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Old 09-09-2019, 08:48 AM
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How Should I Feel About This "Traffic Stop"


(after submitting this, I realize it maybe better belongs in great debates, my apologies and mods, feel free to move)

Let me preface this by stating that I have never been pulled over in my life for anything other than 2 or 3 speeding tickets (all deserved) and - generally speaking - would consider myself before this incident as "pro law enforcement".

That said, here is what i find to be a interesting scenario and one that has left me a little confused in terms of police tactics, profiling and what I now see as straight revenue generation.

I am driving home last week in chevy suburban on a country highway (one lane each way) through a lakeside town where every local knows there is at most times a marked officer who sits in his car and - literally - 50% of the time i drive through he has someone pulled over.

The speed limit is 55 and i am in a row of vehicles about 6 long. I see him well ahead and note i am driving about 49-51 so definitely not speeding. After we pass he pulls out, hits his lights, passes a few cars and then gets behind me, pulling me over.

I am buckled, I turn off the truck, grab my licenses, reg, and insurance and roll down my window and place both hands on the wheel. He takes an excessive amount of time (close to 10 mins) then exits his car, stays at the back and is shining his flashlight through my back window (tinted but legally). He then proceeds half way up the driver side toward me, sees me extend my hand with the papers from the steering wheel to the rolled down window to give him my license and paperwork. Instead of continuing, he walks to rear again (still using flashlight in every window), comes to passenger side and - rather aggressively - taps my passenger window (that is up) with his flashlight.

I have to turn my key back on to roll down the window and then we have the following dialogue:

Officer - Do you know why I pulled you over (no greeting, rather aggravated tone)

Me: No sir officer as I am pretty sure i was not speeding

Officer - You're right, you were not but you do have a license plate lamp out

Me: So you are pulling me over for a bulb out on my license plate?

Officer - Nope... but I now have probable cause - you would be surprised that stuff we find after a probable cause stop.

Me: (weak chuckle) - well you won't find anything else here

Officer - I'll be the judge of that, not you. License and proof of insurance. (at his point my glovebox is open and he is searching with his light throughout the truck)

Me: (Hand him the license and paperwork)

Officer - (reviews paperwork) - sir your insurance card is expired

Me: Well let me look around I know i have valid paperwork here (30 secs go by)

Officer - Wait here i will be right back (about 7 mins later - comes back with a ticket for no proof of insurance ticket)

Me: (I actually found the insurance card) Here is the proper insurance

Officer - You will need to show that to the judge on your court date, you did not present proper and valid insurance so i am writing you a ticket.

Now here i will freely admit i start to become agitated and as I ask him a second time why he can't just look at my insurance card so i do not have to make a court date. He responds as though I am speaking another langauge and just says "sign here"... to which i say "are you protecting and serving or just tax collecting?"

He chuckles and tells me to "get that light fixed, it is illegal to not illuminate your plate at night, hands me a copy and says "have a good night".

Now here is the real kicker for me... at this point I am thinking I am lucky he did not write a ticket for that light, and while it sucks to have to make a court date because the officer just wanted to be a dick, at least it will not cost me anything.

But when I arrive home, i leave the truck running to go look at the license plate light and find that the plate has two bulbs and while one was out the other was very bright and the plate was clearly visible. The bulbs are on each side of the plate and because he was on the shoulder going the same direction as I was, could see that one bulb was out even though the plate was fully luminated!

This obviously makes his comment about probable cause all the more relevant and clear that he was simply fishing for trouble. It also explains WHY he did not/could not write me a ticket for my plate not being visible.

So... i get that he was "letter of law" in his right, but to me - as a middle aged white guy - this really bring the whole "profiling debate" closer to home and i am not sure how i should feel about it.

