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What do you do when someone doesn't sign their ticket?

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  • What do you do when someone doesn't sign their ticket?

    What is the normal procedure for someone who doesn't sign their ticket when you issue it to them? Do you arrest them? I'm sure negotiating with them to sign it is the first option, but what if the person just won't sign it? What's the last option? Are the laws different around the country on signing a ticket?

    I've heard it comes up pretty often because alot of people believe that by not signing somehow it doesn't count or they believe signing it is an admission of guilt. Isn't the signing of the ticket simply acknowledging you got the ticket and the officer explained what it was for and how to handle the fine?

  • #2
    In our state, the signature is only a promise to appear in court, and not any admission of guilt, and it's clearly written out by the signature line. State law dictates what happens if they don't sign...in some states it's mandatory jail, so most sign when they find that out

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    • #3
      Nothing. It's not an admmission of guilt and is of little value. I knew some young guys who took it personal and got mad but by refusing to sign you already knew you had made the happy motorist even happier and that's job satisfaction enough for me.

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      • #4
        We have the option of getting someone to sign their ticket. Since it is not required that they do so, I never ask them to do it. I don't like the idea of re-approaching a violator's vehicle with my clipboard and pen filling up my hands. It saves a lot of grief, too. If someone starts getting mouthy and I don't want to hear it, I just explain the ticket and their court date and walk back to my car.
        "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body; but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, 'Wow! What a Ride!'"

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        • #5
          You should always get someone to sign if they have no ID on them. If it ends up being bad info. you get to enter a forgery warrant on them too.
          Trooperden, akman75, & azmichelle ignored

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          • #6
            Florida law states that you shall sign any ticket issued to you by a law enforcement officer. Signing the citation is not an admission of guilt, it states that the officer explained the citation to you and that you will either pay the citation or appear in court. If a driver refuses to sign the citation they WILL be placed under arrest and transported to jail. They will not be released from the jail until they post bond, sign the original citation, and sign the second citation for refusing to sign the original one.
            In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

            In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

            Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

            I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.


            The opinions given in my posts do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only.

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            • #7
              i arrest them if they refuse to sign.

              we have had more than one instance where a person signed their real name on a ticket after lying to the officer.

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              • #8
                In Washington basic traffic offenses are, as in most states, 'civil infractions' but when someone refuses to sign (that they are receiving a copy) it is obviously not being resolved on a civil level so failing to sign is a misdemeanor and an arrestable offense.

                That being said, the only thing that signature does is start the 15 day clock for them to respond to the court. Many Officers and even some entire agencies choose not to issue citations at the scene of minor traffic collisions but instead issue them by mail. The signature for the certified mail starts that same 15 day clock.

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                • #9
                  If someone refuses to sign, i simply write (refused to sign) where they should have, and i put my badge number next to it. Then on the vehicle stop paperwork i make sure i have the description of the driver to a T, so he can not tell the judge it wasn't him/her.
                  Don't tell me you pay my salary unless your giving me a raise.

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                  • #10
                    In Idaho, there is a line for the violator to sign or at the bottom there is a line for the officer to sign stating that they have personally served the citation to the violator. Very few officers have the violator sign the cite, most just sign off on it and issue the cite.

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                    • #11
                      In Miami-dade county, when someone doesn't sign thier ticket, our TA has a saying..

                      09 39.

                      Prisoner transport. Don't wanna sign you're ticket? Obstruction.

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                      • #12
                        I've never had a refusal yet but we do arrest for refusing to sign.

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                        • #13
                          We are not required to obtain a signature on any of our citations. There's not even a place to do so on the citation. Looks like our state is in the minority.
                          Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

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                          • #14
                            With LASD, you don't sign, you go to jail. Generally, if we can't talk them out of it, we will call a sgt and they'll try. If that doesn't work, off they go. Never had one go to jail, they all signed in the end; idiots.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tan/grn
                              With LASD, you don't sign, you go to jail. Generally, if we can't talk them out of it, we will call a sgt and they'll try. If that doesn't work, off they go. Never had one go to jail, they all signed in the end; idiots.

                              And those who didn't sign in the field usually signed at the station.
                              Retired

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