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  • Discretion question

    Say you clock someone at 75/55 and pull them over,
    They are very cooperative and their reason for speeding is somewhat legit
    you cut them a break and instead of writing them 75/55 you write them 69/55 to reduce their fine and points

    is this technically legal?
    This discussion came up in class and someone said it is tampering with a gov document
    Long live the Republic
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  • #2
    i would think it is okay to do this, i don't. i will offer pleas in front of the judge and see if they want to accept it

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Texas_Justice85 View Post
      Say you clock someone at 75/55 and pull them over,
      They are very cooperative and their reason for speeding is somewhat legit
      you cut them a break and instead of writing them 75/55 you write them 69/55 to reduce their fine and points

      is this technically legal?
      This discussion came up in class and someone said it is tampering with a gov document
      It is perfectly legal and officers routinely do this as they see fit. I more than likely would have issued you a warning, assuming you didnt have a shiznitty attitude.

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      • #4
        By State policy in Virginia it is only legal if you a) paced them at that speed. b) your radar at one point during your tracking history displayed that speed.


        We can't artificially lower speeds. Now, if we see the vehicle slowing we can write for the lowest speed we got on either the radar or pacing.

        We lock the laser in so what it says is what you get.

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        • #5
          In Maryland it at least USED to happen all the time. We'd CHARGE them with the lower speed but document the higher speed and explain to them which one we'd testify to if they chose to go to court to fight it. Since the "legal document" isn't complete until it's signed, I don't see how any modifications to it prior to that point would be tampering.

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          • #6
            In order to be going 75, laws of physics says you MUST have been travelling at 69 some point in time before 75.
            He who laughs last.......thinks slowest

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            • #7
              as for the OPs original question....yes, we can.....did it all the time.....we have pretty much total discretion on cites/arrests except in a few instances.......
              The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

              "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

              "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

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              • #8
                Its not tampering with a government document. I don't lower speeds on a ticket, but it can be done. The way I look at it....if you are going 75 you are going at least 69+ which would be how I would write it.

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                • #9
                  At our agency, the citation actually has "posted speed, actual speed, and cited speed" boxes. I would but "55, 75, 69" and it would all be legit...
                  zero tolerance...

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                  • #10
                    It is so common to write someone for a speed less than their actual speed I'd say almost everyone does it.
                    The way it works for us is I may get you on radar at 15 over the limit. If you're nice I'll write you for 5 over and write on the ticket the actual speed. If you fight it I will amend the ticket to your actual speed(15 over). That will result in one of two things: A) The person usually pays the 5 over ticket instead of going to court for 15 over. OR B) They come to court to fight the 15 over ticket and the Magistrate can find them responsible for anything he wants equal to or less than the 15 over.

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                    • #11
                      You are writing them for exceeding a specific limit. You can reduce the speed charged if you explain that you are doing so because you are factoring in a percentage for "speedometer error" and most judges will accept that. It shows you are not out for a hard line but are flexible and reasonable in your enforcement.

                      After all, you are making the allegation based on what your speedometer is reading and the allegation is an estimate of speed not a fact of speed.
                      Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                      [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

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                      • #12
                        Also.....
                        for the states who can't lower the speed and must write the full shot:

                        Why can you not choose to lower the offense? In your states do you have such things as 'lesser included crimes', that someone can be charged with as a deal? I understand misdemeanors and civil infractions are different but it kind of follows the same logic. Wondering what your thoughts are.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Texas_Justice85 View Post
                          Say you clock someone at 75/55 and pull them over,
                          They are very cooperative and their reason for speeding is somewhat legit
                          you cut them a break and instead of writing them 75/55 you write them 69/55 to reduce their fine and points

                          is this technically legal?
                          This discussion came up in class and someone said it is tampering with a gov document

                          Here? .... yes.

                          There? .... I would guess "yes" also.

                          After all, do they not have to cross that threashold of 69 mph in the act of getting up to 75, and then again as they slow to stop for the officer? If they are going 75 miles per hour, would they not be doing all of 69 and then some?


                          "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

                          "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

                          >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

                          Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

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                          • #14
                            The only flaw in the argument of not being able to write someone for less because you didn't actually get them at a slower speed would be this: If they entered your jurisdiction already exceeding the speed limit(say 75 in a 55), thus never actually traveling at 65 in a 55 in your jurisdiction, you couldn't say you saw them going 65. With that being said, I know anyone going 75 had to go 65 to get there and absolutely disagree with the idea you can't write someone for a lesser speed. It doesn't make sense to me but I guess it wouldn't since I have never dealt with this and have complete discretion with regards to civil infraction enforcement.

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                            • #15
                              YES i cant remember the last person I didnt lower it for. I usually dont even write them a speeding ticket i lower it to 1110-a disobey traffic control device, less points and less fine.. which is what all the towns offer as a plea anyways. when they ask for a supporting depo or fight it I ammend the ticket for the actual speed.

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