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can a off duty cop do this?

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  • can a off duty cop do this?

    a friend of mine said she got a letter in the mail saying that a month ago a off duty cop saw her throw "something out the window" and that she must show up to court so the officer can try to give her a ticket

  • #2
    Originally posted by 914cophopefulNY View Post
    a friend of mine said she got a letter in the mail saying that a month ago a off duty cop saw her throw "something out the window" and that she must show up to court so the officer can try to give her a ticket
    Yes, a police officer may summons a person for something he/she observes while off-duty. A police officer retains full police powers while off-duty. There have been a few instances where I sent a summons, via certified mail, for something I witnessed while off-duty.

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    • #3
      yea thars what i thought... but even if it was a month ago? shouldnt the cop have written the summons and mail it? or it has to go through the court system first?

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      • #4
        An offduty cop has just as much authority/responsibility as if hes onduty (We just don't get paid for it)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 914cophopefulNY View Post
          yea thars what i thought... but even if it was a month ago? shouldnt the cop have written the summons and mail it? or it has to go through the court system first?
          That depends on the laws of your state. In my state, a month is perfectly acceptable. It sounds as though the letter your friend received is a legitimate summons. If you have any doubt, contact the clerk of courts or the district attorney/prosecutor’s office.

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          • #6
            Let your friend know in the event she does receive a traffic citation in the mail not to blow it off. Acting as if she didn't receive it will only get her a warrant for a failure to appear.
            Prov 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by pujolsfan146 View Post
              Let your friend know in the event she does receive a traffic citation in the mail not to blow it off. Acting as if she didn't receive it will only get her a warrant for a failure to appear.
              And a suspended license.

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              • #8
                In Maryland, we have a year and one day to charge...so a month is totally acceptable. And as mentioned, it would be very wise for your friend to show up in court instead of blowing it off. I've never done it for littering but I have done it to people who fail to yield right of way when I'm responding to a call and am unable to stop them there. It is rare for me to do but I've done it.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 914cophopefulNY View Post
                  yea thars what i thought... but even if it was a month ago? shouldnt the cop have written the summons and mail it? or it has to go through the court system first?

                  In MD officers have 366 days to charge someone with any type of crime/traffic viol/ect.
                  John 3:16

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                  • #10
                    Tell your friend to show up in court. Change her hairstyle and color. wear glasses, if she doesn't normally. If the off duty did not stop her and cite her immediately, how is he going to prove she was actually driving the car? Oh, your friend should also ask for an adjournment to properly prepare her defense. While the authority is there, I don't know of any NY metro agency that would approve of an officer taking himself off his regular duties to appear in a case like this. Not to mention the possible OT expenses.

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                    • #11
                      Unless I on view it and immediately cite the offender there is no way I'm gonna do what this cop did to your 'friend'. Hell, I don't even think we can do that in my state...we can mail a citation for an accident, but if you litter then I'm either gonna have to cite you right then and there or not at all.
                      Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JSD73 View Post
                        Unless I on view it and immediately cite the offender there is no way I'm gonna do what this cop did to your 'friend'. Hell, I don't even think we can do that in my state...we can mail a citation for an accident, but if you litter then I'm either gonna have to cite you right then and there or not at all.
                        Two years in the state of Texas.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 914cophopefulNY View Post
                          yea thars what i thought... but even if it was a month ago? shouldnt the cop have written the summons and mail it? or it has to go through the court system first?
                          Indiana is two years for infractions,misdemeanors and I think even local ordnances is included.
                          "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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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dfwblue View Post
                            Two years in the state of Texas.
                            Thanks for refreshing my memory...but look at what he wrote...the woman has to go to court so he can issue her a ticket. The statute of limitations is two years....so he never made contact with her and only assumed it was her because he saw litter come out of the vehicle? Again, if I on view something, then I'll take care of it right then and there and I doubt I'd waste my time to file a warrant for something as piddly as Class C littering.
                            Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JSD73 View Post
                              Thanks for refreshing my memory...but look at what he wrote...the woman has to go to court so he can issue her a ticket. The statute of limitations is two years....so he never made contact with her and only assumed it was her because he saw litter come out of the vehicle? Again, if I on view something, then I'll take care of it right then and there and I doubt I'd waste my time to file a warrant for something as piddly as Class C littering.
                              Oh I agree. It would have to be a special kind of person to make me want to take that action.

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