Question About Traffic Ticket

Can I have a traffic ticket dismissed if the officer didn’t sign it (just printed his last name)?

The jurisdiction is New York City. The offense was operating a vehicle without wearing a seatbelt. $70 hangs in the balance.

Thanks in advance!!

[sub]Please no guesses or preaching!![/sub]


(Wow, in Wisconsin it’s $10)

If blocking out his last name is how he signs his tickets, it’s how he signs his tickets. So, no, I doubt you can get off for that reason, but it seems unlikely that a cop would show in court if you contested.

Or, you could just pay your ticket or face the wrath of an angry god, you seat-belt unwearing sinner!

threemae mentions your best bet, and that’s a thin one. Go to court and hope the cop’s a no-show. I think they (the cops) get several shots at you, though. You may wind up going several times.
The judge might reduce some fines, but tha seatbelt law is a favorite child in many juristictions.
Kiss the 70 bucks goodbye and wear your seatbelt. Such an easy thing to do, I don’t understand how people get caught without it. :rolleyes:
[sub]I’ll preach if I want to[/sub]. :wink:

On an somewhat unrelated note:

If you do have to pay the fine. Pay it with a check for exactly $1 dollar over the amount. In a few days time you should get a check back from the state for exactly $1. NEVER cash the check and the ticket should never appear on your insurance record. According to most state laws they cannot update your record until the debt between you and the state has been finalized. They can’t come after you for not paying and they can’t force you to cash the check. The check should expire close to the time that the stature expires if the check expires at all.

Do you have a link to any of those state laws, Marduk? Because, according to snopes, that story is false.

This being GQ and all…

Marduk do you have either personal experience with this or a cite? If it gets posted to internet message boards then I’m sure that the insurance companies know about this. It sounds like a clever way to pay the ticket but not pay the “aftereffects” cost, but something that sounds that good just can’t be true!

Mangeorge , you preach I’ll reply!:wink:

I ALWAYS wear my seatbelt, but that’s because I think that it’s important for me to survive in one piece (not to mention the fact that I couldn’t do my job with pieces missing!). BUT if someone else wants to risk his life, that should be his choice. I know that there are many issues such as insurance costs tied up in this, but that’s for GD!

End of preachy response!

I’ve done it once and I never saw the ticket on my insurance records. This may only work in certain states and this particular occurance happened in Il on a $85 dollar speeding ticket.(I really think they need more than 10 feet between changes in speed limits.) And the insurance companies can’t really do anything about it apart from press for revisions in legal tender and debts which is pretty hard to do I think.

Look. I don’t want to propagate what may be an Urban Legend but lets do a little test to see if it is true shall we? lucwarm, when or if you do have to pay the fine pay 1 dollar over and then report to us what your next insurance bill states.

And I swear my insurance rate didn’t change at all. Which is surprising because I got the ticket when I was 16 and they tend to rase your rates at that age if you have too many squished flies on your windshield.

Well luc we need more information to answer this. NYC parking tickets (yours may be different because it’s not really a parking violation) have a space for the signature of the complaintant (the officer) and a space for his/her printed name.

If you are saying the signature space is blank you may have a case – it is a required element to make the ticket valid. If, on the other hand, he printed his name in the signature slot, well you’re probably screwed; IANAL, but I’d wager he’s entitled to “sign” it however he chooses.

If you want to do a little more solid research, here’s a valuable tip. (All you NYC drivers might want to note this too – it has saved my butt at many a parking ticket dispute.) Go to the Municipal Library, at the Surrogate’s Court Building at the NW corner of Centre St. & Chambers St. in Manhattan. Ask the librarian to see the guidelines they issue to the parking ticket judges. Last time I was there it was in a light blue binder. It contains the exact descriptions – and interpretations – of the NYC violations. Because it is meant as a handy “rule book” for new parking judges (most of whom are moonlighting lawyers) it states exactly what is and is not a valid violation in clear simple language. It also covers what constitutes a defective ticket, including the particulars of the signature requirement.

Good luck.