As an afterward to this story... I called a close friend of mine who is a Police Officer in San Diego and relayed the story... and before i barely got started he said "let me stop you here and make a few guesses"... you were either in a small town or some resident community" (I respond affirmatively) he says... "yeah we have a name for those guys, accountants with guns... "its all about revenue and you were taxed"

Last edited by chargerrich; 09-09-2019 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:55 AM
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(after submitting this, I realize it maybe better belongs in great debates, my apologies and mods, feel free to move)
Moving thread from GQ to Great Debates.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:11 AM
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Doesn't surprise me in the least. Fight the ticket, these assholes are going for a shotgun/volume approach. Most of their targets are out of towners/out of staters, who will be too busy or inconvenienced to fight the ticket.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:13 AM
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If you have the time, I'd fight the ticket, and possibly report the officer. Maybe contact the media, too, and perhaps the local tourism office (if there is one). Not really more than a nuisance, but still a waste of public resources, IMO. Probably won't make any difference, but I'd be annoyed enough that I might try it anyway.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:17 AM
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Revenue generation. Avoid driving through that town if at all possible.

Last edited by Jackmannii; 09-09-2019 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:22 AM
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Yeah, go fight it in court.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:37 AM
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Certainly fight the ticket and even report him to the precinct, not because he was rude or mean or just out to write tickets, but because you presented him with valid proof on insurance, to which he refused to look at it and write you a ticket anyway.

Yes, it does appear that they use things like blown license plate lights as a revenue stream as well as to give them a reason to talk (or smell) people. But it is in fact illegal so you don't have a leg to stand on. Also, as for him coming to your passenger side, that's common. He does it to stay out of traffic, but also because it catches occupants off guard since they're not expecting it.
And if you're pro-law enforcement, I'm sure you're well aware that it's normal for them to be looking in your car with a flashlight during the stop, both contraband and to see if there are other occupants in the car.

Yes, fight the ticket, but also, mouthing off to a cop will almost never get the results you want right there on the street, however, it is a good way to talk yourself into handcuffs.

Also, if his answer to "So you are pulling me over for a bulb out on my license plate?" was really "Nope... but I now have probable cause", then I'd really think about going down and talking to someone. If he didn't pull you over for speeding and he didn't pull you over for the light, then why did you get pulled over?


PS, I wouldn't bother with contacting media about this unless you have a dashcam with audio.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:47 AM
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Charger, IMO, the citation was not issued constitutionally. UNTIL the stop is completed he must afford you Due Process. Refusing to revoke the citation after you showed proper proof of insurance, negates his PC to issue it. Fight it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:03 AM
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In Texas we would call this LEO encounter "Tuesday"
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:35 AM
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To be clear, I never thought anything was done illegally and in fact i think i stated as much in my OP. The post was more about how clear it was that he was just fishing for anything that would result in:

1. Contraband or DUI
2. A reason to run me through the system to look for warrants, violation, et al.
3. Generate revenue

My - admittedly - smart ass comment about protecting and serving was ill advised but that is all i can think about when pondering the stop.

Gone are the days when the police really were civil servants who's stated goal was to "protect and serve" not "find a way to arrest or make money". I know its nieve and ridiculous in today's culture to think that way... especially when half our prison's are privatized for profit (which is a whole other WTF) but I thought it was worth posting.

I plan to just take that day off from work, go to court and get it dismissed early and spend the day doing something enjoyable.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:38 AM
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You can fight the ticket, certainly. Make sure beforehand that the law doesn't say that both light bulbs have to be operational. Since he wrote the ticket for no proof of insurance, you might have a better chance of fighting that - show the judge the valid card, show that it was valid at the time you were stopped, and you might beat the ticket. Unless the cop says "no, he never showed me anything but the expired insurance" and if you don't have any way to prove that you did, you might be SOL.

Presuming that a ticket for a burned out license light bulb is less expensive than a "no proof of insurance" ticket, you might get it bargained down to that.

Yes, it sux. As many have pointed out, this is a revenue generator.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:37 PM
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Also, as for him coming to your passenger side, that's common.
Because I tend to drive somewhat on the fast side, I've been pulled over probably a few dozen times over the years. The officer has come to the driver's side every single time.

I realize that's still a small sample, but maybe the officer coming to the passenger side is common in certain parts of the country but not others?
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:58 PM
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Either that, or they were looking for a specific make/model of vehicle and your vehicle matched the description - that was my thought when you talked about him looking in the back and coming to the passenger side. You had the bad luck to match the description of someone else up to no good.

