When a cop lets you off with a warning, is there any official record of that?

In other words, if a police officer is in a swell mood and has been pulling motorists over but letting them off with a sternly-worded warning but no ticket, does his department supervisor think he’s been slacking off all day, as opposed to a grouchy police officer who writes a ticket/fine for every motorist he pulls over? Does it look like Officer Friendly has been napping on his shift?

Maybe, maybe not. He can write up an ‘official’ warning that goes in the records, or just let you go.

It depends. Some do and some don’t. If you think there is a written warning against your driving record you have a right in most states to see your official record. YMMV

I always thought it would make sense if the police had a central record of people who had been given verbal warnings with no further action taken. So the cop would know if the person they’re talking to has been warned before or not, and if so give them a ticket the second time because the verbal warning obviously hasn’t worked.

But apparently this is to complicated and/or expensive to implement…I know not why.

But this is Northern Ireland, I imagine a cop handing out warnings instead of fines would record the fact in his/her pocket notebook and could present it to his/her Sergeant if asked to prove they haven’t been snoozing and eating donuts all day… :wink:

There is a system in place here in Southern Utah. Over the air dispatch refers to the system simply as “Spillman.” I googled and came up with this:

Spillman Technologies

Apparently every time an officer pulls over a vehicle, and even lets them go with a warning, it’s logged in the Spillman system and sent to the central respository. Any department in the USA that uses Spillman can then access this. I’ve heard a Spillman check return a warning that was written in Illinois.

Usually a simple warning would not be acted on, but several warnings along with a conviction or two would be enough to alert a patrol officer to act with greater care during a traffic stop.

Pennsylvania USA resident here.

A nearby residential street is one way during rush hour. I’ve forgotten and driven down that street the wrong way and been pulled over. The officer told me that I was being given a warning and that if I was pulled over again for the same thing within the next twelve months I would be given a ticket.

So it sure sounded to me as if that warning would be on my record for the next twelve months.

If there’s not a written record of the warning, I would imagine there would be a dispatch record of the traffic stop. Given how dangerous traffic stops are, I can’t imagine a cop stopping someone and not advising their dispatcher.

Did you present your driver’s license?

Did the cop go back to the patrol car with your license in hand?

If there was no “License, Registration, and Proof of Insurance, please,” then I don’t see how any record could exist.

HOWEVER–the license PLATE scanning equipment and software is in use in many locations. Your VEHICLE could have some kind of entry into a database.

They do that around here. They radio “1-Adam-12, traffic stop at first and main, red Toyota Camry” to give at least some information about the vehicle in case something happens. Even if they don’t radio for anything else during the stop, when they are done they radio “1-Adam-12 back in service” meaning they’re done with the stop and available to take new calls. So, it at least goes out over the airwaves. It must be logged, or dispatch would keep trying to send people on calls when they were already busy.

There is usually a sergeant on the beat who not only does cop stuff but also goes around assisting the officers and probably has a pretty good idea what his guys are up to most of the time. So if Officer Friendly writes far less tickets that Officer Grumpy, he probably gets accused of being too nice rather than napping.

I was pulled over in New Jersey in 2000, and given a written warning.

S/he could have been bluffing.


You mean cops don’t tell the TRUTH all the time, cross their hearts, hope to die? Stick a needle in their eye?

I have twice received written warnings for speeding from Shaker Heights, Ohio police officers. They apparently do keep a central record.

Probably from the State Police. Their written warnings are internal documents. No other agency in the state has them. We certainly don’t. If there is another department that does it, it is an internal document for them as well. The is no record of that sent to the state DMV.

Despite all the speculation above, the answer is “it depends.” Each state, each police department, will have their own policy and procedure. I can tell you for certain that their is no central system in New Jersey that logs in warnings.

In my department we obviously call in all stops. The stop is logged in to the dispatch system. If there is no ticket issued then it is noted as such and closed. The only thing recorded is the plate, name, sex and race of the driver. To say it is recorded goes a little far. Its not easily searchable by that info unless a ticket is issued. So if you get pulled over there is no record of the warning or what it is for.

The only exception is with our internal communication system. As an officer I can note that I gave a warning to someone on it and when the next guy runs the plate the info comes up. It is not an official record, its just an internal note for those in the department. Quite frankly only a couple of people use it on my department. When I was on the road I used it. I thought it was a useful tool.

From past research, there are a few localities in Ohio that have speeding as an M-1, of course that makes it an arrestable offense and triable by jury.

Some type of “Hgts” community sounds familiar?

Around here we tend to only write written warnings when they are equipment violations. And then if the violation is not fixed in 5-10-15 days (officers choice) the written warning becomes a citation. (After the repair the written warning has to be signed by an officer, ANY officer in the state, and mailed in to the issuing agency).

Verbal warnings still get an FI (field interview) card filled out and turned over to records. The verbal warning stays on the computer for 12 months so if another officer **from that specific agency **pulls you over again, he’ll know about the previous warning. As of now there is no inter-agency sharing of verbal warnings.

Most of us write more than enough tickets than to worry about the Chief thinking we’re slacking when we give out warnings. I’ve yet to write an adult for not wearing their seat belt. The fine is only $10 and if you’re too stupid to buckle in I figure Darwin will take care of you in a better manner I can.

I was pulled over in Oklahoma 2 weeks ago and given a written warning. I slowed down the rest of the way. :cool:

Under Ohio law, no drivers seatbelt is a minor misdemeanor - $30 fine max. Passenger seatbelt likewise, but $20 fine max. You can’t be stopped just for that, but it’s a second or third charge in many traffic cases. I see them all the time in my courtroom.

You’re being sarcastic why exactly?

You don’t understand why it costs more to implement a new layer of bureaucracy than not to?