FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SPEEDING TICKETS RED LIGHT CAMERA TICKETS OR ANY OTHER TYPE OF TRAFFIC TICKETS
25- If the officer does not show up in traffic court, Will the traffic ticket be automatically dismissed?
Though this may happen in some cases, there is nothing automatic about it. Most Judges will dismiss traffic tickets for a traffic infraction in California if the traffic officer does not appear in traffic court because defendants have a constitutional right to question their accusers. However, in some jurisdictions a Judge may reschedule the case altogether. It all depends on the jurisdiction, the traffic court, the Judge and the law. Most Judges feel the pain of people taking time off work and out of their lives to come to traffic court and will dismiss traffic tickets if the police officer does not show up, but the officers almost always show up.
26- If I get a traffic ticket in another state, would the California DMV find out about it?
The interstate Driver License Compact is an agreement between participating states that share information regarding certain types of traffic ticket convictions. Reports on traffic ticket violations and suspensions are forwarded to the home state of the nonresident. There are only a handful of states that are not members of the compact. There is also the National Driver Register, a database of information about drivers who have had their licenses revoked or suspended due to serious traffic ticket violations. States provide the register with information about these serious offenses, and those in the database can be denied licenses in other states.
27- Can I get out of a traffic ticket if I make up an excuse?
Most police officers are not interested in excuses. When an officer pulls you over, he already suspects you of a traffic infraction. You will have your chance to fight the traffic ticket in traffic court. Any explanation you give about why you were speeding is an admission that you were speeding. If an officer logs those explanations in his notes, the statements could later be used against you in traffic court. That is why, whenever an officer asks if you know why you have been pulled over, always answer “no”, and just take the traffic ticket. Never admit to speeding in the process of talking. Just be polite with the officer. Reasoning with the officer is something that might help you out if you actually are in a true emergency.
28- Will speed radar detectors always protect me from being pulled over for a speeding ticket?
SPEED RADAR detectors give drivers a false sense of security that they can speed as much as they want without facing the consequences of breaking the law. But speeding drivers are also more likely to commit other infractions, and a radar detector cannot tell you when an officer is watching you run that red light or make an illegal turn. Also, radar detectors are illegal in some jurisdictions. Radar detector users often find themselves chasing a new technology as law enforcement upgrades its speed detection devices. Many officers now routinely use lidar or lasers, and many states have banned the use of jammers designed to foil them.
29- What if I do not sign the traffic ticket?
Signing a traffic ticket is not an admission of guilt. The signature is merely an acknowledgement that you received the traffic ticket and a promise to appear in traffic court by the appearance date. Refusing to sign the traffic ticket will do nothing but agitate the officer and invite more scrutiny. In some states refusal to sign a traffic ticket can mean a trip to jail. The officer has the choice to either take you to jail or write on the traffic ticket “refused to sign”.
30- Can a police officer issue a traffic ticket if he is outside his own jurisdiction?
If the violation took place within his jurisdiction the answer is yes. If the violation took place outside his jurisdiction the answer is less clear. There may be inter-agency agreements that allow the police to exercise their authority outside their jurisdictions. There may also be state laws that allow inter-jurisdictional enforcement actions.
31- Does the officer have to show me the radar, lidar or laser reading?
This is not required in most jurisdictions including California. Also, whether the officer allows you to see the speed reading on his speed radar or lidar or laser has virtually no bearing on your speeding ticket. Officers can lock in radar readings and leave them on to display to any person, even though it was not their vehicle that registered the displayed speed.
32- Do the make, model and the color of the car cause the traffic officer to issue a traffic ticket?
There are no studies to confirm that red sports cars get more speeding tickets than an old white color car, but some suggest the bold cars and colors tend to attract more attention from everyone, including police officers.