Or yeah, he's a dick and looking to meet his ticket quota/revenue generation.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:34 PM
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Not much debate here. Sorry that happened to you. Such minor insults make me realize how truly infuriating it would be, if I were not white, and had them occur more regularly as the result of profiling.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:44 PM
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Not much debate here. Sorry that happened to you. Such minor insults make me realize how truly infuriating it would be, if I were not white, and had them occur more regularly as the result of profiling.
This is a good point. This has never happened to me, but if it did, it would make me very angry (I feel angry just that it happened to someone else!), even though it's just a relatively small nuisance in the scheme of things. It's hard to imagine how I'd feel if something like this happened to me multiple times a year.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:52 PM
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Multiple times a year? I have friends for whom this sort of thing is a weekly occurrence. It infuriates me, and I'm not even the one inconvenienced.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:54 PM
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Revenue generation. Avoid driving through that town if at all possible.
I got a revenue generating ticket driving through Mt Lebanon (near Pittsburgh) once. The ticket was for speeding, but I had pretty good proof that I wasn't speeding, so I fought it.
SPOILER:
I had a receipt with time stamp from purchasing gas down the road from the VASCAR speed trap. I went back to the gas station when there was no speed trap and tried repeatedly to get my old Toyota Tercel up to the speed that was measured, and no matter how hard I pushed the car going up the hill from the gas station, I was always at least 10 mph slower than my measured speed. I assumed officer or mechanical error.


I took a day off work and brought my 4 year old daughter along for a "civics lesson". The court's waiting room was crowded with locals who were ticketed for wrong side of the street parking. They all had five dollar bills in their hands, along with $80 tickets. The routine was, plead guilty and get a reduced fine of $5.

The locals warned me that I'd be found guilty, no matter what, since I was from out of town, and they were correct. When I presented my evidence, the judge freaked out on me; saying that I came into his town driving like a maniac, endangered their children, then called his police officers liars. I was found guilty.

Afterwards the police officer found me in the hallway and apologized. She told me she believed my testimony and felt bad about the situation. She was new on the force and I was only her second speeding ticket. She explained how she thought she'd screwed up the device. She then offered to let my daughter come out to her car and play with the lights/siren, so all was not lost.
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Old 09-09-2019, 02:00 PM
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It's not clear from the OP whether the stop was racially motivated. I'm thinking not. Giving the cop the benefit of the doubt, maybe they were on the lookout for a vehicle that matches the description that OP was driving. That might explain the 10 minute delay before the cop approached the vehicle, and the abundance of caution used to do so. Would have been nice if the cop wasn't such a jackass and explained the cause for such unusual delay. Cops have bad days, just like everyone else. Problem is, they can make that someone else's problem. Which might be the explanation in this case. So yeah, time and circumstance permitting, fight the ticket and ask the judge to have the cop account for the delay. Not so much for an explanation, which may not be forthcoming, but to make the cop think twice about being such a dick in the future. May not work, but you never know -- the judge might just be fed up with that particular cop already.
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:32 PM
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Now, if the dashcam showed that the light was in fact on, but the officer still used that as the excuse for the traffic stop, and then proceeded to search the car and find a kilo of drugs: would that be grounds for the case to be thrown out?
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:40 PM
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Afterwards the police officer found me in the hallway and apologized. She told me she believed my testimony and felt bad about the situation. She was new on the force and I was only her second speeding ticket. She explained how she thought she'd screwed up the device. She then offered to let my daughter come out to her car and play with the lights/siren, so all was not lost.
Not fucking good enough. She's a liar. She's part of the system. She's a revenue collector. If she had a single gram of integrity (and obviously she doesn't) she would told that story about screwing up the device to the judge. But she didn't. I wouldn't have let her get all friendly with my daughter. I expect more of people my children might look up to.
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Old 09-09-2019, 05:43 PM
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If you have the time, I'd fight the ticket, and possibly report the officer.
Report the officer? To who?

The local chief of police? Who do you think set that cop's quota?

The mayor? The town council, whatever it's called? They're the ones driving the shakedown policy.

