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can police give ticket without witnessing?

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  • can police give ticket without witnessing?

    about two months ago i got a ticket because my clutch pedal popped out and my car did a 180 in the snow inside my neighboorhood. A neighboor called and a police officer pulled me over on a different street. He did not witness anything but said he had got the call. Is he allowed to give me a ticket (it was for "reckless and imprudent driving") I live in St. Louis Missouri

  • #2
    In TN we can give cites without witnessing in a couple of ways: #1 - investigation of a crash can result in a cite, and #2 - witness signs as prosecutor. In your case, we would get the person who reported it to sign as prosecutor. It would be your word against his in court.
    I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

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    • #3
      If you got the ticket, then yes the police can give you a ticket without having seen you do it.
      Look at it this way. It would be like you seeing a guy buy dope, you call and give a description of the car. He gets stopped 2 miles away. Can he be locked up for buying dope even though the cop never saw him buy it?

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      • #4
        I never will give a ticket unless I witness it. Unless it is a traffic accident. Im not writing a summonces because joe citizen thinks someone made a traffic mistake. Thats up for me to determine.

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        • #5
          The snag for me would be the text of the summons I'm serving you. Our summonses have an affidavit portion on them that we sign that states, "I personally observed the commission of this violation." If I issued you a summons for something I didn't see you do, I'd be making a false statement - not because you didn't do it, but because I said I saw you do it when I really didn't.

          Now, arresting you is a totally different story. If I have probable cause to believe you committed a misdemeanor or felony, I needn't have seen you do anything. In New York, only violations need be committed in an officer's presence in order for the officer to take police action. For misdemeanors and felonies, probable cause is sufficient. Coincidentally, most (but not all) traffic offenses are violations. Gotta see 'em to write 'em.
          Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

          "You've got to be good in this business, but you've got to get a lot of breaks. If you don't realize that, if you really think you're sitting here because of your genius or anything, I don't know, maybe your background is different, but I got my butt kicked a lot at every level, including this one."

          - Stan Van Gundy

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          • #6
            Originally posted by skigoggles View Post
            If you got the ticket, then yes the police can give you a ticket without having seen you do it.
            Look at it this way. It would be like you seeing a guy buy dope, you call and give a description of the car. He gets stopped 2 miles away. Can he be locked up for buying dope even though the cop never saw him buy it?
            Not if he doesn't have it on him anymore. And not for buying it but for possession, due to the lack of evidence that the dope you found was the dope he bought at the time and whether or not he actually bought dope when the citizen saw him in the first place. The difference is evidence.

            No cite in CA if it wasn't witnessed by me because I can't go to court to testify over something I didn't see happen. In event of traffic accidents it's different due to evidence of what happened. We don't issue citations at accidents anyway, if traffic investigators decide to file a charge with city attorney after investigating it's up to them.
            Originally Posted by VegasMetro
            maybe it’s me but I think a six pack and midget porn makes for good times?????

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sanemaniac View Post
              about two months ago i got a ticket because my clutch pedal popped out and my car did a 180 in the snow inside my neighboorhood. A neighboor called and a police officer pulled me over on a different street. He did not witness anything but said he had got the call. Is he allowed to give me a ticket (it was for "reckless and imprudent driving") I live in St. Louis Missouri
              Yeap...in the State of MO they can do it.....

              Example.... I was off-duty tonight about an hour ago....went through a drive-through to get my BK Chicken Sandwich and fries and saw some knucklehead come out of Wally-World parking lot without headlights on.....squealed his tires...and headed North into town......I called it into the City Dispatcher...

              By the time a on-duty Officer got caught up to us...the guy had already parked his car in front of his house......but was standing beside the car drinking a beer.....and carrying more into the house....

              The on-duty Officer never saw him operate the vehicle.....

              I advised what I saw....wrote a statement ID'ing the driver as the driver and his pax as the pax......and guess who just went to jail for DUI....

              Good Guys 1

              Bad Guys 0

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
                Yeap...in the State of MO they can do it.....

