Traffic tickets - are they dismissed if you don't sign the summons?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by haleyvan, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. haleyvan macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2006
    so today i got pulled over for speeding and failing to yeild to a pedestrian in VA. i was issued 2 summons, one for each, but she only asked me to sign one, which says that I promise to come to court, blah blah. does anyone know if the ticket gets thrown out of the cop forgets to ask you to sign the ticket? everyone who i've talked to has said, yes they think so, but the cop has called my house and gotten my cell phone number and is leaving me messages to come down to the cop station to sign the summons. can she do that? should i just ignore the phone calls? any advice welcome!
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603


    Jul 11, 2006
    I think they are allowed to. You should go down there.
  3. Aniej macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2006
    Hmm I must have signed in by accident instead of This topic is something I know a good deal about actually, and not because I have received a bunch of tickets. I was a police officer prior to going to law school. The signature at the bottom of the citation is typically just an acknowledgment of receiving the citation, not an admission of culpability. The whole process is just an added measure to ensure notice is provided to the defendant that they will need to appear in court. Nevertheless, your signature is not required; how many criminals (I am specifically referring to criminals who get motor vehicle violations and know the system, not the average mac loving citizen who gets a ticket once and a while) do you think would actually sign it if they knew failing to do so would result in their citation being dismissed? I, and every police officer I know, write in the signature area "citation received" because people always want to get into it with you over why they will not sign the ticket and it is an officer safety issue of reaching in the car window and allowing someone to take a sharp metal pen.

    Unless you really are seeking a way to get out of this specific ticket and are confident that a citation lacking a signature is dispositive of liability, I would suggest you find a way to sign the ticket. While I highly doubt anything would happen to you if you simply said you are too busy and that she should have asked you to sign it when you were stopped, the concern I have is less the immediate one ticket issue and more the fact that you will now have a pissed off cop in front of the judge looking for any reason to screw you on the ticket process. Look, most cops are pretty decent people and some are actually really cool and badass, but some get power trips and it would suck if you got the latter.

    In the end going to sign the ticket, being cool and nice to her if she seems at all receptive, might result in something you don't expect. If she is on you to sign this, then there is likely some reason she cares. I would suggest that when you meet up with her you be nice and say look I took time off from work to come here, this ticket is really going to kill me, how many people do you know that would come down here... is there anyway you could help me out a little by reducing the speed (if it was high enough that this would help) or making one of these a lesser infraction or something, I would really appreciate it, especially in light of the effort I made to take care of the signature issue.

    Good luck! and let me know how it goes.

    Two qualifying points
    1. I was a police officer in a very large 500+ officer police department so I have seen my fair share of you know what during my time on the job.

    2. I sure as heck was not a Virgina police officer so there is clearly a chance they have different motor vehicle codes that require your signature, but it is unlikely.
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    And the fact that you're guilty of both counts is making me suggest that you just go down there, sign the bloody thing, and follow procedure. Even if you can get away with not paying, you know you did it. If it was all questionable, then OK, but why are people so keen on trying to get away from this when they're already been given a ticket and know they're guilty?

    If you think you're not guilty, then my apologies. But you didn't make it sound as though you were caught at 3 mph over the speed limit or something (which sucks), so I'm guessing you were actually speeding to a legitimately dangerous level?
  5. BengalDuck macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2006
    Just arrange a time to go sign it. Seems like you're already in enough trouble. No sense in trying to bury yourself even more. Do you really want every cop pulling you over for the slightest things from now on? Trust me... make it as easy as possible for the police officers, or you will pay...

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