Can you give a police officer who pulls you over collateral?

I am a musician and am always running to concerts, at which I have to arrive by a certain time. In my line of work, I accompany choirs so a whole lot of people depend on me to be on time.

I haven’t been pulled over by a cop yet. But I always wonder, if I do get pulled over for something like improper turning or improper passing, or some other minor violation, and I absolutely MUST arrive on time for a concert, is it possible for me to say to a cop something like, here, take my credit cards, my license, my house key, whatever, registration, and I’ll come to the police station after my concert to pay whatever fines are necessary? In other words, I’d be giving the officer collateral in exchange for his letting me go on my way. I would certainly pay the ticket, but I need to get to a concert! People are depending on me.

Now, I know, you’re going to say, “If you drive safely and plan to give yourself plenty of time to get there, you wouldn’t have this issue.” Yes, I know this. I’m just saying hypothetically, would officers accept something valuable if they know that the person is running late for something really important? On any other ordinary day, I’d of course respectfully accept a summons or ticket or what have you. But I’m late! I find it awful to think that an officer would say “Tough shit!” no matter if not arriving on time can kill your career or cause other serious issues in your life.

Any policemen that can tell me what to do JUST IN CASE I find myself having made a stupid mistake, and respectfully asking to postpone the ticket giving until after my commitment is complete? Do police officers have discretion in this or is there a policy? Assume I’d have no issues going to the police station afterwards and suffering the penalties I’ve incurred.



Yes, some probably would, depending on the value involved. This is called “bribery”.

The trouble is, most cops (and the tendency has likely increased in the era of body and car-cams) would slap on a bribery charge to whatever offense you’ve already racked up, and I’m pretty sure offering an additional valuable consideration would not help matters.

You could always emulate a certain Ohio State quarterback and say “I’m a well-known musician, officer - is there nothing you can do?”

IANOPO and I’ve not received a ticket in more than 30 years so things may have changed.

In my experience you will not be taken to the police station to pay the fine (except possibly if you’re out of state). You will be given a ticket which will have a court date on it or more likely a phone number or URL to consult for a court date.

However, the process of writing the ticket may take some time as they will ask for your car registration and might well check to see if you have any outstanding warrants.

Let me understand: You just want to roll down the window, hand something to the police officer, and be on your way without waiting for him to write a ticket. Is that correct?

If I have understood your question correctly: The answer is no. At the very least, the officer must get your license and call in to check if it has been suspended or revoked and check to see if there are any warrants out for your arrest.

It can be even worse if your license is from a state that is not a member of the Non-Resident Violators Compact (like Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, and Wisconsin) and you are outside your home state. In that case you may have to accompany the officer to the police station to post bail (unless you have a bond card acceptable to the state).

If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.

Saying that you’re going to a concert and that you really urgently need to wait a few hours before interacting with the police sounds like a good way to get stuck there even longer while a drug dog is called.

Are you asking this on behalf of all the many, many, many, many, other people who have jobs where whole lot of people depend on them—or because an accompanist is just so much more important than all of those, so you think the cops might make a special exception?

In no case that I can imagine, will any cop give a rat’s ass about your problems with getting somewhere on time.

ETA: Plus, what Lord Feldon said.

No offense intended, but getting to a piano concert is simply not really important.

Says the guy who doesn’t have piano in his username. Heh. :smiley:

But what if he’s a critical part of the terrorism emergency response team - the guy who always shows up the next day to play “Imagine”?

Yeah, I’m gonna give “It’s a musical emergency, officer!” about a 2% chance of success - and perhaps a 30% chance of raising red flags that lead to an extended delay.

I’d recommend you not plan to use this when you have less than a couple of hours to spare,

Years ago I was pulled over by a cop because I had a broken brake light bulb. I was out of the car talking to him on the road and he asked for my licence. I told him it was in the glove box and turned to go and get it. Immediately I turned back around and said, “Sorry it’s in the glove box of my other car.”

He asked where the car was and I told him at home, just minutes away. He said he would follow me there to sight my licence. I said that would be fine and turned to walk to my car. Immediately I turned back, “Sorry,” I said, “I just remembered a friend borrowed that car to go to Queensland. He won’t be back for a week.”

Despite how suspicious this all must have looked he followed me home, checked my ID with my housemates and allowed me to have the licence sighted a week later.

Then you’ll really be disturbed by him laughing in your face.

I know a woman who was pulled over for not stopping all the way at a stop-sign. She urgently explained that she was a block from home and her bladder was about to burst. Officer Friendly slowed waaaaay down at that point and she pissed her pants.

If you’ve never been pulled over, you really might be overestimating how long of a process it typically is. If just that little bit of delay is enough to cause dire consequences for so many people, you’re already late.

I knew I’d get something like this. I of course realize being an accompanist is not that important. Please don’t focus on what I do, it’s just ancillary to my point. I’m asking in general about if you need to get ANYWHERE fast, and my own experience is the first thing that came to mind as an example.

So, the first one. :slight_smile:

So are you saying the officer does have discretion…once he or she confirms your license and registration and that you don’t have any warrants out for your arrest?

These other stories I’m reading seem to indicate that it depends on the officer and if they’re in a good mood.

I’m guessing officers hear excuses all the damn time. But there’s no police department policy against making separate arrangements with the driver if both parties consent? Note: nobody in my scenario is planning on screwing over the cops. Assume these people are good citizens who will pay at the first opportunity.

Musical Emergency is a great band name.

I don’t think it would be bribery. He’s not giving the cops something to convince them to not get a ticket. He’s giving them something that he needs back to prove that he’ll come and collect his ticket later.

However I doubt it’s going to work. I think the cop is most likely going to hold you there for the 10 or 15 minutes it’s going to take him to write you a ticket. That’s part of the punishment for what you did. When my employees are running late for a delivery I always tell them not to speed (too much), I’d rather they got somewhere 5 minutes later than get pulled over and end up there 30 minutes late.

You can make the offer and tell then you’re in a hurry and the cop will probably say ‘don’t worry this will only take a few minutes’, but we all know getting a ticket, for some reason, is like getting a prescription filled, no one knows what they’re doing back there but it takes way longer than it seems like it should.

Back in high school my girlfriend was particularly proud of her quick thinking when she got pulled over in a similar situation (although I believe it for speeding), a similar distance from home. She quickly popped out her contact and said she was speeding home because she needed to get her contact into solution. And the cop just sent her on her way! She just admitted to the cop that she was speeding, while half blind, and the cop didn’t even bother to tell her how stupid/irresponsible/dangerous that was, but just sent her on her way without even a license/insurance check.

So, sometimes, you do get lucky, I guess.

Either the cop needs you to stay there while he runs your license and registration and writes a ticket which you’ll pay later, in which case you’re free to leave after it’s done, or he needs you to come down to the station for some reason, in which case he doesn’t trust you and isn’t going to enter some ‘arrangement’.

No police department anywhere, ever operates on a policy of ‘everybody is a good citizen who plans to pay their tickets at the first opportunity’ or ‘no one ever tries to get one over on the cops’. You wouldn’t need a police force if you could make that assumption.

Yes, he’s giving the cops something valuable so they don’t write him a ticket, with a tale about coming back later that may or may not actually happen. The cop is going to think ‘good luck convincing a judge about the come back later part if he doesn’t actually do it’, and either continue what he was going to do or add bribery to the charges.