repair work, roofing, construction with heavy equipment, etc., on his/her home or property so long as the work is not being done a contractor. In Groveland, the homeowner may not start such work before 7:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and must end by 7:00 p.m. A contractor may be permitted to work on Sunday if approved by the Chief of Police.
I want to become a police officer. Is there an age limit requirement?
No. As long as you can pass the physical standards and physical agility's tests, your age is not a factor.
A family member was arrested. How can I prevent his/her name from being published in the local newspapers?
There is nothing you can do. M.G.L. Chapter 41, Section 98F, the public
log law, requires local police departments to keep and maintain a daily log,
recording in chronological order, all responses to valid complaints received,
crimes reported, the names, addresses of persons arrested and the charges
against such persons arrested. The local newspapers covering Groveland have a
policy to publish such information without exception. This is necessary
because it would not be fair to publish the names of some and not the names
The Groveland Police Department is commited to providing all
residents, visitors, and those passing through with a safe driving
experience. Part of this commitment involves enforcing the motor vehicle
traffic laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Moving violations are the
most common reason an officer initiates a traffic stop. Examples of the
violations are speeding, failure to stop at a stop sign or red light, failure
to use a signal when turning, and failure to drive within marked lanes.
Registration, inspection stickers, and equipment violations are other
reasons. There are many laws and they are long and complex. It is not
uncommon for a driver to be in violation and not know it. Depending on the
circumstances, an officer can give a verbal warning, a written warning, a
civil citation with a fine, a criminal complaint resulting in a later court
appearance or make an arrest.
1. If you are stopped, you should pull your car as far to the right as possible, out of the lane of travel. You shouldn't slam on your brakes or come to a stop in the travel portion of the road. After stopping, you should stay in your vehicle and turn on your interior light. Good lighting assists in good communication. Relax and remain in your car. If you leave you car, you subject yourself and the officer to danger.
2. Keep you hands in view at all times, wait for the officer to ask for a license and registration.
3. Police officers are trained to ask for identification first, and provide an explanation second. In most cases, the officer is in uniform with a badge and nametag. You have the advantage of knowing with whom you are dealing. Extend the courtesy by presenting the paperwork without argument, be patient, and wait for an explanation. This makes the most sense, and it's the law.
4. Do not argue a citation with the officer. If you disagree with the ticket, the proper procedure is to request a hearing through the appropriate district court.
Police officers are trained to minimize their exposure to traffic for their own safety. The second reason is 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 other officers show up?
Officers in the area often back each other up without being summoned. This is a protocol that maximizes safety for all officers.
Why did the officer sit in his car for so long?
Officers first call the stop in to the police station, giving the registration number and location of the stop. They wait for a response from the dispatcher before approaching the operator. After receiving information from the operator, the officer normally has to do a computer check on the license and registration. This procedure does take some time, but usually no more than a few minutes.
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. The Groveland Police Department strives for positive citizen contacts and proper conduct. If you feel the officer's demeanor was improper, you should contact the police department and make an appointment to speak with the Police Chief.
How will a citation affect my insurance?
This is determined by the Merit Rating Board. You should contact your insurance agent for further information.
Can the officer search my car?
If an officer asks your permission to search your car, you have the right to refuse. However, the officer may be aware of certain information that legally allows a search of your car without your permission.
If I am stopped by a police officer for speeding or other violation and I do not have my license with me, how long do I have to produce the license?
The operator must always have his/her license on his/her person or in some easily accessible place while driving a vehicle and must produce same upon the request of a police officer, M.G.L. Chp. 90, Sec. 11. You cannot go home and get your license and bring it to the officer. It is a civil infraction for not producing your license when asked to do so by an officer. This would also apply to a vehicle registration.
How many written warnings can I receive before my license is suspended?
A violator who receives three (3) written warnings within a twelve month period, beginning on the day of the first violation, will have his/her license suspended for seven (7) days, M.G.L. Chp. 90C, Sect. 2.