If you get ticketed in one of these shakedown operations, you're shit out of luck. Everyone, from the cop pulling you over to the chief of police to the mayor, everyone, is in on it.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:08 PM
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This is just another douchebag cop. You are lucky that he didn't pull you out of your car for mouthing off to him. I would fight the ticket and avoid that area.
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Old 09-09-2019, 07:32 PM
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Charger, IMO, the citation was not issued constitutionally. UNTIL the stop is completed he must afford you Due Process. Refusing to revoke the citation after you showed proper proof of insurance, negates his PC to issue it. Fight it.
It is very common for an officer to be unable to void a ticket after it's written.* The OP can certainly fight the ticket, and depending upon how the law regarding insurance is written, he may get it dismissed - it's possible that the law simply requires that insurance be in effect and failing to produce the card is not a separate violation.



* If the officer can't void the ticket, he can't take a bribe to void the ticket and can't "fix" tickets written by other officers to his friends and relatives.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:16 PM
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It is very common for an officer to be unable to void a ticket after it's written.* The OP can certainly fight the ticket, and depending upon how the law regarding insurance is written, he may get it dismissed - it's possible that the law simply requires that insurance be in effect and failing to produce the card is not a separate violation.
* If the officer can't void the ticket, he can't take a bribe to void the ticket and can't "fix" tickets written by other officers to his friends and relatives.
Can't void the ticket? Are you generally speaking of policy or pursuant to law?

If you can unarrest a person, why can't you uncite a person?
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:51 PM
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Can't void the ticket? Are you generally speaking of policy or pursuant to law?

If you can unarrest a person, why can't you uncite a person?
It's very common for agencies to have polices that the officer cannot void the summons once it is written. Perhaps in some states it's a law. I assume that even in those places officer can void a ticket if he/she made a clerical error in writing it out - but then it will be obvious that the next ticket was issued to the same person/vehicle.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:24 PM
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It's very common for agencies to have polices that the officer cannot void the summons once it is written. Perhaps in some states it's a law. I assume that even in those places officer can void a ticket if he/she made a clerical error in writing it out - but then it will be obvious that the next ticket was issued to the same person/vehicle.
I understand about voiding a citation once written, but my argument was, if PC existed to issue it, then facts that came into evidence on the scene that abrogated that PC, when the officer files it under the criminal or traffic rules, isn't that perjury and violates DP?

I'm not speaking of any favoritism or such to a fellow officers family, etc.

If an officer has PC to arrest and does so, then before the trip downtown, PC is voided by evidence, (let's assume arguendo this to be factually true), if the officer stiil makes the full arrest, that violates the 4th AM.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:46 PM
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I understand about voiding a citation once written, but my argument was, if PC existed to issue it, then facts that came into evidence on the scene that abrogated that PC, when the officer files it under the criminal or traffic rules, isn't that perjury and violates DP?
When is the officer perjuring himself? When he wrote the ticket the person was unable to provide proof of insurance. Showing that proof to the officer 7 minutes later , an hour later, a day later doesn't mean the officer was committing perjury when he signed the ticket.



Quote:
If an officer has PC to arrest and does so, then before the trip downtown, PC is voided by evidence, (let's assume arguendo this to be factually true), if the officer stiil makes the full arrest, that violates the 4th AM.
And if evidence comes to the officer's attention after he's taken downtown and awaiting arraignment, the decision is out of the officer's hands. Sure, the officer can tell the prosecutor about the new evidence, just like the ticket-writing officer can tell the prosecutor that the driver eventually produced the insurance card. And maybe the prosecutor will dismiss that ticket before the court date ( I've actually seen that happen many times with summonses for disorderly conduct - in my jurisdiction it's called "declined prosecution"). At some point, whether it's an arrest or a ticket, the decision is out of the officer's hands and in someone else's. In some places, that discretion ends when the ticket is written.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:54 PM
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Even of you beat the ticket and get it dropped, will you still have to pay bullshit court costs?
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:05 PM
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Too late to edit: The oath /affirmation that could result in perjury is on the ticket itself- there's no additional oath when it's sent to court. It wasn't perjury when the officer signed it. There would be another oath if the case went to trial - which it almost certainly won't since providing proof to the court that there was valid insurance (possibly through a hearing online or by mail) will most likely result in a dismissal

Last edited by doreen; 09-09-2019 at 11:06 PM.
  #30  
Old 09-09-2019, 11:26 PM
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He...tells me to "get that light fixed, it is illegal to not illuminate your plate at night"...

