Respond to a ticket for a misdemeanor or bylaw violation that’s been decriminalized

Did you receive a ticket for a misdemeanor or bylaw violation that's been decriminalized? Find out how to respond to it.

District, Housing, and Boston Municipal Courts

The Details

What you need

In some cases, the court may treat a violation of a municipal ordinance, bylaw, or misdemeanor offense as a civil infraction. The fine depends on the applicable ordinance, bylaw, or misdemeanor law. If the ordinance, bylaw, or misdemeanor law doesn't provide a civil fine as a possible penalty, the court may impose a fine of up to $5,000.

How to respond

If the court proceeds with the action as a civil infraction, the court won't appoint you a lawyer. If the court finds you responsible for the offense, you will be “adjudicated responsible,” instead of “found guilty,” and will not be sentenced to any time in prison. You may be ordered to pay restitution.

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