One more thing. There is a small, red book called “How to Beat a Parking Ticket, NYC Edition” that is a sloppy distillation of what is in the blue binder guidelines that I mentioned above. The book lacks the finer details of the guidelines – which can often make or break your case – so I suggest you go read the real thing instead.

Again, good luck.

Where the hell is a lawyer when you need one! :wink:
I kinda know this;
Your (the perps) signature is only a promise to appear. Instead of arrest.
The cops signature is a affirmation of the facts stated on the ticket. He/she can do that in court. By testifying.
Or so I’ve been led to believe. I got a ticket once, and the cop scrawled something in his sig space. I pointed it out and said (jokingly) that I could wipe my ass with his ticket, and not appear. He said I should go ahead and try, if I was feeling brave, because he didn’t even have to sign it. Now he’s just a cop, ANAL, but I paid the fine.
So go ahead and wipe your ass with the ticket, lucwarm, and let me know if I was a chickenshit fool. :smack:

One possible explanation for the discrepancy between snopes and Marduk’s reported experience is my rememberance (not going to dig up a cite tonight - we’re in the greyzone here) of a bit of a rumble here in Texas a few years back wherein it was discovered that some notorious speed trap towns were not reporting ticketed violations to the state.

They were apparently doing this to avoid sharing ticket revenue with the state. As a common explanation for absurd speed zones (Marduk’s ten feet comment) is that they are used for revenue, this is understandable.

So perhaps Marduk got nailed in one of these podunks, and he could have saved himself the dollar, because they weren’t going to report it anyway.

There is no truth to the check thing.
This emails says that if you get a traffic ticket, write a check for a little more than the amount of the fine. When you receive a refund check for the difference, don’t cash it. That’s because the traffic computers don’t regard your case as complete until all the paperwork is done and the accounts are balanced, so even though you got a ticket and paid it, that will not be put on your record, you’ll avoid the “points” that can go against you for insurance.

The Truth: A
ccording to the National Motorist’s Association, ( this is a hoax. NMA Spokesperson Eric Skrum tells, “We have had our members, activists, and lawyers look into this. None have been able to find a place where this will work.”

A real example of the story as it has been circulated:

Subject: If You Get A Traffic Ticket

We discovered that this procedure works in every state. Read it and try it, you have nothing to lose but the points on your license.

This is how it works: If you get a speeding ticket or went through a red light or whatever the case may be, and you are going to get points on your license, then there is a method to ensure that you DO NOT get any points. When you get your fine, send in the check to pay for it and if the fine is say, $79, then make the check out for $82 or some small amount over the fine. The system will then have to send you back a check for the difference, but here is the trick!***DO NOT CASH THE REFUND CHECK!!!***Throw it away!! Points are not assessed to your license until all financial transactions are complete. If you do not cash the check, then the transactions are NOT complete. However, the system has gotten its money and is happy and will not bother you any more. This information came to our attention from an very reliable computer company that sets up the standard database used by each states’ DMV. Good luck and share this with all your friends and other family members, as well!!!

mangeorge, one of the things that is pointed out in the “How to Beat…” book (and the judge guidelines too) is that some pieces of information are required on NYC parking summonses that are NOT required by NY State law. The signature of the issuing agent is one of those items.

So, maybe luc couldn’t wipe his butt with an unsigned ticket from, say, Syracuse. But I think he could if the ticket is issued in the 5 boroughs of NYC – provided he first sends a copy to the judge claiming the ticket is defective and should be dismissed on those grounds.

Once again, the rules may differ for non-parking violations.

Unsure if this will work in your area, but I’ve successfully beaten several tickets in Philadelphia via the following means.

If you wish to contest the charge, you must send notice of such request to traffic court not less than three days prior to your hearing. Inasmuch as there is no stipulation regarding the point from which said request is mailed, I’d send the paperwork to my brother in New Mexico, and have him mail paperwork right before closing of the post office on the last day, obtain a time stamped receipt, and he’d send that to me. As such, I’d present my evidence of proper notification, and since the officer was not there, I’d obtain a discharge.

Devious? yes. Better than points. :smiley: