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Thread: OT: signing a traffic ticket?

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    I happened to be watching Cops last night where one of theever-present white trash on that showreceived a traffic ticket. The cop then explained that the guy was to sign the ticket, that signing the ticket only meant that he would show up in court, and that signing the ticketwas not an admission of guilt.

    Just got me wondering - does anyone know the implications of not signing the ticket? I dont know what the specificcharge was in this case so I'm just wondering in general terms. What are the advantages/disadvantages to signing/not signing a traffic ticket? Can you get yourself in further trouble by not signing a ticket?

    Anyone have any experience with either not signing a received ticket, or issuing a ticket that the recipient simply would not sign? What was the result?

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    By signing a traffic citation, you are agreeing to either pay the fine or to show up in court....it is not an admission of guilt.
    A traffic citation is a summons for you to answer to the charge the officer has made against you.....in most cases, if you refuse to sign, you can be arrested and taken to jail.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    I've heard it said many times before that :

    Your signature is your bond that you have officially acknowleged receipt of the citation. If someone refuses to sign, the police will furnish free transportation to a centralized location where they can make a more formal presentation of said citation with much ceremony which inlcudes a professional photographer and a finger-printing procedure which insures only the proper recipient is awarded the citation.

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    In SC we do not have to sign the ticket so I really don't know how it works other than if you don't pay the fine or show up they will come and get you. Years ago you could "post bond" with the officer which was just paying the fine and then not have to show up. Now I don't think you can do that which creates a problem with out-of-state drivers.

    I know there was one case several years ago that made all the newspapers about a 17 year old girl that was caught, taken to the police station and made to wear a prison jump suit until someone could come bail her out. Actually she was caught doing 85 in a 60 zone on the way back from a trip to the beach and had nothing to wear but a bikini. They gave her a jumpsuit to cover up with at the station until her father could drivethe 30 miles across the state linefrom NC.

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    Depends on the cop. If they're in a bad mood you could be tazed

    http://infowars.net/articles/novembe...11107Tased.htm

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    In PA you don't have to sign. It's only an acknowledgement of receipt of a copy. If you refuse, we simply write "refused" in the signature block, and let the magistrate draw his own conclusions on that...

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    Lou_Sanderson wrote:
    I happened to be watching Cops last night where one of theever-present white trash on that showreceived a traffic ticket. The cop then explained that the guy was to sign the ticket, that signing the ticket only meant that he would show up in court, and that signing the ticketwas not an admission of guilt.
    Did he sign it? If not, I can see why he's still white trash... too stupid to do any better for himself.

    Just got me wondering - does anyone know the implications of not signing the ticket? I dont know what the specific charge was in this case so I'm just wondering in general terms. What are the advantages/disadvantages to signing/not signing a traffic ticket? Can you get yourself in further trouble by not signing a ticket?

    Anyone have any experience with either not signing a received ticket, or issuing a ticket that the recipient simply would not sign? What was the result?
    I've also always heard that signing is simply acknowledgment of service. You're verifying that you received that summons.

    Interestingly enough, at least in Arizona, service is required to be made in person. A mailed citation from a photo radar ticket doesn't cut it. If you don't answer, they may send a process server after you and cause you to pay the $26 fee for that, as well.

    If you can avoid the process server for the 120 days, you're home free. They're tricky b@st@rds, though.... right at about 116 days, they'll hang a Fedex door tag on your door, inviting you to go the the Fedex station to sign for your package that they couldn't deliver.

    Luckily, I keep track of what I've ordered and what I haven't. Guess there's still a photo radar ticket sitting in the Tempe Fedex office.

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    mzbk2l wrote:
    Did he sign it? If not, I can see why he's still white trash... too stupid to do any better for himself.
    He did sign the ticket, of course he did so after crying like a littlegirl b/che thought he was gonna getcarried off in the paddywagon.

    It was to of em in a truck together as a matter of fact. Passenger had an open container of alcohol (still cold), and booze was spilt all over the passenger floorboard & seat. Still, he swears he wasnt drinking...... uh-huh, riiiiiiiiiight!

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    Here (Ohio), signing a ticket is just acknowledging that you have been served a copy of the complaint (the ticket itself) and that you agree to either pay it out or contest it in court. There's a separate line on the back for pleading guilty and mailing in the fine, if you want to do that (you may have to appear anyway, depending on the violation alleged). I always ask the cop to confirm that I'm just acknowledging receipt,in the event that thay may have changed the procedure. Not a big deal.

    Refusal would result in another citation (obstructing official business or some such), and possible arrest, especiallyif you got belligerent about it. I'm sure that the originalticket would be valid in any case, signature or no.

    As for a passenger with an open container of alcohol, that should just be a minor misdemeanor ticket for the passenger here, and not a separate citation for the driver, as long as the driver hasn't been drinking.