Why are some motor vehicle violators issued a written warning and other violators are issued a fine for the same violation?
Some police departments have strict policies governing when an officer shall write a fine for a violation and when a written warning is permissible. Most departments permit their officers to use their discretion. In the case of speeding, many factors are taken into account. The speed at which the vehicle is traveling, width of the street, population density, and the presence of special hazards, i.e. children in the area, play grounds, blind driveways, etc. Speeds greater than 10 m.p.h. over thespeed limit on a street usually results in a fine being written.
If I am stopped for speeding in which the radar was used to clock my speed, do I have the right to inspect the radar and view the speed at which it is alleged that I was traveling?
No. An officer is not obliged to show you the radar. Traffic stops are inherently dangerous. Police officers generally do not allow operators to stand outside of their cars. It is safer for the driver to remain in their vehicles.
Do I have the right to request information concerning the calibration and servicing of a radar unit?
Yes. In Groveland, all you need do is to come to the police station and we will permit you to inspect our radar records.
How does an officer calculate the fine for a speeding ticket?
Any speed over the speed limit within the first 10 m.p.h. is a fifty (50) dollar fine. The violator is accessed an additional $10.00 for each m.p.h. over ten m.p.h. For example, if the speed limit is 35 m.p.h. and a violator is stopped for traveling 50 m.p.h., the fine would be $100.00. Also, there is an additional $25.00 surcharge added to ALL speeding tickets for the Head Injury Fund. This is required by the Massachusetts State Legislature.
In response to some parental concerns about kids and parents not understanding the Massachusetts Junior Operator License law, the Groveland Police Department offers this page of information for all to read. The actual law is complicated to read and too lengthy to print in this limited space, so we have condensed it to the important points parents and kids need to know.
When you obtain your license the following rules apply:
· For the 1st 6 months you may not have passengers, other than immediate family members, in your car under the age of 18 without a licensed driver over the age of 21, with at least 1 year of driving experience, in front passenger seat. A violation of this could result in a $35.00 fine and/or license suspension in addition to any other fines for other motor vehicle offenses.
· You may not drive between the hours of 12:00 A.M. and 5:00 A.M. without a parent or legal guardian in the car with you. A violation of this could result in an arrest or a summons for a criminal charge of operating without a license.
The Groveland Police Department has a Zero Tolerance policy when it comes to alcohol possession by minors and drug possession. This means minors under the age of 21 found in possession, or the transporting, of alcohol will be arrested. An arrest or summons for an alcohol possession/transportation charge may result in a suspension of their drivers license by the Registry. Possession of any illegal drug or narcotic will result in arrest and suspension of your license for up to 5 years.
Here are some commonly asked questions about the Junior Operators License:
Will the police stop a car just because there are kids in it?
No. The car would be stopped for another motor vehicle violation first, before the operator can be cited for the passenger restriction.
How do the police know how long I've had my license?
A simple computer check at the time of a motor vehicle stop shows your license date of issue.
How long will a violation stay on my record?
Forever, and some employers check on these records before deciding on your employment.
Can I drive my friends to school?
No, unless there is a licensed driver over the age of 21 in the car.
Can I drive my brother/sister to school?
If there is alcohol in my car and no one has been drinking, what will happen.
All minors in the car are subject to arrest, the car can be towed (about $70) and you will have to go to court. The registry will suspend your drivers license for 90 days.
What if I have been drinking?
If you are under the age of 18 and charged with operating under the influence and either refuse a breathalyzer test or take the test and have a B.A.C. of 0.02 (the equivalent of 1 drink) or higher, your license will be suspended for 1 year. This is in addition to any court ordered suspension.
Will my insurance be affected by a J.O.L. violation?
All moving violations can affect your or your parents insurance rates. The Mass. Registry of Motor Vehicles has an excellent web site with 40 commonly asked questions on this subject.
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