But when I arrive home, i...find that the plate has two bulbs and while one was out the other was very bright and the plate was clearly visible.
He was giving you a folksy summation of the law, not a precise rendition. It's a virtual certainty that the statute requires all factory license lights to be working.
_____

Quote:
"i leave the truck running to go look at the license plate light."
No need to leave it running. Virtually all cars and light trucks have license lights, taillights, and parking lights that come on whether or not the ignition is on.
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Old 09-09-2019, 11:57 PM
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Doesn't surprise me in the least. Fight the ticket, these assholes are going for a shotgun/volume approach. Most of their targets are out of towners/out of staters, who will be too busy or inconvenienced to fight the ticket.
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Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
Report the officer? To who?

The local chief of police? Who do you think set that cop's quota?

The mayor? The town council, whatever it's called? They're the ones driving the shakedown policy.

If you get ticketed in one of these shakedown operations, you're shit out of luck. Everyone, from the cop pulling you over to the chief of police to the mayor, everyone, is in on it.
Yes, fight it. You should be able to win this easily.

But try to make it as expensive as possible for them (so they don't make any revenue from this). Request that the officer be required to spend part of a day testifying in court. Request a jury trial, so they have to call up a jury for this case. And drag out the case as long as possible, to use up the court time and the salaries of the judge, bailiff, court reporter, etc. And if there are any businesses in that town that you patronize, like gas stations, etc., next time you go in there, mention to the owner that you won't be in any more -- you now take a different route to avoid the tax-generator cops in the town.
  #32  
Old 09-10-2019, 12:21 AM
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I haven't read all the responses, so this may have already been mentioned, but PHOTOGRAPH the license plate at night to prove that it's visible (and FYI I just looked at my car, and there is only one license plate bulb, so I doubt the law says you have to have two).

Also, I was stopped years ago and did not have proof of insurance in the car. I was issued a ticket, and subsequently sent proof of insurance to the court (I did not have to physically go to court) and the ticket was dismissed.
  #33  
Old 09-10-2019, 06:16 AM
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Once I write a cite I am prohibited from voiding it. But a person doesn't always have to go to court to get it voided, some tickets can be voided by our Chief or Deputy Chief.

LTU2 is all wet on some of his assertions.
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Old 09-10-2019, 02:13 PM
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The officer doesn't seem to know what he was talking about. He seems pretty clear that the justification for the stop was the unlit bulb. I'm not sure what he meant when he replied "Nope but now I have probable cause. Probable cause for what? To search your car? No way. To arrest you? Negative. He may have had PC to believe that you committed an infraction by having the light out but not more than that. Its been mentioned in other threads but the old "Do you know why I stopped you?" while common, is not considered best practice. Modern training is that the officer should tell you right from the start the reason for the stop. Cops are allowed to make stops for traffic violations with the hope of finding something more but the officer still has to follow the rules. For instance, in my state, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion (and articulate that in reports) that you are up to no good before asking for consent to search your car. Of course, you can always refuse. If its not too much of a hassle, go to court. Even in cases where the driver couldn't produce the requested document, the charge is often dismissed or lowered when you show up with the document. There may still be court costs involved. Voiding tickets can be done, depending on the jurisdiction. It may require an affidavit from the officer as to why he wants to do this. Its not simply a matter of the officer saying "never mind" once the ticket is written.

By the way, did you get a written warning for the light? If he didn't document the reason for the stop somewhere, that could be an avenue to pursue. That said, he may have just reported over the radio "One ticket for insurance card., one warning for lamps." even if he didn't write up a formal warning. Once you start getting into the weeds on this stuff, a lawyer is highly recommended. Again, how much does it mean to you? They count on you to not pursue things in court.
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Old 09-10-2019, 04:01 PM
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He was giving you a folksy summation of the law, not a precise rendition. It's a virtual certainty that the statute requires all factory license lights to be working.
Not in NY:
4. if required to display a number plate on the rear, a white light
which shall illuminate the numerals on such plate in such manner as to
render such numerals legible for at least fifty feet from the rear. The
provisions of this subparagraph shall also apply to trailers.

As long as plate is illuminated with white light there is no stipulation on all bulbs be working.
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Old 09-10-2019, 05:56 PM
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I present to you... Mountain View, Colorado.

Quote:
A 12-block town with 10 police officers made more than half its revenue from traffic tickets and court fees [...]