    -ljp

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    Legba wrote:
    As for a passenger with an open container of alcohol, that should just be a minor misdemeanor ticket for the passenger here, and not a separate citation for the driver, as long as the driver hasn't been drinking.
    They didnt chronicle the charge, but yes it was the passenger who signed and received the ticket and was allowed to go on his own way, lies & pathetic tears and all.

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    Lou_Sanderson wrote:
    Legba wrote:
    As for a passenger with an open container of alcohol, that should just be a minor misdemeanor ticket for the passenger here, and not a separate citation for the driver, as long as the driver hasn't been drinking.
    They didnt chronicle the charge, but yes it was the passenger who signed and received the ticket and was allowed to go on his own way, lies & pathetic tears and all.
    Interesting. Open container laws in Texas always apply to the driver even if the driver hasn't touched a drop. You can't be arrested for DUI, but you the driver can be ticketed for open container while your passenger chugs a beer. In fact, you can be ticketed if there is any alcohol, open or not, in the cabin of the car. Police tend to look the other way for innocent violations like a sealed 12-pack behind the driver's seat on his way home from the supermarket, but if you're being ornery the officer can bend you over the barrel abouta dozenways for it.

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    Liko81 wrote:
    Interesting. Open container laws in Texas always apply to the driver even if the driver hasn't touched a drop. You can't be arrested for DUI, but you the driver can be ticketed for open container while your passenger chugs a beer. In fact, you can be ticketed if there is any alcohol, open or not, in the cabin of the car. Police tend to look the other way for innocent violations like a sealed 12-pack behind the driver's seat on his way home from the supermarket, but if you're being ornery the officer can bend you over the barrel abouta dozenways for it.
    And they may have charged the driver as well, the program didnt go to great lengths to ensure the audience would have full disclosure on all the tickets that were issued and why...Additionally I've no clue what state this took place in

    Not to mention I wasnt paying close attention. Just watched it as it happened, ignoring 90% of the details, and then got to wondering about the topic on my initial post the next day...I'll be sure to Tivo next time! :-)

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    Fallschirmjäger wrote:
    I've heard it said many times before that :

    Your signature is your bond that you have officially acknowleged receipt of the citation. If someone refuses to sign, the police will furnish free transportation to a centralized location where they can make a more formal presentation of said citation with much ceremony which inlcudes a professional photographer and a finger-printing procedure which insures only the proper recipient is awarded the citation.
    Awesome wording, I wish I had your command of language! LMAO!

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    Liko81 wrote:
    Interesting. Open container laws in Texas always apply to the driver even if the driver hasn't touched a drop. You can't be arrested for DUI, but you the driver can be ticketed for open container while your passenger chugs a beer. In fact, you can be ticketed if there is any alcohol, open or not, in the cabin of the car. Police tend to look the other way for innocent violations like a sealed 12-pack behind the driver's seat on his way home from the supermarket, but if you're being ornery the officer can bend you over the barrel abouta dozenways for it.
    Can you cite a reference to Texas law on this? I find it hard to believe that it's against the law to transport sealed alcoholic beverages. Do Texas retailers only deliver...no take out.

    As an aside before my township passed an ordinance that said alcoholic beverages and drugswere against the law at all parks and recreation areas, I asked the police chief if it meant I couldn't stop at the beach with a six pack of beer and my prescriptions drugs in my car on the way back from the store. He said no of course we mean open containers and illegal drugs. I suggested they state that in the ordnance, of course they left it as it was. Really ignorant.
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    In Delaware, there's not even a place for you to sign -- they type it into the computer, print out a paper and you're on your way.

    I'm seeming to recall that the ticket is actually given in lieu of an arrest and that the signature is your affirmation that you'll show up in court. So, technically, if you don't sign, instead of the summons, you're simply arrested.

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    PavePusher wrote:
    Fallschirmjäger wrote:
    I've heard it said many times before that :

    Your signature is your bond that you have officially acknowleged receipt of the citation. If someone refuses to sign, the police will furnish free transportation to a centralized location where they can make a more formal presentation of said citation with much ceremony which inlcudes a professional photographer and a finger-printing procedure which insures only the proper recipient is awarded the citation.
    Awesome wording, I wish I had your command of language! LMAO!
    Awwwwe geeeee, shucks (insert embarassed emoticon here). I wasn''t entirely correct though, I forgot about all those states where you're not necessarily required to sign. Thanks, guys, for not sharpshooting me when I overlooked those juristictions.

