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Ticket vs. Arrest


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  • Ticket vs. Arrest

    Ticket vs. Arrest

    News 8 Austin

    Report: APD wastes taxpayers' money
    7/22/2008 8:57 PM

    Texas police departments have had the ability to write tickets instead of making arrests for certain non-violent crimes.

    According to an Austin Public Safety Solutions report, the Austin Police Department is wasting Austin taxpayers' money.

    "There's an easy solution, and it should've been done a long time ago," the Central Texas Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union President Debbie Russell said.

    Since Sept. 1, 2007, APD – along with every other police department in Texas – has had the ability to write tickets, instead of arresting people for certain non-violent crimes such as the possession of small amounts of marijuana or driving without a valid license.

    "A third of people in our jails now don't need to be there," Russell said.

    The report says it cost APD about $5.4 million per year in lost time.

    "They should've worked things out already. It should have been done and ready to go Sept. 1, 2007," Russell said.

    But it wasn't, according to the report. Out of the 43,000 arrest made in 2007, almost 16,000 could have been taken care of with a ticket, instead of an arrest.

    The problem, according to APD, is that their jurisdiction is extends into three counties.

    "We're in Travis, we're in Williamson and we're in Hays. So we have three different court systems and sheriffs' booking facilities that our officers have to deal with. So we need a policy that will be effective in all three," Lt. Donald Baker, of APD, said.

    According to APD, Chief Art Acevedo is working on a roundtable discussion with all three to see if things can be worked out.

    "There's no reasons that we need to wait for other jurisdictions. There's one city, one chief, he makes one policy for his officers to follow," Russell said.

    It's a policy that doesn't exist yet, and until it does, some say APD will continue to waste taxpayers' money.
    I think an arrest sends an important message to an individual vs. a ticket. I also understand that overcrowding is an issue in some jails. I do not see an arrest as a waste of taxpayer's money since a violater of the law is removed from the streets (even temporarily).

    Would requiring house arrest for these non-violent crimes be an effective solution?

    What is your opinion?

  • #2
    In the fed system, we write tickets (USDC's) for many crimes that would be misdemeanor and arrestable offenses. Especially since the jail is so overcrowded where we are at, even after draggin them through the process the judge will often give them an unsecured bail or ROR.


    • #3
      It's at our discretion on whether we arrest on most misdemeanors, including those listed above. Due to the time it takes to get in and out of the jails here, most are just cited, or PTA on scene and released.

      A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

      It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.


      • #4
        We are MANDATED to cite out most misdemeanor suspects once they are positively IDed.....

        We are under a federal judges scrutiny for jail overcrowding.....while some may not feel that it is a 'waste of taxpayers money' to make custodial arrests, do they feel the same way about paying major $$$$$$ in civil penalties for violating this judges order?
        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"


        • #5
          In North Carolina we have the option to arrest or cite for most misdemeanors (some are manditory arrest, there are no manditory cite misdemeanors). I work pretty close to the Virginia line. So when I encounter someone who is, say for instance, driving without a license, and is a Virginia resident, I am more likely to make an arrest for it than if the person was a NC resident. The reason being that we cannot extradite someone for driving without a license. Having them post a secured bond increases the chance that they will come to court.

          In NC we can arrest for any misdemeanor, but most traffic misdemeanors, and some criminal misdemenanors are handled with a citation. Still, it is at the officer's option. If I wanted to arrest someone for expired registration I could, but I never have.

          I worked most of my career in Virginia, where citing for misdemeanors is generally required with a few exceptions, I cite and release a lot more often than some of my co-workers.

          "The Engine could still seemed to scare them"-Felix


          • #6
            I work in NC also. Landric is exactly right, we can either arrest or cite. Often the way it's handled is a direct result of the defendant and/or if I want to get into the vehicle to search.

            I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.


            • #7
              I can't exercise much discretion with misdemeanor arrests. Either the law says I have to take them into custody, domestic violence cases, or the jail staff tells me there's no room, everything else. If they don't have good ID I'll take them to the jail for picture and prints before cutting them loose.