The state's average is about 4 percent made from fines and fees.
It's not even out out in the boondocks. Just a 6 block by 2 block chunk of the suburban grid. Annoying as fuck.
  #37  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:44 AM
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I think you should feel angry, write an OP in the SDMB to vent that anger, and forget it, lest we end up like this. I hope you are already feeling better.
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  #38  
Old 09-11-2019, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Enola Gay View Post
I haven't read all the responses, so this may have already been mentioned, but PHOTOGRAPH the license plate at night to prove that it's visible (and FYI I just looked at my car, and there is only one license plate bulb, so I doubt the law says you have to have two).
I doubt this would help because the cop and court could always spuriously claim that the OP's plate bulb was out at the time of the ticket and that the OP has now simply just fixed it and is now photographing the now-fixed bulb.
  #39  
Old 09-11-2019, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jonesj2205 View Post
Not in NY:
4. if required to display a number plate on the rear, a white light
which shall illuminate the numerals on such plate in such manner as to
render such numerals legible for at least fifty feet from the rear. The
provisions of this subparagraph shall also apply to trailers.

As long as plate is illuminated with white light there is no stipulation on all bulbs be working.
The relevant paragraph may be in a separate location. Generally, all exterior lights on a vehicle must be functional. Whether there is on license plate bulb or two, if you have multiple brake lights, all must be operative.

Last edited by sps49sd; 09-11-2019 at 11:20 AM.
  #40  
Old 09-11-2019, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Lance Turbo View Post
I present to you... Mountain View, Colorado.



It's not even out out in the boondocks. Just a 6 block by 2 block chunk of the suburban grid. Annoying as fuck.
Wasn't that one of the 'features' of Ferguson, MO when that suddenly was in the news so much?
  #41  
Old 09-11-2019, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by chargerrich View Post
Gone are the days ...
Why do you think there ever was such a day? The policing system, especially in rural areas and in the South, was created to maintain the social hierarchy.
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  #42  
Old 09-11-2019, 03:38 PM
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I doubt this would help because the cop and court could always spuriously claim that the OP's plate bulb was out at the time of the ticket and that the OP has now simply just fixed it and is now photographing the now-fixed bulb.
Well, then the problem has been fixed, so the Judge should be willing to dismiss the ticket.

Around here, those would be issued as fix-it tickets: you have 14 days to get the problem fixed and then bring the car to any police officer, who can look at the fixed problem/repair bill from a mechanic and then void the ticket. (In some towns, the police even give out coupons provided by local repair shops that give X $ off on such repairs.)
  #43  
Old 09-11-2019, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jonesj2205 View Post
Not in NY:
4. if required to display a number plate on the rear, a white light
which shall illuminate the numerals on such plate in such manner as to
render such numerals legible for at least fifty feet from the rear. The
provisions of this subparagraph shall also apply to trailers.

As long as plate is illuminated with white light there is no stipulation on all bulbs be working.
I realize state laws differ, and OP doesn't say which state. But OP's public profile says 'Midwest' and the first three states I checked (IL, WI, IN) had laws similar to NY's, all with the 50' visibility requirement, all mentioning a white light, none specifically saying or even implying IMO that multiple license plate lights all have to work just because they are there even if one sufficiently illuminates the plate.

I think like other cases of revenue-oriented traffic stops, it ends up as a ticket for the most plausible thing, in this case that valid insurance card wasn't produced immediately, and the validity of other claims or the original pretext for the stop is only important if person challenges the ticket and the local court is in any mood to consider throwing out the ticket because of that. Which is many cases they wouldn't be, which is why realistically most people vent and commiserate about stuff like this but just pay it.

My 50% similar story is one of three times in 40+ yrs I've been pulled over (warning for expired inspection sticker in LA where I lived, warning for speeding in IN when passing passing through, I think he was exaggerating my speed just after a 55>45mph transition but could have caught me going 90 [on small rural road] a few miles back so I'm not up on my high horse about it and the following). 'Pulled over' by a pedestrian cop, in Jersey City NJ near where I live, for supposedly blocking an intersection in a traffic jam, actually avoiding another guy who recklessly cut me off, in front of near zero traffic side street to/from an area of abandoned warehouses. Anyway that kind of went away and it ended up as a ticket for no valid insurance card...which I later found I just hadn't dug deep enough in the glove box to find, but after everything was over. He said it would it be fine if I showed up in court with the valid card. Nope, that just reduced it from a shitload to pretty expensive. Revenue raising.