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    Venator wrote:
    Can you cite a reference to Texas law on this? I find it hard to believe that it's against the law to transport sealed alcoholic beverages. Do Texas retailers only deliver...no take out.
    I guess you could transport it in the trunk or toolbox. Just be glad that you don't live in a dry county like I do. A friend of mine got caught with an unopened case of beer in the back of his truck, he got arrested and had to pay a fine.

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    § 49.031. POSSESSION OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE IN MOTOR
    VEHICLE. (a) In this section:
    (1) "Open container" means a bottle, can, or other
    receptacle that contains any amount of alcoholic beverage and that
    is open, that has been opened, that has a broken seal, or the
    contents of which are partially removed.
    (2) "Passenger area of a motor vehicle" means the area
    of a motor vehicle designed for the seating of the operator and
    passengers of the vehicle. The term does not include:
    (A) a glove compartment or similar storage
    container that is locked;
    (B) the trunk of a vehicle; or
    (C) the area behind the last upright seat of the
    vehicle, if the vehicle does not have a trunk.
    (3) "Public highway" means the entire width between
    and immediately adjacent to the boundary lines of any public road,
    street, highway, interstate, or other publicly maintained way if
    any part is open for public use for the purpose of motor vehicle
    travel. The term includes the right-of-way of a public highway.
    (b) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly
    possesses an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle
    that is located on a public highway, regardless of whether the
    vehicle is being operated or is stopped or parked. Possession by a
    person of one or more open containers in a single criminal episode
    is a single offense.
    (c) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (b)
    that at the time of the offense the defendant was a passenger in:
    (1) the passenger area of a motor vehicle designed,
    maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of persons for
    compensation, including a bus, taxicab, or limousine; or
    (2) the living quarters of a motorized house coach or
    motorized house trailer, including a self-contained camper, a motor
    home, or a recreational vehicle.
    (d) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.
    (e) A peace officer charging a person with an offense under
    this section, instead of taking the person before a magistrate,
    shall issue to the person a written citation and notice to appear
    that contains the time and place the person must appear before a
    magistrate, the name and address of the person charged, and the
    offense charged. If the person makes a written promise to appear
    before the magistrate by signing in duplicate the citation and
    notice to appear issued by the officer, the officer shall release
    the person.
    OK, an unopened 12-pack doesn't count. However, "receptacle" is defined only in case law, so an officer can tell you to take it to the judge if you're heading to a party with half a case of beer in loose cans or an open package in the passenger compartment. It's better all around to keep alcohol in the cargo area; even if the officer can't catch you breaking any law, he can give you a hard time for it (a warning for 10 over could become a ticket).

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    In WA, the officer CAN or MAY arrest you. However, they don't have to. They too can write "refused" and let you be on your way. For unattended vehicles that receive tickets (parking violations, etc.) they simply put something to the effect of "driver not present" and leave it on your windshield for an afternoon pick-me-up.

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    Folks, please bear in mind that in many states (such as Indiana) there isn't a state prohibition on having an open container in the car. Be it in the possession of a passenger OR the driver. The way some of you are talking you'd think the passenger committed murder

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    Each state will vary on the signature requirement.

    In those states where the person is required to sign it is NEVER an admission of guilt. It is only an acknowledgement that you have received the ticket and that you understand you must appear in court or pay a fine.

    Think of it this way.. The signature is actually could be for YOUR protection.

    I could easily write up a ticket and turn it in and when you do not show up for court... the judge issue a bench warrant on you. What proof would you have that I never gave you a ticket??


    Edit: The OP has clearly identified this is off topic but it still does deal with rights and freedoms. These are thingsthat many members here feel are important and want to discuss.

    Furthermore... if you were to be stopped for a gun related crime and requested to sign the ticket... you know why you are required to do so. (So now are are talking about gun issues so this is gun related after all and appropriate)

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Each state will vary on the signature requirement.

    In those states where the person is required to sign it is NEVER an admission of guilt. It is only an acknowledgement that you have received the ticket and that you understand you must appear in court or pay a fine.

    Think of it this way.. The signature is actually could be for YOUR protection.

    I could easily write up a ticket and turn it in and when you do not show up for court... the judge issue a bench warrant on you. What proof would you have that I never gave you a ticket??


    Edit: The OP has clearly identified this is off topic but it still does deal with rights and freedoms. These are thingsthat many members here feel are important and want to discuss.

    Furthermore... if you were to be stopped for a gun related crime and requested to sign the ticket... you know why you are required to do so. (So now are are talking about gun issues so this is gun related after all and appropriate)
    Lot's of ways you could prove it. For Example prove you and your car were out of town, for one.
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    Venator wrote:
    Lot's of ways you could prove it. For Example prove you and your car were out of town, for one.
    True.. but what happens if I stop you and let you go.. only to issue a ticket in your name you knew nothing about?? Not that this would ever happen....

    But if a bad cop really wanted to mess with you....

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