              Back in the old days our jail was like an Irish family, there was always room for one more. Now, it's "Can't touch me, your jail's full!"


              • #8
                A small amount of MJ is a mandatory ticket. You can house someone because of no OL, but the jail will release them in short order to make room for more serios offenders.


                • #9
                  I truly doubt a judge would throw a TWENTY-THREE year old male in jail for failure to bring a "parent" with him to answer a traffic summons. There's got to be more to this. And the officer only cited him, doesn't seem like he put your son through the system. Getting down on the whole criminal justice system is a bit much. Perhaps you should sit your son down and explain that actions considered against society's norms result in the actor being punished.
                  Last edited by Dinosaur32; 07-25-2008, 12:18 AM.


                  • #10
                    For the most offences in my state, we have two avenues open to us - One is arrest and the other is to issue the grub a Notice To Appear (Similar to your citation I think) and depending on the offence, an Identifying Particulars Notice.

                    Arrest is used for the more serious offences and if the grub has a history of not appearing before the court if they're issued an NTA. The grub is taken to the Watchhouse where his Identifying Particulars taken (Photo, prints, etc). Before being released, the grub has to sign an Undertaking to Bail which has release conditions if required. That way the grub will commit a further offence if he doesn't go to court. No signature, no release.

                    The NTA informs them of the offence committed and when they have to appear in court for that offence. If they don't appear the Magistrate issues a warrant for their arrest. No offence is committed by failing to appear, however when they're arrested, they'll spend some time in the Watchhouse until the next court date.

                    The grub also has seven days, including the date the IDP Notice is issued, to go to a Police station to have his photo, prints, etc taken. If the grub doesn't show up, he commits another offence and he's listed as wanted.
                    If at first you don't succeed, remove all evidence of your attempt.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cherry_Topper View Post
                      Ticket vs. Arrest

                      I think an arrest sends an important message to an individual vs. a ticket.

                      What is your opinion?
                      Doesn't that depend heavily on the individual? I mean, wouldn't an arrest have a great deal of impact on someone with an otherwise clean record while having no impact whatsoever upon someone with multiple priors for whom getting arrested was a common event? At the same time, wouldn't the former be more likely than the latter to show up for court?


                      • #12
                        Trust me when I tell you Austin PD officers WANT to issue more cites instead of making custody arrests but we are limited by our general orders (policy).

                        The big cheeses might be making some changes soon but you know how that works, wish in one hand and crap in the other and see which ones fills up first.
                        Make the world a better place....punch a hippie in the face.

                        Be polite to everyone but be ready to kill them at a moments notice.

                        Former 11B3P, airborne!


                        • #13
                          Window tinting regulations vary by state.

                          As for ticket vs. arrest, I don't see why someone should be arrested for something that can be handled by a ticket unless the person was beligerent.

                          The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. – Thomas Jefferson


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JonesZ
                            You sound like a self-centered person hiding behind a badge and gun with no understanding of the long term decisions you make. Do everyone a favor and seek employment in the fast food industry.
                            I'm a self-centered person that is physically unable to hide behind a 2.5 inch star. Make no mistake, I have a full understanding of the long term decisions I make, it's just that quite frankly, I don't care how it affects you. You made your bed - sleep in it.

                            Do everyone a favor and go whine on an ALCU website about it.
                            "First of all, then we have to say the American public overwhelmingly voted for socialism when they elected President Obama." - Al Sharpton, March 21, 2010


                            • #15
                              When deciding whether to issue a ticket or make an arrest for ticketable offenses I weigh several factors.

                              1) The offense
                              2) Suspect's attitude
                              3) Manpower
                              4) How many hours are left in my tour.
                              5) Suspect's flight factor.

                              I weigh everything then decide what to do. I do think making an arrest sends a much more serious message that writing a ticket because being arrested and detained gives the suspect time to think about their actions.


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