Last edited by Corry El; 09-11-2019 at 04:40 PM.
  #44  
Old 09-11-2019, 04:57 PM
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Back when I was young and very poor, I drove a range of different jalopies. I'm talking a beat up Pinto, a Datsun B610 that had been rolled, a super oxidized late 60's VW bug, etc. During this decade of my life, I was routinely pulled over for having lights out, not coming to complete stops, having a cracked windshield, having a bald tire (that was a real excuse for pulling me over), etc. Most of these incidents didn't end up with a citation after they had looked through my car as much as possible (I did get a few well deserved speeding tickets).

Now that I drive a "nice" car and have gray hair, I never get pulled over.

That's my anecdotal evidence.
  #45  
Old 09-12-2019, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
Report the officer? To who?

The local chief of police? Who do you think set that cop's quota?

The mayor? The town council, whatever it's called? They're the ones driving the shakedown policy.

If you get ticketed in one of these shakedown operations, you're shit out of luck. Everyone, from the cop pulling you over to the chief of police to the mayor, everyone, is in on it.
From my brother-in-law, the policeman: The sergeant shouting as roll call ends and the police officers are leaving the room, "Fifteen tickets! I need fifteen tickets from each of you tonight!"
  #46  
Old 09-12-2019, 07:16 AM
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Would the OP mind telling us the name of this podunk shithole town where the fleecing occurred so we can all avoid it.

Unless of course a public news article has since appeared saying that a certain officer was removed from the force for unreported reasons.
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  #47  
Old 09-12-2019, 07:49 AM
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It's named Anytown, USA.

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  #48  
Old 09-12-2019, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babale View Post
Doesn't surprise me in the least. Fight the ticket, these assholes are going for a shotgun/volume approach. Most of their targets are out of towners/out of staters, who will be too busy or inconvenienced to fight the ticket.
We have owned our place in Connecticut since 1991, and I am now officially a resident of NY because of needing to be near my Mom in her managed care facility and keeping the family house from being robbed after my brother passed so my vehicle has NY tags on it. I got pulled over by the local state cops in WIllimantic on my way home a couple nights ago. The novice statie and his old timer trainer walked up to the van and he started to give me the whole deal figuring I was out of state and touristy until the trainer who I have known for about 20 years and I started chatting about his sheep. Trainee objected, figuring I guess that since I was out of state he *had* to find something to give me a ticket for, so my buddie told him to back off, I was only out of state because my bro had died and I was living at the family home taking care of my mom and that my husband had been Navy and we had lived in state for longer than the trainee had been alive
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  #49  
Old 09-12-2019, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Snake_Plissken View Post
From my brother-in-law, the policeman: The sergeant shouting as roll call ends and the police officers are leaving the room, "Fifteen tickets! I need fifteen tickets from each of you tonight!"
You know, I hear stuff like this about quotas all the time - and the number always seems to be around 10-15. Maybe it's an actual problem somewhere- but I have a 15 minute drive to work and on most days, there are at least 15 tickets that could be written on that commute. A cop working a full shift here shouldn't have any problems writing 15 legit tickets.

Tell me the sergeant wants 100 tickets from each, and I can see where that's an incentive to write bogus tickets. But a quota of 15 tickets a shift in itself doesn't really explain it.
  #50  
Old 09-12-2019, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Tim@T-Bonham.net View Post
Yes, fight it. You should be able to win this easily.

But try to make it as expensive as possible for them (so they don't make any revenue from this). Request that the officer be required to spend part of a day testifying in court. Request a jury trial, so they have to call up a jury for this case. And drag out the case as long as possible, to use up the court time and the salaries of the judge, bailiff, court reporter, etc. And if there are any businesses in that town that you patronize, like gas stations, etc., next time you go in there, mention to the owner that you won't be in any more -- you now take a different route to avoid the tax-generator cops in the town.
I don't know about your jurisdiction, but you aren't entitled to a jury trial for civil infractions in mine.
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