A lot of people get nervous when they hear the sound of a police siren. Your heart jumps in your throat when you realize a police vehicle is behind you. You double-check your seat belt and grip the steering wheel with both hands at ten-and-two. The siren gets closer, so you merge out of the way, hoping it goes past.
Do You Have to Sign a Ticket?
If police sirens stress people out, it’s likely they’re uncomfortable around police in general. What if you say the wrong thing and irritate the officer? What if this causes him to give you a ticket, or worse? He’s asking you to sign the ticket, are you required to do so?
You signed the ticket, does that mean you admitted that you’re guilty? Can you still contest the ticket even though it’s been signed? Is forcing people to sign the ticket legal? Can you contest the signing of the ticket?
These are questions that go through your head as the officer heads down the road. Luckily, signing your traffic violation ticket is not an admission of guilt. It’s merely the acknowledgment that you received the ticket and will show up in court. If you skip the court date to avoid the violation, you could face significant penalties.
Signing the Ticket
If you are asked by an officer to sign a traffic ticket, do so. You are legally required to sign the citation if the officer asks you to. Refusing to sign a criminal citation is a misdemeanor and could lead to criminal charges. This is rare, but still not a good idea, just to avoid signing the ticket.
It’s best to be respectful to the officer instead of being rude or belligerent. You could face an obstruction of justice charge or an accusation of resisting arrest. This is as unlikely as the misdemeanor charge, but still not worth it. Refusing to sign the citation is still the wrong choice to make.
What if the Officer is Rude or Belligerent?
If the officer is rude to you and shows disrespect, you can file a complaint. Give the officer’s information from the ticket to the person you file the complaint with. Make sure you write everything down about the encounter and only deal with the facts. To learn more information about filing a complaint against an officer, click here.
Refusal to Sign Does Not Cancel the Ticket or the Court Date
If you refuse to sign the ticket, the officer can still issue you the ticket. You still have to pay the fine and show up in court. Even if marked “Refused,” the ticket is still valid. The officer issued it to you, and regardless of signature, it is now your responsibility.
What Happens in Court?
If you are certain of your innocence, it’s best to contest your ticket in court. If an officer gives you a ticket, it is unlikely they will change their mind. Contesting your charge with a judge might help you avoid the fine altogether. Also, if the officer misses your court date, the judge can drop the citation.
What if I Can’t Pay My Ticket?
If you can’t pay your ticket within the time limit, you can request a payment plan. Sometimes the officer can suggest you take a traffic safety class instead of paying the fine. The judge will likely comply with that suggestion if both parties agree to it. You can also ask for community service or ask for a lower amount.
If You’re In Trouble, Give Us A Call
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact Blackman Bail Bonds for help. We can help you post bail so you can await your trial from home. We’re available 24 hours, seven days a week, and are here to help.