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Information You Must Gather While Your Ticket is Being Written

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Information You Must Gather While Your Ticket is Being Written

Les Foster
October 29, 2012


When you're stopped for a traffic citation one of the most important things to remember is pleading your case or arguing with the officer will get you nowhere. There are a few things you might want to consider while the officer is writing you a ticket. Gather information that may be useful later. Here are a few things you should look out for and make notations

When you're stopped for a traffic citation one of the most important things to remember is pleading your case or arguing with the officer will get you nowhere. Generally when the officer starts writing the ticket it's yours regardless if you feel it's appropriate. At this point you should try to keep as low of a profile as possible and this means not making up excuses because the officer has practically heard them all and he's not going to budge.

Although there are a few things you might want to consider while the officer is writing you a ticket. Typically the officer will go back to his vehicle to begin writing out the citation. So while he's doing this you should use this opportunity to gather information that may be useful later. You should immediately focus on minor details which are easier to remember but get as much information as you can during this short period of time. What you want to focus on are things the officer may not remember. This can come in handy when you're in court. Here are a few things you should look out for and make notations:

The patrol car's information such as the make, model, unit and license plate number. Make a note of the precise location of the violation and how far from that location your currently you where stopped.

Never rely on the weather conditions option that checked on the ticket. Make sure you notate all weather conditions, including temperature, windy or cloudy etc.

If you have passengers remember to ask them to remain silent during the citation process and always document their names and where they were seated in the vehicle.

While it may seem odd, make a note of what you were wearing at the time of citation. Notate any and all distinctive uniqueness about your car. For example; dents, color or types of rims and tires.

A very important factor you need to notate is what the officer says to you, your passengers or when talking over the radio if possible. Often the officer issuing the citation is not the officer that operated the radar devise and this information can be quite useful to your case.

Also a very critical component to remember and notate is the traffic conditions, during the violation as well as while your receiving the citation. It beneficial to express and remember specific traffic conditions especially if traffic is heavy.

Once you receive your citation the officer will ask you to review it before signing. And while signing does not constitute your guilt but conformation of your receipt of the ticket.

Ask the officer prior to signing if you can have the court date and location moved to a county court circuit, if the officer refuses then ask him to politely to notate your request and his refusal.

If he refuses again simply sign the ticket and make note of his refusal.

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