                Example.... I was off-duty tonight about an hour ago....went through a drive-through to get my BK Chicken Sandwich and fries and saw some knucklehead come out of Wally-World parking lot without headlights on.....squealed his tires...and headed North into town......I called it into the City Dispatcher...

                By the time a on-duty Officer got caught up to us...the guy had already parked his car in front of his house......but was standing beside the car drinking a beer.....and carrying more into the house....

                The on-duty Officer never saw him operate the vehicle.....

                I advised what I saw....wrote a statement ID'ing the driver as the driver and his pax as the pax......and guess who just went to jail for DUI....

                Good Guys 1

                Bad Guys 0
                Making the DUI arrest based of a citizen, or better an off duty Officer witness statement saying hey this guy did this, that and that, I observed him driving and then exit the vehicle he is right there,then writing and signing a statement, ok one thing. The person writing the statement gets to go to court testifying to it, Officer testifies to everything else after he made contact with the driver.

                Someone banging in a 911 call of a car the spun out in the snow, seeing a similar car a few blocks away and writing a ticket, that's another thing completely. If all you have is the comments to a radio call print out in court any judge I know of will toss it like three week old dog poo.

                I think the OP was asking about scenario 2 here.


                P.S. - Good collar on the off duty bust though.
                Last edited by mtxpro752; 03-24-2009, 12:53 AM.
                Originally Posted by VegasMetro
                maybe it’s me but I think a six pack and midget porn makes for good times?????

                Comment


                • #9
                  Up here, I typically have to witness the violation, but we can go for an arrest warrant if really necessary (happens with school bus passing reports).

                  Also, we can pass PC from one officer to another, so if an offduty officer witnesses something an onduty officer can stop/write it without witnessing the offense.
                  summer - winter - work

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mtxpro752 View Post
                    I think the OP was asking about scenario 2 here.
                    Around here, if we get a call like that....I am still going to get a witness statment or I'm not writing anything at all....or cite anyone....and that's what all the Judges around here want.

                    I am suspecting that the OP has a statement against him written by the complaintant.....and it's in the case file.....

                    I've never seen one go through that didn't......and I've worked seveal places....and they all want the same.....

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                    • #11
                      No we do not have to witness to cite.
                      "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms. . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." - Thomas Jefferson

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bearcat357 View Post
                        Around here, if we get a call like that....I am still going to get a witness statment or I'm not writing anything at all....or cite anyone....and that's what all the Judges around here want.

                        I am suspecting that the OP has a statement against him written by the complaintant.....and it's in the case file.....

                        I've never seen one go through that didn't......and I've worked seveal places....and they all want the same.....
                        I was taking it for plain, citizen called in, Officer in the area saw a suspect vehicle, stopped and cited off of the call only. Possibly called back the citizen to confirm what he saw but no written statement or report.

                        I agree with you that if the citizen was to go through all of that, writing statements and such an arrest would take place, but not a cite. I dunno, CA doesn't allow us to do much!
                        Originally Posted by VegasMetro
                        maybe it’s me but I think a six pack and midget porn makes for good times?????

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Another example is school bus violations:
                          School bus driver calls the office to report joe blow driving this car with this license plate just drove through the stop arm while children were present and he is going in this direction:
                          Great, pull him over within 4 hours, cite him, go on my marry way.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by sanemaniac View Post
                            about two months ago i got a ticket because my clutch pedal popped out and my car did a 180 in the snow inside my neighboorhood. A neighboor called and a police officer pulled me over on a different street. He did not witness anything but said he had got the call. Is he allowed to give me a ticket (it was for "reckless and imprudent driving") I live in St. Louis Missouri
                            LOL, you were spinning donuts and got caught! The clutch pedal popped out because you let it. Did the steering wheel turn on its' own too?
                            "a band is blowing Dixie double four time You feel alright when you hear the music ring"


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                            • #15
                              Did you hit anythinhg when you spun out like mailboxes, etc or did you just spin around in the snow?

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